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Special Reports

The Iraqi militia helping Iran carve a road to Damascus

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BAGHDAD In late May, an Iraqi cleric called Akram Kaabi visited militia fighters in a desolate Iraqi town near the Syrian border. Kaabi, who heads a Shi'ite Muslim militia named Harakat Hezbollah al Nujaba, was decked out in a camouflage uniform and led the fighters in prayer on mats laid on the dusty ground. A video of the session showed heavily armed militiamen standing guard.

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Special Report - More power and a quiet exit for Taser’s best-selling product 21 Sep 2017

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona The X26 is in a class by itself.

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Distrustful U.S. allies force spy agency to back down in encryption row 21 Sep 2017

SAN FRANCISCO An international group of cryptography experts has forced the U.S. National Security Agency to back down over two data encryption techniques it wanted set as global industry standards, reflecting deep mistrust among close U.S. allies. | Video

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Islamists lure youngsters in the Philippines with payments, promise of paradise 21 Sep 2017

MARAWI CITY, Philippines When he saw his commander holding the severed head of one of his neighbours, teenage Islamist fighter Jalil knew it was time to escape from Marawi City. | Video

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Russia becomes Iraq Kurds' top funder, quiet about independence vote 20 Sep 2017

LONDON Russia, the only major power that has not called on Iraq's Kurds to cancel a referendum on independence next week, has swiftly become the top funder of Kurdish oil and gas deals, with as much as $4 billion pledged in less than a year, industry sources say.

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Special Report - The garage science behind the stun gun that changed policing 20 Sep 2017

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona When Rick Smith launched his supercharged stun gun in 1999, his startup had produced two failed products, several years of losses and a load of debt.

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Trump administration red tape tangles up visas for skilled foreigners, data shows 20 Sep 2017

WASHINGTON The Trump administration is making it more difficult for skilled foreigners to work in the United States, challenging visa applications more often than at nearly any point in the Obama era, according to data reviewed by Reuters.    | Video

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Unbudgeted: How the opioid crisis is blowing a hole in small-town America's finances 19 Sep 2017

INDIANA, Pa./CHILLICOTHE, Ohio As deaths mount in America's opioid crisis, communities on the front lines face a hidden toll: the financial cost. | Video

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UK fishermen see Brexit bonanza, but there's a catch 19 Sep 2017

NEWLYN, England/PARIS For the fishermen of this small port on the toe of England, Britain's vote to leave the European Union was an answer to their prayers. | Video

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In the weeds - How top official got tangled in Nigerian aid scandal 14 Sep 2017

WACHAKAL, Nigeria When millions of people in northeast Nigeria faced hunger and attacks by Islamist militant group Boko Haram in March 2016, the government acted: it decided to spend $1.4 million cutting down weeds around the village of Wachakal in order to stop flooding.