Let's turn to Syria now. Syria's president gave his first public speech in five months yesterday. Bashar al-Assad told the Syrian Parliament that his government was not responsible for the massacre in Houla last month, in which more than 100 people were killed, nearly half of them children. Also, there is new Syria-related violence in northern Lebanon, near the Syrian border. And to talk about this we've reached NPR's Kelly McEvers.
The summer tourism season is what keeps Branson, Missouri thriving. Last year, Branson's live music venues helped draw more than seven million visitors. And so when a tornado tore through the city's popular strip this past February, Branson's future seemed uncertain. As Missy Shelton of member station KSMU reports, city leaders are working hard to let people know that Branson is open for business.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta hands out coins to members of the crew as he visits USNS Richard E. Byrd in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, on Sunday. Panetta toured the former U.S. air and naval base in the bay, becoming the most senior American official to go there since the war ended.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is trying to send a message during a weeklong trip to the Asia-Pacific region: The U.S. is back.
Panetta continues Monday to Vietnam, where he's hoping to build stronger defense ties. The trip began Sunday with a historic return to a key crossroads of the Vietnam War: Cam Ranh Bay.
Panetta boarded a little ferry boat Sunday in the beautiful natural harbor north of Ho Chi Minh City. On board, he asked about his destination: the USNS Richard E. Byrd, a big supply ship docked on the other side of the bay.
Since the revolution last year, Tunisians have had greater freedom to express their opinions on political and social issues. But the rise of Islamist groups has made religion a more sensitive topic. Here, two men chat at a cafe in the capital Tunis.
Credit Fethi Belaid / AFP
A Tunisian journalist holds a TV frame as part of a protest in Tunis against actions taken against the media. Since last year's revolution, Tunisians have been able to speak more freely about politics and social issues. But with the rise of Islamist groups, religion has become a more sensitive topic.
Credit Fethi Belaid / AFP/Getty Images
Nabil Karoui, the director of the private Tunisian TV channel Nessma, had his offices and home attacked after his channel broadcast a film that angered Islamists. Karoui, shown here leaving a courthouse in Tunis, lost a case for "violating morals."
Over the next couple weeks, NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep will be taking a Revolutionary Road Trip across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves as they write new social rules, rebuild their economies and establish new political systems. Steve and his team will be traveling some 2,000 miles from Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, across the deserts of Libya and on to Egypt's megacity of Cairo.