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May, 30, 2016

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Commentary > AP
The U.S. Congress is racing toward its summer break, but like a procrastinating university kid it has tons of work to catch up on to avoid a report card laden with grades of incomplete or even worse.
 
At least 200 U.S. special operations troops are in Syria advising the Syrian Democratic Forces in their effort to retake the city of Raqqa, the self-proclaimed capital of the Islamic State group.
 
There is the soaring rhetoric. And then there's the messy reality. When U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe make a historic visit to Hiroshima on Friday -- the first time a sitting U.S. president has visited the site of the first atomic bomb attack -- their words advocating nuclear disarmament will clash with real-world security necessities.
 
It's all but official: this summer's Greek crisis has been called off. After an 11-hour meeting lasting into the early hours Wednesday, European officials agreed to unfreeze more rescue loans and to consider ways to lighten Greece's debt load. That means Greece stands to get 10.3 billion euros (US$11.5 billion) from its bailout loan package from European governments and the International Monetary Fund.
 
Even as Iraq slowly claws back territory from the Islamic State group, faith in the government is crumbling among many, particularly the country's Shiites, angered by political disarray and the continual pounding of the capital, Baghdad, by militants' bombings.
 
After decades of officially-imposed detachment from the "Great Satan," Iranians are this time transfixed by the wild U.S. presidential campaign, mindful that the next White House occupant could have direct impact on their lives.
 
Central Asia's autocratic leaders don't want to be liked. They want to be adored. When the Soviet Union collapsed, a clutch of nations emerged in the vast areas of steppe and mountains between Russia's southern border down to Iran and Afghanistan.
 
British voters will decide in one month whether or not to deal a historic hammer blow to European integration by putting their island nation on an independent path outside the European Union.
 
Mullah Mohammed Akhtar Mansour's brief rule, which ended with his death in a drone strike, was marked by mistrust and strife.
 
For Donald Trump to win the White House in November, he'll need the votes of women like lifelong Republican Party Wendy Emery.
 
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