December’s the month when Lexington officials scrutinize city revenues with a sharp pencil. It’s marks the halfway point in the fiscal year. Lexington Finance Commissioner Jane Driskoll says their review of revenues will help them if budget adjustments are needed in 20-12. “We can see where we are to date and can make projections for the end of the year, so six months into it is a good touchstone and a good place to pause and determine if we need to make any changes for the rest of the year,” said Driskoll.
Syrian has come under increasing international pressure in recent days. On Monday, Syrians protested in the capital Damascus against the Arab League's decision to impose sanctions. Syria has also come under sharp criticism from an independent commission that accused the security forces of systematically carrying out abuses against anti-government demonstrators.
Credit Yin Bogu / Xinhua /Landov
An independent commission has released a blistering human rights report that says Syria's security forces have carried out widespread abuses against protesters, including murder and torture.
The commission, appointed by the U.N.'s Human Rights Council, based its report on interviews with more than 220 witnesses or victims of abuse by Syrian security forces. The panel says it collected a solid body of evidence and identified patterns of human rights violations.
Welcome to the second installment of NPR's Backseat Book Club! Every month, we invite kids to read a book along with us, and then send in their questions for the author.
Our book club selection for November is a classic that's celebrating a big anniversary. The Phantom Tollbooth — written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer — was published 50 years ago. Juster tells NPR's Michele Norris that the story sprang from his own childhood.
Kentucky is ranked 25th nationally on Forbes’ annual Best States for Business list, up six spots from last year and 19 spots since 2008. “I have dedicated my administration to creating a pro-business climate in which economic development opportunities can flourish,” Gov. Steve Beshear said. “I am pleased to see the Forbes’ Best States for Business list reflect our efforts. “Not only are we working hard to bring exciting new industries to the state, but we are also partnering with our existing business community like never before to create jobs for all Kentuckians.”
In a tough economy, Kentucky will avoid even the minimal cost of hauling in an official Christmas tree, opting instead to decorate an evergreen growing on the Capitol’s front lawn. Finance Cabinet spokeswoman Cindy Landham said Monday that Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration opted not to follow the traditional route of issuing a public request for a donated tree that state workers typically load aboard a truck and haul to Frankfort. The move is drawing kudos from environmentalists, including leaders of the forest protection group Heartwood that has a strong contingent in Kentucky.
American Airline's parent company AMR has filed for bankruptcy protection. American will continue to operate its flights as usual. The airline will use bankruptcy to off-load some of the debt that is weighing it down.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is campaigning this week in South Carolina, which holds its primary on January 21. Gingrich has been surging in the polls recently, though he's drawn attacks from his Republican rivals over remarks on immigration at a debate last week. But many voters in South Carolina are not bothered by Gingirch's position on immigration.
Thanhha Lai was 10 years old the day in 1975 that North Vietnamese tanks crashed through the gates of the presidential palace in Saigon and fear spread through the city on rumors that Communist troops were about to begin a massacre. Lai recalls fleeing with her eight older siblings and her mother to the nearby port and boarding a crowded South Vietnamese Navy ship that then headed to sea.
NPR's Hard Times series features stories of economic hardship and also stories of hope. We asked for ideas from listeners, and Emily Nugent of Berea College in Kentucky responded, writing: "With a student body composed entirely of students from low socio-economic backgrounds, Berea students know about the challenges Americans are facing." Noah Adams went in search of Emily and the Berea College story.