Syria's president has vowed to crush the rebels by any means; his air force has not spared the towns and villages that support rebel brigades. In August, the death toll often topped 250 a day, according to Syrian activists. The fighting between troops loyal to President Bashar Assad and rebel forces has also sparked a refugee crisis for Syria's neighbors as thousands flee to the borders.
Ben Mattlin has defied expectations for his entire life — starting with being alive at all. Mattlin has a condition called spinal muscular atrophy, and many infants born with it don't live past age 2. But Mattlin grew up to be one of the first students using a wheelchair to attend Harvard. He married, had a family and is now the author of a new memoir, Miracle Boy Grows Up: How the Disability Rights Revolution Saved My Sanity.
Although discussion of foreign policy was in scant evidence at the Republican National Convention, one country did loom large in the lineup: Israel.
Republican delegates in Tampa, Fla., were treated this week to images of Mitt Romney's recent visit to Israel. With stirring music and pictures of Jerusalem's iconic sites, the message of the Romney campaign is that the Republican candidate is a better friend to Israel than President Obama is.
Mark Edens told his daughter Jessie about one night early in his career when he had to tell a woman her husband had died in a car accident. Edens was a police officer for 25 years. He told his story at StoryCorps in Atlanta.
This holiday weekend, state troopers across the country will be stepping up their patrols. Much of their work will be routine traffic stops, but some calls they will respond to will be accidents, some of them tragic.
Retired police officer Mark Edens, 61, spent half of his career investigating fatal car accidents for the Michigan State Police.
Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep. Every so often, people talk of eliminating the penny - which isn't worth much anymore. It survives, but not in a Chipotle restaurant in New Jersey. The Star-Ledger says a customer discovered the restaurant rounding his bill to the nearest nickel, often collecting an extra cent.
Now, as Isaac moves north from Louisiana, it could affect other parts of the country, and we'll be following that story as it develops.
The other big story we have been following this week is the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. Today is the final day, and it's an important one for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. He'll officially accept the nomination this evening. Yesterday, Romney took a break from the hubbub of the convention to do a little campaigning elsewhere. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on his getaway.
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It is the wind that defines the strength of a hurricane. The storm is not a hurricane at all until the wind reaches 74 miles per hour. Hurricane Isaac's sustained winds were not much beyond that, so it was a Category 1 storm, not two, three, four or five. But if the winds define a hurricane, it's the water that can do the most damage.
Just to keep us up to date here on Hurricane Isaac, it's become a tropical storm and forecasters expect to downgrade it to a tropical depression by this evening. That is small comfort, though, to people facing the storm's strong winds and heavy rains. States as far north as Ohio could feel Isaac's effects.