More Memphis Flooding; Presbyterians Drop Gay Clergy Ban

May 11, 2011

Floodwaters from the oversized Mississippi River are surging south into the Mississippi delta after cresting this week in Memphis, Tenn. CBS reports hundreds of Mississippi homes are already damaged and crews are rushing to shore up earthen levees. The river is projected to crest in Vicksburg on Saturday. Bloomberg reports gas price futures are up as traders worry flooding could damage oil refineries and interfere with oil shipments on the swollen Mississippi River.

The Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. has voted to change a rule allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the clergy. The current rule requires 'fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness.' CNN reports the change could make it possible for people in same-sex relationships to become Presbyterian clergymembers.

Reports from Syria say troops are firing shells on residential areas in the central part of the country. The AP says that includes Homs, Syria's third largest city. As President Bashir al-Assad tries to crush dissent from his people, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urged him to stop arresting opponents; Reuters says he wants Syria to let humanitarian teams into the country to work.

Two Americans held on spying charges in Iran didn't show up in court today. A Swiss diplomat told CNN Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer's spying trial was put off because they weren't brought to court. They and a third American companion were hiking near the Iranian border nearly two years ago; they were arrested and accused of espionage, which they deny. They've been jailed while their companion, Sarah Shourd, was released on bail after 14 months.

It's been 10 years since Douglas Adams died - the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is trending high on Twitter as people remember favorite quotations: "In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move". Or you can also check out this prescient Adams essay from 1999: How To Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit