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Top Stories: Drought Deepens; Pentagon Prepares; Clashes In Damascus

Good morning.

Our early headlines:

-- Drought In U.S. Now Worst Since 1956; Food Prices To Spike, Economy To Suffer.

-- Pentagon Is Prepping Defenses Against Iran, 'Wall Street Journal' Reports.

-- Mass Casualties After Shootings In Toronto And Tuscaloosa.

Other stories making headlines:

-- Consumer Prices Were Unchanged In June, Thanks To Drop In Gasoline. ( Bureau of Labor Statistics)

-- "Court-Martial Begins In Texas Air Base Scandal." ( Morning Edition)

-- Clashes Continue In Damascus; Live Updates. ( The Guardian)

-- "Obama, Romney Keep Sniping Over Outsourcing." ( CBS This Morning)

-- Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke "In The Spotlight;" Testifies Today. ( The Wall Street Journal's MarketBeat blog)

-- "North Korea Names New Army Vice Marshal." ( Voice of America)

-- "Needles Found In Sandwiches On 4 U.S.-Bound Delta Flights." ( Reuters)

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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.