Greg Myre

At first glance, five killings in three states since last May appeared to be unrelated, isolated cases.

But a common thread is emerging. Three young men have been charged, and all appear to have links to the same white supremacist group: the Atomwaffen Division.

Atomwaffen is German for "atomic weapons," and the group is extreme. It celebrates Adolf Hitler and Charles Manson, its online images are filled with swastikas, and it promotes violence.

What weapon did the gunman use in the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida?

If you said the AR-15, you'd be wrong. And we'll explain in a moment.

For more than a half-century, the AR-15 has been popular among gun owners, widely available in gun stores and, for many years, even appeared in the Sears catalog.

Yet over the past decade, the AR-15 and its offshoots have been used in many of the country's worst mass shootings. This has reignited the debate about their widespread availability.

President Trump on Friday announced a fresh round of sanctions against North Korea in an attempt to block oil and other prohibited products from getting to the Asian nation.

"We have imposed the heaviest sanctions ever imposed," Trump said at the conclusion of his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxen Hill, Md., just outside Washington. "Hopefully, something positive can happen. We will see."

Intelligence Infighting

Feb 16, 2018

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Jacob Zuma became South Africa's president in 2009 amid suspicions of corruption. After nine years in office, and many more allegations, he resigned Wednesday after his own African National Congress party told him it was time to go.

Zuma, 75, was a political survivor. But he never escaped the taint of corruption, and his tenure marked the rockiest period in South Africa's post-apartheid era.

China's Spies

Feb 9, 2018

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

An estimated 300 Americans attempted to join the Islamic State and other radical Islamist groups in Iraq and Syria, including a small number who rose to senior positions, according to the most detailed report to date on this issue.

So far, 12 of those Americans have returned home, yet none has carried out an attack on U.S. soil, according the report released Monday by George Washington University's Program on Extremism.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Americans often see provocative presidential tweets, like this one comparing the size of the nuclear buttons in the United States and North Korea:

Iran's protests feature demonstrators upset with the country's lackluster economy and nearly four decades of rule by hard-line Islamic clerics.

Those are the basics, but there is much more behind this latest round of unrest.

Iran is a complicated place, marked by multiple factions all trying to pull the country in different directions.

There is one supreme cleric in charge. But there is also an elected president and robust political debate. While not a democracy, neither is Iran a dictatorship.

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