The Brief

FILE PHOTO: People dig in the rubble in an ongoing search for survivors at a site hit previously by an airstrike in the rebel-held Tariq al-Bab neighborhood of Aleppo
Abdalrhman Ismail—Reuters

A 'Merciless Abyss'

Syrian government forces continued their push into rebel-held districts of Aleppo as international officials issued dire warnings of an ongoing humanitarian disaster. The U.N. said that eastern Aleppo had descended into the "merciless abyss of humanitarian catastrophe"

Barack Obama touches the coffin of former Israeli president and prime minister Shimon Peres after speaking during his funeral at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl national cemetery on Sept. 30, 2016.

Obama Hails Shimon Peres At Funeral

President Barack Obama hailed Shimon Peres at his funeral in Jerusalem as a man who showed the world that justice and hope are at the heart of the Zionist ideal and saw "all people as deserving of dignity and respect"

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CDC Warns Pregnant Women of Zika Risk in Southeast Asia

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control advised pregnant women to avoid nonessential travel to Southeast Asia and the Maldives due to the potential risk of Zika infection, which can cause severe birth defects. Eleven countries were singled out in the advisory

A gender-neutral bathroom is seen at the University of California, Irvine in Irvine, Calif., Sept. 30, 2014.

Calif. Gov. Signs 'All Gender' Single-Stall Bathroom Bill

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that requires public single-occupancy bathrooms in the state to be gender neutral, or as the bill puts it, available for all genders. The new law is aimed at making sure public spaces are inclusive for the LGBTQ community

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the nation ahead of Sept. 18 parliamentary elections on Sept. 15, 2016. Putin called on Russians to cast their ballots even though the polls are not expected to challenge his political dominance.

How Russia Wants to Undermine the U.S. Election

U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement agencies have seen mounting evidence of an active Russian-influenced operation targeting the 2016 presidential election. It is unlikely the Russians could sway the vote but they could sow disruption and instability

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks to sailors on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson at Naval Air Station, North Island in Coronado, Calif., Sept. 29, 2016.

The U.S. Looks to 'Sharpen Military Edge' in Asia

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the U.S. will "sharpen our military edge" in Asia and the Pacific in order to remain a dominant power in a region feeling the effects of China's rising military might

Train personel survey the NJ Transit train that crashed in to the platform at the Hoboken Terminal in Hoboken, New Jersey, Sept. 29, 2016.

1 Dead in N.J. Train Crash

A commuter train crashed into a station outside in Hoboken, N.J., leaving at least one person dead and 108 injured. The cause of the crash is yet to be determined, though officials said that the train entered the station at an unusually fast speed

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Somali Officials Claim U.S. Airstrike Killed Civilians

Somali officials said that a U.S. air strike killed 22 civilians and Somali soldiers, not al-Shabab militants as the U.S. has claimed. Officials reportedly suggested that the U.S. military had been tricked into believing it was targeting extremists by a neighboring state

Signage at an early voting center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Sept. 23, 2016.

Clinton Focuses on Early Voting in Key States

In some states, more than half of the votes will be cast before Election Day. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton wants as many of her supporters to bank theirs early, and her team is gaming opportunities to find and bank millions of votes

A woman stands at the voting booth at the White Marsh Elementary School polling station in Mechanicsville, Maryland, April 26, 2016.

How Hillary Clinton's Allies Are Expanding the Vote

From Virginia to Florida, Ohio and North Carolina, the Democratic Party's top attorneys and strategists are working on an unprecedented countrywide effort to expand its voter base by pushing for early voting and expanded access.

A man stands behind a picture of Alfred Olango during a protest, in El Cajon, Calif., on Sept. 28, 2016.

Alfred Olango Shooting Raises Questions

The fatal shooting of a black man by police in El Cajon, Calif., this week stands out in part because family members say the suspect may have been mentally ill, an issue that experts say police are far too often ill-equipped to handle