With the addition of 29 counties in eight states today, there are now 1,297 counties across the nation so stricken by drought and heat that they've been declared natural disaster areas, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack just announced. That's about one-third of all U.S. counties, he said.
In most every uprising that topples a government, there's a pivotal moment when the momentum swings dramatically to the opposition and a regime that once seemed sturdy suddenly appears extremely vulnerable.
That moment may have come with Wednesday's bombing inside the National Security building in Damascus, the most powerful blow the Syrian opposition has yet delivered to President Bashar Assad's regime since the uprising began in March 2011.
Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 5:30 pm
In a lawsuit filed today, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights allege the United States violated the Constitution's gurantee of due process when it ordered the targeted killing of three United States citizens.
The groups filed the suit against top military and intelligence officials on behalf relatives of the three Americans who were killed in drone strikes in Yemen last fall.
NPR's Carrie Johnson filed this report for our Newscast unit:
Reporter David Kirkpatrick covered Washington's political scene for many years for The New York Times. But early last year, he decided that he was ready for a change of scenery. Kirkpatrick volunteered to move to Egypt to become the Times' Cairo bureau chief — and boy, was his timing good.
News that first broke in the New York Post would seem to signal that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie isn't going to be the Republican Party's vice presidential nominee.
The Post reports that "the word is going out quietly to Republican activists across New Jersey. ... Gov. Chris Christie is going to be giving the keynote speech" at the GOP convention in Tampa next month.
Crony capitalism is a term very much in vogue because of Mitt Romney's accusations that President Obama has engaged in the practice, allegedly rewarding the business interests of political supporters with federal taxpayer dollars.
Let's follow up now on what appears to be a serious blow to the regime in Syria today. A blast repeatedly killed the country's defense chief, the brother-in-law of President Bashar al-Assad and wounded other top officials. This explosion, we're told, occurred inside the tightly guarded national security headquarters in Damascus. To sort out what we know, or don't know, about this incident so far, we've called Neil MacFarquar. He's a correspondent for the New York Times. He's in Beirut. Welcome back to the program.