From NPR News in Washington, I'm Jeanine Herbst.
The temporary cap on the BP oil well will stay closed even as ships are evacuated for a tropical storm expected to hit the area this weekend. Incident Commander Thad Allen says it's safe to leave it unmonitored for a couple of days, and he says they will decide tonight whether the more than 60 ships have to leave the area. Meanwhile, tropical storm warnings are in effect for the Bahamas and southern Florida as a tropical depression develops in the Caribbean. NPR's Jason Beaubien reports.
The storm system is moving slowly along the northern coast of Cuba, and it's producing heavy rains in the Bahamas.
Forecasters say it could dump up to six inches of rain on the southern tip of Florida and the Keys before entering the Gulf of Mexico. Officials with the National Hurricane Center are monitoring it closely and say could strengthen significantly in the coming days. The storm's currently forecast to move in a northwesterly direction between Cuba and Florida, then cut straight across the Gulf toward the Texas-Louisiana border. If it follows this path, it could pass directly over BP's crippled Deepwater Horizon rig. Jason Beaubien, NPR News.
President Obama says he's sorry for the way things were handled. Mr. Obama called former USDA official Shirley Sherrod today.
As NPR's Mara Liasson reports, Sherrod says she didn't want an apology from the president, but she did want to talk to him.
The president told Ms. Sherrod that he regretted the events of the last several days. He emphasized that Secretary Vilsack was sincere in the apology he made to her yesterday. He also told her that this misfortune, this unfortunate series of events can present an opportunity for her to continue her work on behalf of those in need which she has devoted her career to, and that he hopes she will do so.
She was fired in a racially tinged incident when a conservative blogger posted an edited version of a speech about an incident that occurred 24 years ago.
Two years after Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia, the highest United Nations court ruled the move was not in violation of international law. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli has this report.
The ruling is a major victory for Kosovo's predominantly ethnic Albanian population. Up to now, only 69 of the UN's 192 members have recognized its independence. While Kosovo leaders hailed the ruling, Serbia denounced it and vowed it will never recognize its former province and spiritual heartland as a separate state. Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic warned the ruling could encourage separatist movements in other parts of the world. Following years of repression under Belgrade, a bloody war with Serbia in the late 90s and nearly a decade of international administration, Kosovo declared independence in 2008, but a small area in the north around the city of Mitrovica has remained mostly under control of its local Serb majority population. Sylvia Poggioli, NPR News.
Higher numbers on Wall Street today, the Dow ending the day up 180 points, yet NASDAQ ending 56, the S&P 500 up 21.
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In a field about 1,000 yards from Stonehenge, archaeologists have found a second henge, this one comprising 24 wooden posts in a lineup with a stone circle. As Larry Miller reports from London, inside the newly discovered circle in southern England is a burial mound.
Archaeologists say this is the first ceremonial monument found in the area in 50 years. It's a circular ditch surrounding a smaller circle of deep pits. They say timber posts would have been in these pits extending upwards. It dates to the Neolithic and Bronze Ages at least 4,500 years ago. Project leader Professor Vince Gaffney.
"We don't know everything about the landscape itself, and finding something like this so close to Stonehenge gives you an idea that the landscape was constantly in evolution around it, and that we're going to find an awful lot more."
The henge was discovered without any digging. Archaeologists used a special scanner, able to create a picture of what lay under the field. For NPR News, I'm Larry Miller in London.
Congress approved legislation restoring unemployment benefits to people who've been out of work six months or more, ending a seven-week impasse that caused 2.5 million people to lose those benefits. The House approved it today, less than a day after a mostly party-line Senate voting in favor of the measure. It now goes to the president who has promised to quickly sign it.
Retroactive payments could go out as early as next week in some states.
Meanwhile, the news on the jobs front is sour today, with the biggest jump in new jobless claims since February. The Labor Department says new claims for unemployment benefits rose 37,000 to 464,000. Economists had expected a smaller hike.
I'm Jeanine Herbst, NPR News in Washington.