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Obama's Midwest Tour Continues; Rivals Focus On Iowa, N.H. And S.C.

Good morning.

President Obama continues his Midwest bus tour. Today's focus will be a "White House Rural Economic Forum" being held at Northeast Iowa Community Colllege in Peosta, Iowa.

As for some of his Republican rivals, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is due in Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and Walcott, Iowa, today. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has stops in Merrimack, Littleton and Berlin, N.H. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas is due on the Mike Church radio show. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is holding town halls and rallies in Spartanburg, Greenville, Columbia and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

For ongoing coverage of the 2012 campaign, check It's All Politics.

Other stories making headlines include:

-- "On Mortgage Rates, Obama Wants Proposal For How Government Can Keep Big Role": "President Obama has directed a small team of advisers to develop a proposal that would keep the government playing a major role in the nation's mortgage market, extending a federal loan subsidy for most home buyers, according to people familiar with the matter." ( The Washington Post)

-- "Pentagon May Scrap Traditional Military Pensions":"The Pentagon is considering a controversial plan to replace traditional military pensions with a 401(k)-style plan ultimately saving $250 billion dollars over the next two decades." ( CBS Evening News)

-- Activists Say Syrian Authorities Are "Rounding People Up": On Morning Edition, NPR's Kelly McEvers reported that activists in Syria say the government has rounded up civilians in the city of Latakia and taken them to a stadium. The Assad regime says it is protecting the people from militants. Activists fear for the civilians' safety.

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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.