In effort to add pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad, the European Union has announced new sanctions on a dozen Syrians, including Assad's wife, his mother, sister and sister-in-law.
"I cannot say to you in strong enough terms how much we are concerned about what's going on in Syria," said Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief, according to CNN. "I'm really worried about the escalating spiral of violence there.
Next week, the Supreme Court will hear challenges to the health care law. Continuing Tell Me More's preview of the case, host Michel Martin sits down with Neal Katyal. He is former Acting Solicitor General and defended the Affordable Care Act in lower courts.
Mitt Romney has an impressive victory in Illinois, gets Jeb Bush's backing, revives the inevitability argument and then gets bogged down in an Etch A Sketch distraction. Plus: Illinois primary results, and Barbara Mikulski breaks a record. NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving have this week's political roundup.
There was a 0.9 percent drop in sales of existing homes in February from January, the National Association of Realtors reports. But, at an annualized rate of 4.59 million they were still up 8.8 percent from February 2011.
"The market is trending up unevenly," NAR chief economist Lawarence Yun concludes in a statement from the association.
The city of Forest Park is bringing back a popular program that offers all local residents a 50% discount to make home energy improvements. The city is partnering with the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance to provide homeowners a full home energy assessment and access to financial incentives, which can mean savings on utility bills. The Forest Park Residential Energy Efficiency Program was launched last year, during which time 50 homes received energy efficiency upgrades.
Kentucky's unemployment rate remained below 9 percent in February, dropping to 8.7 percent. That's down a tad from 8.8 percent in January, which marked the first time in three years that the jobless rate had been below 9 percent.
February was the eighth consecutive month that the rate has declined, according to the state Office of Employment and Training. However, the state's measure continued to lag the national rate, which remained at 8.3 percent.
Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 10:28 am
President Obama will nominate Dartmouth College president, Jim Yong Kim, to head the World Bank. A physician and anthropologist by training and global-health expert, Kim's background makes him an out-of-the-box choice. He would become the first Asian American to head the important international funding organization.