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Top Stories: Pressure On Assad; Protests In Afghanistan; Storms In Midwest

Good morning.

Our early headlines:

-- U.S., Other 'Friends Of Syria,' To Call On Syria's Assad To Step Aside.

-- Obama's Tax Plan Is 'Step Forward,' But Not Enough, Key Republican Says.

-- From Palin's Emails: 'Are You Flipping Kidding???'

-- NPR Promotes Two Executives To Key Posts.

Other stories making headlines:

-- "Twelve Killed In Protests Across Afghanistan;" Unrest Continues Over Burning Of Qurans. (Reuters)

-- After Maryland Legislature's OK Of Gay Marriage Law, Both Sides "Gear Up For Referendum." (Baltimore Sun)

-- "Winter Storm Slams Midwest; New York, New England Up Next." (MSNBC)

-- "Federal Authorities Are Conducting Separate Investigation Involving Jerry Sandusky, Penn State, The Second Mile." (The Patriot-News)

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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.