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Photo: US soldiers execute a fire mission to support Iraqi security forces during the Mosul counteroffensive in northern Iraq. Army photo by 1st Lt. Daniel Johnson

A clash of agendas on Olympics and doping 6 MIN, 32 SEC

Swimmer Michael Phelps -- America's multiple Olympic gold-medal winner — testified before Congress today.  Saying he's reluctant to voice his opinions but that he feels the need to speak out about the testing and regulating of doping, Phelps told the committee "I can't tell you how frustrating it is to watch athletes break through barriers in unrealistic time frames, knowing what I had to go through. All athletes should be held to the same standards which need to be enforced with consistency and independence."

Alan Abrahamson, founding writer of 3 Wire Sports, covering the Olympics and the culture of sports, offers some thoughts.

Alan Abrahamson, 3 Wire Sports / USC (@alanabrahamson)

The defeat of ISIS: Not if… but when 33 MIN, 39 SEC

This week, the Pentagon gave President Trump its best-laid plans to accomplish his campaign promise to accelerate the crushing of ISIS. The Obama Administration already had ISIS on the run, and destruction of the "caliphate" is thought to be inevitable. What would it cost the US to speed up the process? Arming the Kurds could mean trouble with Turkey. Syria’s civil war might continue. US casualties might be unacceptable to the American public. We find out what options the President is likely to be considering and the consequences of going too far, too fast for political reasons. 

Gordon Lubold, Wall Street Journal (@glubold)
Andrew Exum, The Atlantic (@exumam)
Stephen Biddle, George Washington University / Council on Foreign Relations (@ElliottSchoolGW)
Laura Rozen, Al-Monitor (@lrozen)

Lubold on Trump adding muscle to US plan to fight ISIS
Exum on Trump defeating ISIS, mostly due to the work of his predecessor
Rozen on head of the US CentCom visiting Kurdish-led troops amidst ongoing Raqqa operation

Trumpism in the Netherlands: The Rise of Geert Wilders 9 MIN, 29 SEC

A right-wing challenge to centuries of liberal tradition in the Netherlands.

Dutch far right Party for Freedom (PVV) leader Geert Wilders campaigns for the
2017 Dutch election in Spijkenisse, a suburb of Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Photo by Michael Kooren/Reuters

The Netherlands is traditionally one of Europe's most liberal countries, with centuries of welcoming immigrants and tolerating diverse religions. Now, a one-man political party — who lives under police protection — has deployed social media to become a strong candidate to be Prime Minister with a platform that will sound familiar to Americans. Christopher Schuetze, who contributes to the New York Times from his base in the Netherlands, introduces us to Geert Wilders.

Christopher Schuetze, Netherlands-based journalist (@CFSchuetze)

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