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The war in Syria is more complicated than ever. On the third day of Russian airstrikes, the US and Russia are aiming at different targets while trying to make sure their planes don't run into each other. As the violence increases, diplomatic conflict is escalating and President Putin has President Obama on the defensive, at least for the moment. We try to connect the dots.

On today's Talking Point, a loving look back at Detroit before an American boomtown hit the skids.  

Photo: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

The Oregon Shootings and the Media Routine 5 MIN, 48 SEC

People take part in candle light vigil following a mass shooting
at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon October 1, 2015.
Photo by Steve Dipaola/Reuters

The latest in America's string of mass shootings happened yesterday when a lone gunman killed nine people and injured several others on the campus of Umpqua Community College in Roseburg Oregon. Today, the Sheriff said 13 weapons have been found, all of them legally purchased by him and his family. Yesterday, President Obama mourned the victims and lamented that the response to these mass shootings has become routine.

Professor Danny Hayes, who teaches Political Science at George Washington University, has more on the reasons why.

Danny Hayes, George Washington University

Hayes on why it's so hard to pass gun control laws
Hayes on gun control and the media's attention span

Syria's Civil War Goes Multi-national 32 MIN, 34 SEC

What started as an uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has become more complicated than ever. Russia and the US are dropping bombs on the same country, and although both are opposed to ISIS, they are on different sides of the civil war. At the same time, Iraq is inviting Russia to join the US by dropping bombs there. France is part of the American coalition, and Iranian troops have been sent to Syria, joining Hezbollah forces from Lebanon. And President Obama is accused of creating a Middle-East vacuum for President Putin to fill.  We try to connect the dots.

Ben Judah, Journalist, contributor at Politico Europe (@b_judah)
Geoff Dyer, Financial Times (@DyerGeoff)
Jeffrey Mankoff, Center for Strategic and International Studies (@csisrussia)
Lindsey Hilsum, Britain's Channel 4 News (@lindseyhilsum)
Shalman Shaikh, Shaikh Group (@Salman_Shaikh1)

Dyer on the US scrambling to respond to Russia's Syrian intervention
Hilsum on Tartus, the town where Alawite Syrians believe Putin should be king

Russian Foreign Policy

Jeffrey Mankoff

Detroit's Rise and Fall … and Rise? 10 MIN, 53 SEC

While other people write about Detroit's bankruptcy and troubled finances, Washington Post associate editor David Maraniss wanted to honor the city where he was born. He did it by focusing on one 18-month period during the 1960's, a time that was embodied by the Motown Sound, the auto industry and civil rights. Maraniss joins us to talk about his latest book, Once in a Great City.

David Maraniss, Washington Post (@davidmaraniss)

Once in a Great City

David Maraniss

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