Parallels This is the Parallels blog, covering international news.

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Michael Sullivan for NPR

Amid Rohingya Refugee Crisis, Questions About The Role Of A Militant Group

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Displaced Syrians head to refugee camps on the outskirts of Raqqa on Sunday. Syrian fighters, backed by the U.S., have been driving out the Islamic State. However, many civilians are fleeing the fighting, and there's still no sign of a political settlement in Syria on the horizon. Bulent Kilic /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Bulent Kilic /AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. Is Beating Back ISIS, So What Comes Next?

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A banner hangs in the courtyard of a University of Barcelona building that reads, "The future is ours," in Catalan. Students are "occupying" the building ahead of an independence vote. Lauren Frayer for NPR hide caption

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Lauren Frayer for NPR

For Catalonia's Separatists, Language Is The Key To Identity

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Sevan Nisanyan was convicted and jailed for violating zoning laws in Sirince, his home village in western Turkey. Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

The main square of Batea, a town of about 2,000 residents in Spain's northeast region of Catalonia. The mayor opposes Sunday's independence referendum and has not given permission for voting to take place in municipal buildings. Lauren Frayer for NPR hide caption

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Lauren Frayer for NPR

In Spain, Catalans Are Divided Over Independence Vote As Referendum Approaches

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Parwena Dulkun is a Uighur model who divides her time between Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, and Beijing. Uighurs share traits from both Asian and European ancestors, a look that is in demand among modeling agencies throughout China. Photo courtesy of Parwena Dulkun hide caption

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Photo courtesy of Parwena Dulkun

For Some Chinese Uighurs, Modeling Is A Path To Success

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In his Tuesday speech at the Sorbonne in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron called Europe "our history, identity, our horizon and what protects us and gives us our future." Ludovic Marin/AP hide caption

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Ludovic Marin/AP

The far-right Alternative for Germany party came in third place nationally, but in the eastern state of Saxony, where the town of Pirna is located, the party finished first with 27 percent of the vote. Jens Schlueter/Getty Images hide caption

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Jens Schlueter/Getty Images

Aktham Abulhusn rides the subway on his way to Berlin Alexanderplatz. He came from Syria to Germany in early 2015 on a student visa and now lives there on a refugee visa. Now that his German language skills are improving, he is trying to find a girlfriend. Jacobia Dahm for NPR hide caption

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Jacobia Dahm for NPR

At Urumqi's Grand Bazaar, a police officer chats with a local vendor while a video promoting China's ethnic minorities plays on a big screen overlooking the square. This was the site of Uighur protests in 2009 that sparked citywide riots, leading to the death of hundreds. Since then, the city has become one of China's most tightly controlled police states. Rob Schmitz/NPR hide caption

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Rob Schmitz/NPR

Wary Of Unrest Among Uighur Minority, China Locks Down Xinjiang Region

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks in Berlin on Monday. Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images hide caption

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Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

AfD top candidates Alexander Gauland, left, and Alice Weidel celebrate with their supporters during the election party of the nationalist Alternative for Germany, in Berlin, Sunday, after the polling stations for the parliament elections closed. Martin Meissner/AP hide caption

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Martin Meissner/AP

German Chancellor and Christian Democrat Angela Merkel appears to have lost some support because of her refugee policy that allowed more than a million asylum seekers into the country since 2015. Sean Gallup/Getty Images hide caption

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Mohammed Eh'tai fled Syria a couple of years ago. He has been reunited with wife Rawah, holding a doll that is one of the only items from their old life in Syria, and their daughter Rimas. Arezou Rezvani/NPR hide caption

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Arezou Rezvani/NPR

A poster in Essen showing women in traditional German dress promotes the far-right party Alternative for Germany. The poster says, "Colorful variety? We have already." Martin Meissner/AP hide caption

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Martin Meissner/AP

Alice Weidel and Alexander Gauland, leading candidates of the right-wing, populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) political party, stand near an AfD poster that reads: "Crime Through Immigration, The Refugee Wave Leaves Behind Clues!" Sept. 18 in Berlin. Sean Gallup/Getty Images hide caption

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Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Kurds wave Israeli flags at a Kurdish independence rally. Israel is the only country in the region to support the referendum. Jane Arraf/NPR hide caption

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Jane Arraf/NPR

What To Know About The Independence Referendum In Iraqi Kurdistan

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Billboards featuring German Chancellor Angela Merkel (center) and Martin Schulz (left), leader of Germany's Social Democratic Party and candidate for chancellor, are pictured in Berlin on Sept. 17. John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Smoke rises from buildings in the area of Bughayliyah, on the northern outskirts of Deir ez-Zor on Sept. 13, as Syrian forces advance during their ongoing battle against ISIS. George Ourfalian/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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George Ourfalian/AFP/Getty Images