From NPR News in Washington, I'm Korva Coleman.
The father of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden says he's gotten a VISA to travel to Russia. Lon Snowden says he plans to visit his son there where he has temporary asylum. Speaking to ABC's This Week, Lon Snowden says he'd like his son to return to the United States but doesn't think he'll be able to get a fair trial.
"They have poisoned the well, so to speak, in terms of a potential jury pool, where my son chooses to live the rest of life is going to be his decision, but I would like at some point in time for him to be able to come back to the U.S.."
Edward Snowden disclosed information about highly classified programs in U.S. intelligence agencies that led the government secretly collect information on Americans. Snowden has been charged with violating the espionage act.
Afghan officials say at least 22 people are dead as a result of flash flooding near Kabul. NPR's Sean Carberry reports this is the second weekend in a row floods have killed large numbers of people in Afghanistan.
Heavy rain and hail once again pounded down on Afghanistan, this time focused on the Shomali plain to the north of the capital. Given the country's poor infrastructure and typically dry terrain in the summer, it doesn't take much rain to wash away houses and farm land. Kabul itself experienced less than an hour of rain, but that downpour was enough to overfill the switch trenches and flood streets for several hours. Last weekend, at least 60 died as flash floods washed away hundreds of houses to the east of the capital. Afghanistan has a history of natural disasters like floods and earthquakes and they kill hundreds of people each year. Sean Carberry, NPR News, Kabul.
At least 5,000 state lawmakers and their staffs are at Atlanta this week, they are gathering for the 39th annual summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures. The bipartisan group gives lawmakers the chance to exchange policy ideas. As Susanna Capelouto reports this year, health care reform gets special billing.
The conference kicks off with a two-day health summit where lawmakers get to hear from Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Monday. She'll likely draw on an attentive crowd as she updates the group on the sticky issue of Obamacare. About half of the states have updated for a federally run insurance market place that will kick off in October. Medicaid expansion is also on the menu. There are a myriad of other issues to tackle for state lawmakers this week, including America's retirement crisis, energy policy, social media and drones. For NPR News, I'm Susanna Capelouto, in Atlanta.
A California judge has blocked a potential strike by unionized workers for the mass transit system in San Francisco. The judge issued an injunction preventing a possible BART strike. Workers have already walked off the job with BART once this summer. California Governor Jerry Brown delayed a second possible strike last week when he ordered a seven-day inquiry to find out what the effects of a new walkout would be.
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Reports from Egypt say police are expected to take action against anti-government protesters who gathered in camps outside Cairo. The action against supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is expected to begin tomorrow. The interim Egyptian government warned it will disperse the camps filled with thousands of people. Other countries have urged Egypt to use restraint, fearing a new outbreak of violence that occurred after Morsi was toppled a month ago.
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has left intensive therapy earlier than announced. The embattled mayor said he would enter a two-week therapy program in response to accusations of sexual misconduct. NPR's Nathan Rott reports that list of accusations is growing longer.
Thirteen women have now come forward accusing Bob Filner of sexual harassment. The latest two said the first term mayor and ten term congressman made unwanted advances on them and both are survivors of military sexual assault. For weeks, lawmakers and citizens have been calling for Filner's resignation, but he's refused. California Senator Barbara Boxer joined the cries last week with an open letter to Filner saying he should "step down immediately". Meanwhile, at least two citizen-led groups in San Diego are trying to get the necessary signatures to force a vote recall. And the city attorney says the locks on Filner's mayor office in city hall have been changed. Nathan Rott, NPR News.
Tonight is the start of the peak of the Perseid meteor shower. The annual event occurs every August when space debris from a comet passes close to the earth. Dozens of meteors are expected to shower down. Astronomers say the best for viewing is between midnight and dawn.
I'm Korva Coleman, NPR News.