The Iwo Jima Memorial, on the Virginia side of the Potomac River overlooking Washington, D.C., is one of many capital landmarks that do double duty as crime scenes in the novels of author Mike Lawson.
Credit Mark Wilson / Getty Images
A sentinel walks post at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, another of the monumental backdrops in Lawson's crime novels.
Credit Tim Sloan / AFP/Getty Images
Mike Lawson was a civilian Navy employee for many years, and spent some of that time based in Washington. He returns occasionally to keep his memories fresh and see how the city is changing.
Credit Tara Gimmer /
Among the non-touristy haunts of the fictional Joe DeMarco is the Georgetown restaurant <a href="http://www.theguardsrestaurant-dc.com/">The Guards</a>, a cozy-shabby pub on the historic neighborhood's main strip.
In Washington, D.C., the glittering marble of public buildings and monuments can conceal the darkest of deeds. And in the crime novels of Mike Lawson, they do.
"When I started writing, the very first decision I made was, I wanted the book set in D.C.," says Lawson, who recently published his seventh Washington-based thriller, House Blood. "That was before I had a character, or anything else."
Researchers are studying the ability of beneficial micro-organisms - or probiotics - to treat a range of conditions from eczema to inflammatory bowel disease. And the idea that "good" bacteria are healthy for us is gaining traction.
Syrian activist Karam Nachar is pursuing a doctorate in Middle Eastern history at Princeton. His family is working on several fronts against the Syrian regime. His father, who has been jailed previously, helped form the Syrian National Council, an organization of dissidents.
The Nachar family has long been on the radar of the Syrian government, and since last year, they have become even more visible.
When Syrians first started openly protesting inside the country in the spring of 2011, 29-year-old Syrian Karam Nachar was working on his doctorate in Middle East history at Princeton University. He joined demonstrations outside U.N. headquarters in New York.
There are two big factors that will determine the outcome of the presidential election: the economy and demographics.
The economy is weak and doesn't look likely to improve by much, but the makeup of the electorate on the other hand is highly dynamic. It continues a trend underway for years: a rapid rise in the number of people who are not Anglos in both the population and at the polls.
That percentage actually doubled between 1992 and 2008, says Alan Abramowitz, a political scientist at Emory University.
The first openly gay congressman is now the first sitting congressman to be in a same-sex marriage. Democratic Rep. Barney Frank married his longtime partner, James Ready, in a ceremony officiated by Massachusetts Gov. Deval L. Patrick on Saturday.
The setting was low-key — a Marriott hotel in suburban Boston — and the ceremony lasted less than five minutes. Attendees including Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. John Kerry lent suitable gravitas.
Collapsing to the ground, Switzerland's Roger Federer rolled right back up with a look of joy Sunday as he took in his record-tying seventh title at the All England Club. He beat Britain's Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 in a match that electrified fans and came close to giving the U.K. its first Wimbledon men's singles title since 1936.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.
It's been pretty warm here on the East Coast the last few days. No, check that - it has been downright scorching. Temperatures have climbed so high many cities warned residents that they should avoid strenuous activity and stay hydrated.
From member station WHYY, Elizabeth Fiedler reports on how some are beating the heat in Philadelphia.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
Yesterday, for the first time since the fall of Moammar Gadhafi, Libyans cast votes to elect their government. These were parliamentary elections. And while Libyans celebrated the landmark event in the street, it is clear the transition to democracy is running into trouble.
For more, we're joined by Fred Wehrey in the BBC Studios in London. He's a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and he was in Libya during the run-up to the elections.