NPR News Agenda from the Friday Editors' Meeting

As the situation in the Middle East slides toward war, more NPR reporters are headed to Beirut, Damascus and Israel. As veteran editors observe, it's all depressingly familiar — plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose. NPR programs will also try to sort out the motives of Hezbollah. Elsewhere, All Things Considered will check in on the G-8 meeting in Germany where world leaders begin talks that were to focus on energy, health and trade, but are likely to turn to the Middle East. And NPR's Michele Kelemen is keeping an eye on what the United Nations Security Council might try to do to intervene.

There's a crime wave going on in Washington D.C., with tourists as the latest victims. And verdicts are due in a big trial in California of prison leaders of the Aryan Brotherhood. Also in California, NPR's midday program News and Notes is taking a look at reform at the LAPD.

NPR's political reporters will continue to parse the new policy on treatment and trials of suspected terrorists and what the White House means. Meanwhile, members of Congress are floating proposals for a method of overseeing the National Security Agency's domestic eavesdropping program to protect Americans' privacy. Both issues, notes Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving, are "drenched in fall politics" as November elections approach.

All pretty grim stuff — with the exception of news that NASCAR executives are collaborating with publishers to turn out a string of romance novels. The story line will be: beautiful women swoon for charismatic race car drivers. I'm looking forward to their version of Gone with the Wind.



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