Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., listens at left as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks in Aston, Pa., in April. Republican leaders from Jeb Bush to John McCain have touted Rubio for vice president.
Among the Tea Party successes in the 2010 congressional elections was U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. He is now one of those on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's short list of possible running mates.
For any political party, Rubio would be worthy of consideration for vice president or a higher office. He's smart, good-looking and charismatic. The Cuban-American is a plus for Republicans, a party that polls show has been losing ground with Hispanics.
Muslim girls study by candlelight inside a religious school in Noida, near New Delhi, on July 31. The collapse of three regional power grids last week caused a massive power outage that blacked out more than half of India.
It may take some time to pinpoint the exact cause of India's massive blackouts last week, but the underlying issue for India and many other parts of the developing world is that supply is struggling to keep up with the growing demand for power — an imbalance that can affect the reliability of electric grids.
Tangled power lines in a busy shopping district in Rawalpindi.
Credit Lauren Frayer for NPR
Workers in a tailor's workshop in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, use manual sewing machines, and sometimes stitch suits by hand, when the power goes out. Tailors are frantically trying to fill orders for new suits in time for the end of Ramadan.
In India last week, surprise grid failures plunged more than half the country into darkness. But power outages in neighboring Pakistan have been intentional — the result of summertime energy rationing.
Despite billions of dollars in U.S. aid, Pakistan has been unable to keep the lights on. Now the situation is getting worse, with riots erupting over factories forced offline.
The 2010 elections were a coming of age for the Tea Party, with big gains in Congress and in statehouses. As 2012 approached, the movement was looking for similar success. Then came this year's GOP presidential primaries, with no surviving Tea Party favorite.
Polls showed public support for the movement falling off significantly after several nasty showdowns in Congress. But the Tea Party remains a force in many states. Its favored candidate for the U.S. Senate won big in Texas last week, sending the strongest signal yet that the movement will be a factor this fall.
We are covering other news today, including news out of Syria, where there have been some high-level defections. The prime minister of Syria fled to neighboring Jordan just two months after he was appointed. He says he has joined the opposition. Syrian rebels say that three other cabinet members also defected. These are the highest level departures from the government of Bashar al-Assad since the uprising began well over a year ago.
And we're also following news from the Middle East, particularly from Egypt. In the Sinai Desert that borders Israel, masked gunmen attacked Egyptian soldiers there. At least 15 soldiers are dead. Security has deteriorated sharply in that area since longtime President Hosni Mubarak's ouster last year.
NPR'S Leila Fadel has the story.
PRESIDENT MOHAMED MORSI: (Foreign language spoken)