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Does the evidence show President Trump abused his power? We start to hear for ourselves this week witnesses testify publicly in the House impeachment inquiry, and we prepare this morning by examining the evidence so far.

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STEVE INSKEEP, BYLINE: We have messages this morning from Americans imprisoned in Iran. At least five U.S. citizens are in Iranian custody. Some are allowed to call home, and we've been learning some of what they say. For one of those prisoners, a grim anniversary passed just this month.

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U.S. forces in Syria complicated any effort by Turkey to invade for years. Now that U.S. forces are going, U.S. sanctions are not immediately having the same effect.

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The United States is pulling its forces out of northern Syria. And the Syrian government is moving back in.

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Federal prosecutors say two businessmen had a motive for making illegal contributions to U.S. political campaigns. The two men sought to remove an American diplomat in Ukraine, according to an indictment unsealed on Thursday.

The two men, Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, were associates of President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. They also have business interests in Ukraine.

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How far can President Trump go in defying the will of Congress?

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Democrats conducting an impeachment inquiry are looking into one of President Trump's closest allies.

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As China celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Communist Party's rule, China's ambassador to the U.S. says that it's thanks to that very system that his country has climbed the ranks of global leadership.

"We have had our own setbacks over the years," Cui Tiankai tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "But generally speaking, as a whole, we have gradually found a path for China's development that works for China."

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After months of hesitating, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is starting a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., on Wednesday unveiled a package of anti-poverty proposals to give more people — including undocumented immigrants — access to federal benefits such as Medicaid.

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Let's hear from a country that has been a special focus for President Trump.

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Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says his country will not succumb to economic pressure by the Trump administration.

"We are resisting an unprovoked aggression by the United States," Zarif told NPR's Steve Inskeep in an interview in New York City on Sunday. "I can assure you that the United States will not be able to bring us to our knees through pressure."

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Hurricane Dorian is slowly moving on after devastating the Bahamas.

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When former defense secretary Jim Mattis is asked about his relationship with President Trump, he has an answer ready.

"I don't discuss sitting presidents," Mattis tells NPR in an interview. "I believe that you owe a period of quiet."

Is Iran anywhere near collapse?

Amir Mohebbian doesn't think so. The conservative Iranian political thinker and news editor said so in Tehran, even though U.S. economic sanctions have blocked most of the oil exports on which Iran relies. "The situation in the economy is not good," he said, "but not so bad that [it will] kill us."

At a cancer treatment center in Iran's capital of Tehran, a doctor's fight to treat her cancer patients has become harder. As U.S. sanctions sink in, the flow of medicine and medical supplies in Iran appears to have slowed — and the reasons are difficult to pin down.

Dr. Mastaneh Sanei, an oncologist at the Roshana Cancer Center, says she's treating patients without the benefits of consistently functioning equipment and a reliable supply of drugs.

With the right treatment, she says, "you may not cure these patients, but they have the chance to prolong survival."

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STEVE INSKEEP, BYLINE: A big question hangs over the two countries from which we're broadcasting today. The United States has imposed what it calls maximum pressure on Iran, and we've seen the economic damage here.

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