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During almost two weeks since a cease-fire took effect in Syria, hundreds of people have been killed. The killing continues despite the agreement by Syria's government and rebels, and despite the presence of United Nations monitors. NPR's Kelly McEvers is tracking this situation from Beirut.

Hi, Kelly.

KELLY MCEVERS, BYLINE: Hi.

INSKEEP: What's gone wrong?

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Now Marco Rubio happens to be one of those regularly mentioned as a possible vice presidential choice for Mitt Romney. And that's where we pick up our discussion with Cokie Roberts, who joins us most Mondays. Cokie, good morning.

COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

INSKEEP: So is the vice presidential choice an opportunity for Romney to appeal to Hispanics?

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And I'm Steve Inskeep.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

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This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

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In the southern French city of Toulouse, police are in a stand-off with a man suspected of carrying out a series of shootings. The suspect is described as a 24-year-old French citizen, of North African heritage. He is said to be an al-Qaida sympathizer.

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We're going next to the town of Harrisburg, Illinois, one of many Midwestern towns struck by tornados. Harrisburg suffered the most of those towns. The tornado killed six people, with winds of up to 170 miles per hour. NPR's Cheryl Corley is there.

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Some new research throws into question things we say all the time about the Internet. The research focuses on Twitter, the service that lets many millions of people send short messages to each other from computers or cell phones. It's commonly said that social networking like this is revolutionary, that it's created new communities, even that it's obliterated geography. You can connect with people who share common interests, not just people who happen to live nearby. NPR's Shankar Vedantam is here to explode all that. Hi, Shankar.

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One more Arab nation is changing a longtime leader. Yemen's president for 33 years was Ali Abdullah Saleh. Today, millions of Yemenis vote. And they're being asked to ratify a plan under which Saleh's vice president will replace him. NPR's Kelly McEvers is in Yemen's capital Sana'a.

And, Kelly, where exactly are you in the capital city?

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The U.S. economy is improving, even though Americans keep having to look over their shoulders at Europe. The state of the economy affects everything in American politics right now, from the presidential election to the budget that the White House lays out today.

NPR's Cokie Roberts has some analysis, as she does the most Mondays. Cokie, good morning.

COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

INSKEEP: OK, so what does the president's budget tell us?

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And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

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Fighting in Syria has intensified within a few miles of the capital city. Damascus has remained under firm government control, but in the suburbs, the army has sent in tanks to retake areas that had been under the affective control of rebels. Activists inside Syria say more than 60 people have been killed in the past day. NPR's Kelly McEvers is monitoring the situation from Beirut. She's on the line. Hi Kelly.

KELLY MCEVERS, BYLINE: Hello.

INSKEEP: How did this fighting develop in the suburbs?

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Let's talk, now, about the reported settlement in last year's deadly coal mine disaster in West Virginia. Details are expected later this morning, but NPR and other news organizations have confirmed some elements of a $200 million settlement that involves civil and criminal penalties levied against the owner of the Upper Big Branch mine.