The area around Charleston is slowly coming back to life after last week's chemical spill that contaminated the water supply. The ban on tap water has been lifted in downtown Charleston, which is good news to restaurants and other small businesses. But restaurants and laundromats in neighboring towns unaffected by the ban are serving long lines of customers in areas still without access to drinkable tap water.
Secretary of State John Kerry is attending a donors conference in Kuwait to try to raise money for the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria. Millions of people have been forced from their homes and the U.N. has struggled to gain access to many parts of the country.
And the president will announce plans for reform this Friday. The NSA says it's open to some reforms. On MORNING EDITION last week, NSA official Chris Inglis told us the agency is considering leaving telephone records in private hands.
CHRIS INGLIS: The program would have to have sufficient agility. And if you had a plot that was unfolding at the speed that a human or perhaps individuals coordinating across time and space were effecting, you'd have to have some confidence you could move at that speed.
Among those calling for the U.S. to take in more Syrian refugees is the International Rescue Committee.
SHARON WAXMAN: Enabling people to go home and rebuild their lives is always the first, second and third priority. But in many cases, there are Syrians - as there have been in other civil war situations - who will not be able to return home.
MONTAGNE: That's the group's vice president for public policy, Sharon Waxman. Her group says the U.S. could comfortably accept thousands more Syrians fleeing that civil war.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
The National Security Agency faces pressure to reform. Congress is starting to consider what to do about an agency that still operates in great secrecy but has seen many of its operations exposed. In a moment we'll ask how much more we don't know. We start with lawmakers listening to a presidential commission pushing for change after the disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
Two recent sporting disappointments underscore the state of interest in women in sports. The first: Lindsey Vonn, sadly acknowledging that her injuries were too serious, announced that she would not be able to compete in the Olympics next month. The second: The owners of the Los Angeles Sparks, acknowledging that they were overwhelmed by debt, just gave up the franchise.
For the first time in years, the House of Representatives is expected to approve a massive new spending bill Wednesday that keeps federal agencies operating until a new fiscal year starts in October.
The so-called "omnibus" package of all 12 annual spending bills is a compromise; it has more money in it than what Congressional Republicans wanted, but less than what President Obama had asked for. There is some disappointment with the measure on both sides of the aisle, but this time nobody is talking about forcing another government shutdown.
In a $16 billion deal this week, Japanese beverage giant Suntory announced it plans to purchase Beam Inc., the maker of Jim Beam bourbon and the owner of other popular bourbon brands like Maker's Mark.
Those and most other bourbons are made in Kentucky, and the deal has some hoping the drink's growth in the global market won't come at the expense of its uniquely Kentucky heritage.
NPR continues a series of conversations about The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Every so often, NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into those six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition.