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'Major Military Operation' Expected In Syria

Good morning.

Earlier, we posted on the reports that Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh suffered more serious injuries than previously revealed when his palace was attacked on Friday. We've also already posted about the spreading wildfire in northeastern Arizona, where a state of emergency has been declared.

Other stories making headlines this morning include:

-- "Major Military Operation" Expected In Syrian Town: People are fleeing part of northern Syria ahead of what is expected to be a tough crackdown by government forces. On Monday, the regime of President Bashar Assad claimed that 120 members of the government's security forces were killed over the weekend in clashes with armed men in Jisr al-Shughour. Now, as NPR's Deborah Amos said today on Morning Edition, Syria's defense minister has "all but announced an offensive" and "we can expect a major military operation in that town in the coming days."

-- Pakistani General Insists His Forces Spare No Terrorists: Lt. Gen. Asif Yasin Malik, who commands Pakistan's 11th Corps, tells NPR's Steve Inskeep that "as a military commander, let me assure you, I have no orders to spare anybody, and I don't spare anybody." While Pakistan is often criticized for not going after some terrorist networks, Malik said that "anybody who challenges the writ of the state, or who is working against the interest of Pakistan, we target them." ( Morning Edition)

-- Europeans To Hold Emergency Summit On E. Coli Outbreak:"The EU's health commissioner has criticised Germany for rushing out 'premature conclusions' about the source of a mass E coli outbreak, saying such actions spread alarm among the public and damaged the agriculture sector. Speaking ahead of emergency talks by EU agriculture ministers, John Dalli also said the outbreak, which has so far killed 22 people and made at least 2,200 ill, had been contained to a relatively small area." ( The Guardian)

Related story onMorning Edition: "Germany's E. Coli Outbreak Unlikely To Spread To U.S."

-- Weiner's Wife Stays Away; End Of "Stand-By-Your-Man" Appearances? As news outlets dissect the confession of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) about his lying, lewd photos and lascivious behavior, The Washington Post's Reliable Sources notes that his wife, Huma Abedin, did not join him at his news conference Monday. "Her absence ... may signal the end of the humiliating stand-by-your-man appearance by political wives," Reliable Sources surmises.

Coming later this morning: President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is on a U.S. visit, are due to hold a joint news conference at 11:30 a.m. ET. We'll post on the news from it.

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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.