Syria's government has finally allowed a small group of western journalists into the country. They were allowed to travel to Jisr al Shughour, where Syrian officials say armed gangs staged a massacre. More than 300 soldiers and security personnel were killed.
After weeks of leaving deficit-reduction talks to Vice President Biden, President Obama will meet personally with Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate. They're trying to work out a plan to stem the tide of red ink. But no matter what happens, the government will need to keep borrowing money. And that means lawmakers will need to raise the federal debt ceiling within the next five weeks.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates speaks to troops in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.
Credit Jason Reed/Pool / Getty Images
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates arrives at Combat Outpost Andar in Ghazni Province on June 6, as part of a two-day farewell trip to Afghanistan before he steps down from his post.
Credit Dennis Brack/Pool / Getty Images
Secretary Gates listens as President Barack Obama speaks at a cabinet meeting at the White House. Gates began serving as defense secretary under the Bush administration, and is the first to continue in a different party.
On Thursday, Robert Gates will step down as defense secretary — a position he held for more than four years, overseeing two wars. He's the only person to hold the job under two presidents from different parties.
For the past two years, he's attained a kind of "wise man" status within the Obama administration. While he makes weekly visits to the White House, he has also spent a great deal of time in khakis and a baseball cap out in the field with men and women in uniform.
Businesses are surrounded by floodwater as the Souris River crests as seen from the air on Sunday in Minot, North Dakota. The Souris River surpassed its 1881 record level of 1,558 feet above sea level and flooding estimated 4,000 homes in the city.
The Souris River is slowly retreating in Minot, N.D., where the river peaked early Sunday at levels not seen in more than a century. About 4,000 homes are flooded and a quarter of the town's 40-thousand residents are displaced.
There is a constant stream of dump trucks crossing the main bridge in downtown Minot. Construction crews continue to build, fill and shore up levees aimed at keeping what's left of the town dry.
The city's records date back to the late 1800s, and they show there's never been this much water coming through town.
Earlier this year in Pakistan, the governor of Punjab province, who was an outspoken defender of civil rights, was gunned down. His daughter, Shehrbano Taseer, is a journalist in Pakistan, and she talks to Steve Inskeep about her father's legacy and her own fight against extremism.