The Syrian economy has so far weathered the mass protests and widespread violence that have rocked most every major city. But in a move that could increase the pressure, the European Union is considering a ban on imported Syrian oil, similar to sanctions the U.S. imposed earlier this month.
Western governments say the Syrian regime's harsh response to an anti-government uprising has demonstrated that it is not fit to lead.
Forecasters don't expect Hurricane Irene to make landfall until Saturday. But for nearly a week now, big-box retailers like Walmart and Home Depot have been getting ready.
They've deployed hundreds of trucks carrying everything from plywood to Pop-Tarts to stores in the storm's path. It's all possible because these retailers have turned hurricane preparation into a science — one that government emergency agencies have begun to embrace.
Arizona is once again challenging the authority of the federal government. This time the state's attorney general is suing the feds to get out from under the Voting Rights Act, which requires Arizona to get prior approval before changing election rules and maps.
NPR's Carrie Johnson filed this report:
Tom Horne, the top elected lawyer in Arizona, says the landmark 1965 voting rights law is out of date and forces the state to bend to the whim of the federal Justice Department.
Hurricane Irene is forecast to hit North Carolina hard. The National Hurricane Center says it will be a major Category 3 hurricane as it makes landfall, so state officials have ordered evacuations of the Outer Banks, the barrier islands exposed off the Carolina's Atlantic coast.
As always, there are those who stay put. All Things Considered host Melissa Block spoke to a husband and wife who live in Ocracoke, N.C. and they're planning on weathering the storm at home.
The polar bear scientist who has spent more than a month suspended from his government job has now been told that he should report back to work on Friday — although NPR has learned that his job is changing and he will no longer manage federal contracts.
"Chuck is planning to go to work. He just doesn't know what the work is going to be," says attorney Jeff Ruch of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which is providing legal representation for wildlife biologist Charles Monnett.
Thousands of same-sex married couples now have hopes of staying together in the U.S. thanks to a change in deportation policy. The government says it will now prioritize deportations, giving lower priority to those with families in the U.S.
And the Obama administration has included same-sex couples in its definition of family.
Left In Legal Limbo
Bradford Wells, 55, a longtime resident of San Francisco, has good days and bad days.