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Top Stories: Situation Dire In Syria; Obama May Shift On Contraception Rule

Good morning.

Our early headlines:

-- 'Situation Could Not Be More Dire,' Syrians In Besieged City Say.

-- Rep. Bachus Is Focus Of Ethics Investigation Into Possible Insider Trading.

-- If Women Are In Combat, Men May Try To Protect Them, Santorum Says.

Other top stories:

-- "White House To Announce 'Accommodation' For Religious Organizations On Contraception Rule," Sources Say. (ABC News' Political Punch blog)

-- Clashes In Athens Over Greek Austerity Deal. (BBC News)

-- "The GOP's 'Meh' Moment On Full Display At Conservative Confab." (It's All Politics)

-- "Trade Deficit Widens To $48.8 Billion In December." (The Associated Press)

-- In Pennsylvania, "Jerry Sandusky Hearing To Address Jury, Bail Issues." (The Patriot-News)

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.