Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng says his family is being hounded by local authorities in his Shandong, his home province, with his brother and sister-in-law placed under house arrest and his nephew detained.
Chen's flight last month from house arrest and his request for refuge from U.S. diplomats has caused considerable embarrassment for Chinese authorities and threatened to damage U.S.-Sino relations. Since then, Beijing has agreed in a face-saving move to allow the blind, self-taught legal activist and his immediate family to study in the United States.
Russia's newly reinstalled President Vladimir Putin will be too busy with affairs at home to make a planned visit to the United States this month, where he was to have a high-profile tête-à-tête with President Obama and attend the G8 summit.
In his place, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who swapped places with Putin in recent elections, will go to the global economic summit.
A pair of powerful explosions ripped through Syria's capital, killing at least 50 people in the deadliest attack in the country's 14-month uprising. Some 170 people were wounded, according to state television.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but local TV reports called the attacks "terrorist bombings".
The explosions damaged a military intelligence building and left blood and human remains in the streets, according to The Associated Press.
A report says in 2010, 38 percent of 911 calls in New York City were accidental calls lasting just seconds. Most, according to the New York Daily News, appear to be calls made from pockets or purses. There were actually more of these calls than calls that warranted a response by a police car.
President Obama has completed what he calls his "evolution" on gay marriage. After equivocating on the issue for more than a year, he now says same-sex marriage should be legal. Obama's endorsement of gay marriage makes it a prominent issue in the November election.
Exotic animals are already restricted in many states. Lawmakers in Ohio are considering legislation that would ban dozens of exotic animals as pets. Among other things, owners would have to apply for permits for existing animals.
States are moving to set up health insurance exchanges — a pillar of Obama's health care law. But many GOP governors find themselves in an awkward position. David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, talks to Steve Inskeep about why the governors' positions on exchanges are complicated.