This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. The Tony Awards are this Sunday. They recognize excellence in American theatre and you might be interested to know that a number of African-American performers and plays that deal with race are nominated for honors, plays such as "Clybourne Park," an edgy take on integration and gentrification in a fictional Chicago neighborhood; and a new interpretation of a classic, the Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess."
United Nations monitors in Syria were shot at with small arms fire today as they tried to reach the scene of another alleged massacre, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said this morning.
At the U.N. General Assembly, Ban also condemned today's "shocking and sickening" reports about the killings of dozens. And, NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, he called this yet another "pivotal moment" that could see Syria fall into a full-blown civil war.
"Economic growth appears poised to continue at a moderate pace over coming quarters," Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is telling Congress this hour, and will be supported in part by additional "accommodative monetary policy" from the central bank.
While there's been a slowing in job growth, Bernanke says that Fed policymakers believe household spending has been "relatively well sustained" and are encouraged by "consumer spentiment [that is] ... up noticeably from its levels late last year."
"A massive dock" that was washed away from a city on Japan's northeast coast by the devastating March 2011 tsunami landed this week on an Oregon beach. It's a warning sign that dangerous chunks of debris from that disaster are reaching the Pacific coast of the mainland U.S. much sooner than predicted, The Oregonian reports.
But in yet another mixed signal about how the economy's doing, that welcome dip is tempered by the fact that the "4-week moving average was 377,750, an increase of 1,750 from the previous week's revised average of 376,000." Economists watch that average because it offers a slightly larger look at the trend.
Following up on one of the best rallies in months on Wednesday, stock index futures are pointing to a higher start today on Wall Street, Dow Jones Newswires says.
The Associated Press says there are "hopes that Europe is preparing to take action to tackle the region's financial crisis and that the Federal Reserve will consider additional support for the U.S. economy."
With reports coming out of Syria about another massacre, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today used some of her sternest language yet about what she said is the Assad regime's "unconscionable" crackdown on the Syrian people. Reuters reports she said President Bashar Assad must cede all power and leave Syria.