Deborah Amos

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The assassination last month in Germany of a popular pro-migrant politician has raised alarm about a growing threat of right-wing terrorism. It was the first political assassination by the extreme right since the Nazi regime, and it has shaken the country.

In June 1989, days after Chinese authorities cracked down on protesters in Tiananmen Square, NPR international correspondent Deborah Amos landed in Beijing to cover the aftermath. Fresh off a reporting stint covering Poland's first democratic election — which took place on June 4, the same day as the Tiananmen crackdown — Amos spent the next six weeks reporting in and outside of Beijing, sometimes in secret. It was her first time covering China.

Saudi siblings Lina and Walid Alhathloul check their phones constantly for any mention of their sister on social media. They have already done four interviews on the day of the PEN awards and sit down for a fifth, because, they say, this is the only way to help their sister, 29-year-old jailed Saudi activist Loujain Alhathloul.

"We want to raise awareness," says Lina Alhathloul, a lawyer living in exile in Belgium.

After an 18-year-old Saudi woman, who said she feared death if deported to Saudi Arabia, arrived in Canada, she directed some of her first public comments back home. Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun encouraged other women to flee family abuse and the oppressive controls imposed on them by the conservative kingdom.

She has just showed them how to do it.

The family of an American citizen believed to have been jailed in Syria two years ago is making his story public for the first time, spurred by President Trump's announcement last month that he will withdraw U.S. troops from the country.

Majd Kamalmaz, a 61-year-old psychotherapist from Arlington, Va., arrived in Damascus on Feb. 15, 2017. He traveled to the Syrian capital for a condolence visit following the death of his father-in-law and to check on elderly relatives, according to his family. They say he was arrested at a checkpoint a day after he arrived.

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It's well known that President Trump wants a wall on the southern U.S. border. He insists it's urgent to curb illegal immigration. But more than any wall, new barriers to legal immigration are likely to have more bearing on people trying to enter the United States. The United States is rejecting more legal immigrants than ever before.

The first casualty in 2018 was the U.S. refugee resettlement program, says Larry Yungk, a former official at the U.N. refugee agency and now co-chair of the advisory committee of Church World Service's refugee program.

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Around the globe, more scholars are now threatened and displaced than since World War II began. In response, U.S. universities have sponsored endangered scholars and recently created a consortium that offers a broader academic community to refugee scholars threatened by war and authoritarian governments.

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The Syrian war is winding down after seven brutal years, with hundreds of thousands killed, millions displaced and neighborhoods in smoking ruins. President Bashar Assad is on course to win, with help from powerful allies Russia and Iran.

Now, activists who lost the challenge to Assad's rule on the streets of Syria are waging a new fight — in European courts.

"We will catch them no matter how much they hide. There is no safe place to run," says Anwar al-Bunni, a prominent Syrian human rights lawyer who fled to Germany in 2014.

A snapshot of the Trump administration's unraveling of the U.S. refugee resettlement program can be found in these numbers:

  • The U.S. has admitted 49 Syrian refugees so far in fiscal year 2018. More than 12,000 Syrian refugees were admitted in fiscal 2016, the final year of the Obama administration. In fiscal 2017, which includes the first year of the Trump administration, the number of Syrian arrivals was 6,557.

When Saudi Arabia started allowing women to drive last month — a historic shift in the last country in the world to ban women from getting behind the wheel — Samah Damanhoori was watching closely from California. The 29-year-old Saudi woman has a lot at stake.

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