Jane Arraf

The ruler of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, has died at the age of 91. Born in an era when the tiny Gulf emirate's economy relied on pearl diving, his life spanned the discovery of oil and Kuwait's emergence as one of the world's richest countries.

Kuwaiti state television announced the emir's death Tuesday after playing Quranic prayers.

Editor's note: This story includes details some readers may find disturbing.

Ftaim al-Saleh's young nieces and nephews play in the dirt near her family's new tent on the road to Amman's international airport. Her own youngest children are buried up the road — four of them laid out in graves on a small, rocky hilltop cemetery overlooking the highway.

The children died in a fire early one morning in June, while she and her husband were in the fields where they work as farm laborers.

Seventeen years after it was stolen, archaeologist McGuire Gibson still checks eBay for a 4,000-year-old stone cylinder seal that he excavated in Iraq in the 1970s.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Um Hiba's trauma over being enslaved, raped and beaten by ISIS after fighters raided her village didn't end when she was freed three years ago. Instead, like thousands of other survivors of the genocide against Yazidis, she languishes, still traumatized, with what's left of her family.

Jordanian Prime Minister Omar Razzaz sits in the front room of his family home in a middle-class Amman neighborhood of traditional white stone houses with small gardens and low walls. Unusually, in a region where senior officials typically live in gated compounds far from public view, the residential street has been kept open to traffic to minimize disruption to Razzaz's neighbors.

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The U.S. is leading the world in COVID-19 cases - more than 3 1/2 million. Other countries are seeing surges, too. India, for example, just hit a new record - a million cases. Here's virologist Shahid Jameel talking to India Today.

Coronavirus cases are spiking sharply in Iraq amid a shortage of supplies that has resulted in protesters storming an oxygen cylinder factory and relatives of patients seizing oxygen canisters in hospitals.

"This is a war against the coronavirus and we have lost the war," says an Iraqi official who has been briefed on the government's response to the pandemic.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

When the Museum of the Bible opened three years ago, its founders aimed to engage a wider audience with the Bible and its thousands of years of history.

But the museum's ambitious goals have been overshadowed by a series of scandals, still unfolding, over antiquities — acquired in a five-year international shopping spree — that have turned out to be looted or fake.

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