Image is everything — at least when it comes to tourism.
A country might boast the best beaches or amazing antiquities, but if potential visitors have reason to worry about their safety, they won't come. That's the problem now confronting several countries that generally rely heavily on tourism.
"You may have the greatest attractions, but any bad news will put them on the back burner," says Jafar Jafari, a tourism expert affiliated with universities in Spain, Portugal and Wisconsin.
The shareholders of coal mine giants Massey Energy and Alpha Natural Resources overwhelmingly approved a merger this morning, despite challenges from some large institutional investors and an ongoing controversy about Massey executives moving into the management structure of the merged company.
Saying that the Fair Sentencing Act that narrowed the disparity between penalties for crack and power cocaine offenses has been "a historic step forward," Attorney Gen. Eric Holder pushed today for retroactively applying the lighter crack penalties to some offenders now serving time.
While the government of Bahrain today officially lifted the state of emergency that it declared in March when the "Arab spring" spread there and protests erupted, NPR's Kelly McEvers reports that activists say they've been warned against doing anything that authorities don't like.