JOANNA KAKISSIS, BYLINE: And I'm Joanna Kakissis in Athens. Five young single friends are sharing a single bottle of Heineken on a weathered park bench in a neighborhood of anarchists and bohemians. They're peering into a bar to see the widescreen TV playing the latest Euro championship game. This is where they'll be watching the game between Greece and the other country, the big bossy one who's loaned Greece billions and forced it to cut spending. George Tagaris is putting his money on the bossy guys.
The eurozone will take a short break from its financial crisis to enjoy a sporting event. The soccer teams of Germany and Greece meet Friday in the quarter finals of the Euro 2012 championship in Gdansk, Poland. Germany's coach doesn't think political tensions will have an impact on the field.
Here's a little of what's happened in Syria over the past 24 hours. A Syrian air force colonel flew his jet out of the country, defecting to Jordan. Syria's army intensified its offensive against a rebel army. And the Red Cross had to abandon a mission to evacuate civilians from the city of Homs.
We're going to get some perspective on all of this from NPR's Deborah Amos, who's just left Syria after a very rare 10-day trip to Damascus. She's now in Lebanon. Hi, Deborah.
Later this summer, Republicans will gather in Tampa, Fla., for their presidential nominating convention; Democrats will then do the same in Charlotte, N.C. Each party gets more than $18 million in public funds this year to help pay for the gatherings.
The money comes from that $3 box that taxpayers can check on their federal tax returns. But this could be the last time party conventions get taxpayer funding.
Product safety regulators announced the recall Thursday after hundreds of people reported explosions in their toilet tanks. The faulty flushing system is made by the brand Flushmate — specifically the Flushmate Three Pressure-Assist Flushing System. It's used by several toilet manufacturers including American Standard and Crane.