Emily Sullivan

The Syrian army said via state media Sunday that it had captured four villages from the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces near Syria's border with Iraq on the eastern shore of the Euphrates River, where Kurdish-led forces are in control.

In a statement to NPR, the SDF confirmed the offensive and said the regime and its allies began to target an SDF base Saturday night, beginning at the city of Deir Ezzor and ending at the Euphrates in an attempt to progress toward Kurdish-controlled areas.

Teachers' union leaders in Oklahoma have ended a nine-day, statewide strike after winning salary raises but seeing a lack of legislative action otherwise.

The acting chief executive officer of Cambridge Analytica, the political data firm embroiled in controversy after improperly sharing data from some 87 million Facebook users, has stepped down. Alexander Tayler is the second CEO to step down since the scandal broke in March.

A statement on Cambridge Analytica's website says Tayler will resume his former position as chief data officer "in order to focus on the various technical investigations and inquiries."

The concept of free speech is frequently heard in courtrooms across the country. Advocates on all kinds of issues try to tie their legal and policy arguments to a constitutional right most Americans hold as fundamental. Consider recent debates over net neutrality, for example, or abortion rights.

The latest addition to the Trump administration is used to the limelight. Caroline Sunshine, a former Disney star and White House intern, has joined the White House as a press assistant.

The 22-year-old played a recurring character in Disney's Shake It Up, a TV series about teen dancers, during the show's 2010 to 2013 run. She's also appeared in a few films.

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