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The Rev. Willis Johnson (left), pastor of Wellspring Church in Ferguson, speaks to the Rev. Michele Shumake-Keller after the panel discussion in Ferguson, Mo., on Thursday. Johnson said he hoped the event would be a step to healing a "community in trauma."

Plea To Ferguson's Leaders: To Help Heal, Acknowledge Our Hurt

(Editor's Note: NPR's Michel Martin was invited by St. Louis Public Radio to moderate a community conversation on Thursday around race, police tactics and leadership following the shooting death of Michael Brown. The following story is based on what happened at the event.)

A Syrian refugee child eats food which her mother collected from rubbish in the Eminonu disctrict of Istanbul.

U.N.: Syrian Refugee Crisis Is 'Biggest Humanitarian Emergency Of Our Era'

The Syrian civil war has sparked "the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era."

That's according to António Guterres, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, who added that while the world's response to the crisis has been "generous," it hasn't met the needs of refugees.

The U.N. agency released new numbers on Friday and the picture they paint is exceedingly grim. A few data points from the report:

A pro-Russian rebel walks in a passage at a local market damaged by shelling in Petrovskiy district in the eastern Ukrainian town of Donetsk.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Says Government Will Seek NATO Membership

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk says his government has sent parliament a bill that allows Ukraine to open a path toward membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

"The main and only goal of Ukraine's foreign policy is to join the European Union," Yatsenyuk said in a statement.

Patrick Roy's company, Coastal Rental Equipment, used to rent these large pumps to offshore divers who work for oil and natural gas drillers. After the BP oil spill, when the government introduced a moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the Patterson, La., business suffered losses and eventually shut down.

As BP Pays For Oil Spill Impact, Some People Aren't Seeing The Cash

BP's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico disrupted business all along the coastline. Through the end of July, the oil giant paid more than $13 billion to compensate people, businesses and communities affected. The company is disputing some of those claims in court battles that could drag on for years.

This image, posted on a militant website, shows an Islamic State fighter waving a flag from a captured government fighter jet in Raqqa, Syria. The group is well-funded and has gained territory over the past few months; that's raised some concerns in America, although experts say the organization is largely focused on regional goals.

Despite Islamic State's Resources, U.S. May Not Be Its Prime Target

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently talked about the militants associated with the Islamic State, the group also known as ISIL or ISIS. He made them sound 10 feet tall.

"ISIL is as sophisticated and well-funded as any group we have seen," he said. "They are beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology [and] a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess; they are tremendously well-funded. This is beyond anything we've seen."

New Yorkers can take city-run classes to learn how to make their homes and businesses less attractive to these guys.

Rats! New York City Tries To Drain Rodent 'Reservoirs'

New York City is launching the latest salvo in its never-ending war on rats.

City officials are ramping up efforts to teach regular New Yorkers how to make their streets, businesses and gardens less hospitable to rodents — in other words, to see their neighborhood the way a health inspector would.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, shown here in January, has sent an open letter to NFL team owners explaining the league's new policies for preventing and punishing domestic violence and sexual assault.

NFL Lays Out New Penalty For Domestic Violence: 6-Game Suspension

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has announced new guidelines for how the league will handle incidents of domestic violence and sexual assault. The change in policy, explained an open letter to team owners, come a month after the NFL was criticized for how it handled player Ray Rice's arrest on domestic violence charges.

Obama Says U.S. Will Aid Iraqis Who Are Marooned On Mount Sinjar

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President Obama said Thursday at the White House that the U.S. doesn't yet have a strategy on how to deal with the Islamic State militant group.

'We Don't Have A Strategy Yet' On Islamic State, Obama Says

President Obama says the U.S. doesn't "have a strategy yet" on how to deal with Islamic State militants who now control vast swaths of territory across Iraq and Syria, but he added that the militant group was continuing to lose arms and equipment because of targeted U.S. strikes against its members in Iraq.

"I don't want to put the cart before the horse," Obama said at a White House news conference Thursday. "We don't have a strategy yet."

Police arrest a woman in Ferguson, Mo., protesting the shooting death of Michael Brown. Most officers in Ferguson and nearby Jennings are white, but the neighborhoods they police are predominantly African-American.

Zero-Tolerance Policing Is Not Racism, Say St. Louis-Area Cops

The protests that followed the shooting death this month of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., have rekindled long-standing complaints about racist policing, especially in the St Louis area.

Many male African-American residents there say police scrutinize them unfairly. "Every time you see a cop, it's like, 'OK, am I going to get messed with?' " says Anthony Ross. "You feel that every single time you get behind your car. Every time."

Now, police officers in and around St. Louis are becoming more vocal about defending themselves against the charges of bias.

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