OK, we know mom and pop shops have been struggling for some time now, trying to compete against big-box stores and online retailers. Just in the last quarter, online sales jumped by 16 percent. But all is not lost for the shop around the corner. Some small retailers are actually embracing their size by making their businesses very, very specialized.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm David Greene. Good morning. President Obama is on the first leg of a four-country trip to Asia and today he reassured Japan that the U.S. will defend it in territorial disputes with China. China is not on the president's itinerary this time, but that country looms large over the trip all the same. NPR's Anthony Kuhn joins us from Seoul, which is the president's next stop. Anthony, good morning.
The CIA is ramping up a program to ship arms to rebels in Syria - more powerful weapons than in the past. The United States had resisted this step until now. We're learning about it from NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman who's in our studios once again. Tom, good morning.
TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.
INSKEEP: What kind of weapons are we talking about here?
In Kansas this week, a political icon returned home. Former Republican Sen. Bob Dole has been traveling the state, meeting with friends and supporters who embraced his long political career.
Dole is not running for office, but the 90-year-old has a tour schedule that could tire a politician half his age. He's made 10 public appearances over three days, including a stop at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.
This week in Seattle, Bill and Melinda Gates are attending a meeting of the minds.
Five hundred of the world's top innovators in global health have gathered for the Global Health Product Development Forum, an annual event in which scientists, engineers, policymakers and activists work to develop new tools for fighting diseases.
One year ago Thursday, an eight-story factory building in the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka collapsed, killing more than 1,100 workers. The disaster at Rana Plaza brought new attention to safety conditions in the country's booming garment industry.
In the year since then, some of the world's biggest retailers have begun inspecting Bangladesh's factories more aggressively. But in other ways efforts to reform the industry have fallen short.
At some schools, the admissions process itself can work against low-income students, according to Georgia Nugent, former president of Kenyon College and a senior fellow at the Council of Independent Colleges.
Nugent says during her tenure at Kenyon, there were low-income students at the bottom of the admissions list who sometimes weren't accepted so the school could make room for more affluent students.