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.
Jamaica's Usain Bolt ran the 100 meters in 9.63 seconds last night. That is an Olympic record. It will take just a bit more than 9.63 seconds to talk about what it means. And NPR's Mike Pesca, the Usain Bolt of sports reporters is on the line.
Mike, good morning.
MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Yes. If you saw me in person you'd know how untrue that was.
INSKEEP: Well, Usain Bolt said he was only 95 percent healthy when he ran this race. What does it mean to be 95 percent healthy?
Let's take a picture of America in the latter months of an election year. We want to sense what's on this country's mind. So Morning Edition begins a series of reports from First and Main. Several times in the next few months, we'll travel to a battleground state, then to a vital county in each state. In that county we find a starting point for our visit — an iconic American corner — First and Main streets.
The Olympics are a quest to be the best. But some Olympians are accused of purposely playing badly at badminton. The Badminton World Federation has launched disciplinary proceedings against four women's doubles pairs. First, the world champions, who are Chinese, faced off against opponents from South Korea. And spectators started booing when the players seemed to be making simple errors on purpose.
Police soon arrested a suspect, and they were still searching suspect's apartment when President Obama stepped before a crowd this morning in Fort Myers, Florida. It was a political campaign event. It was supposed to be, but the president said it was not a day for campaigning.
Let's learn more, now, about an attack in Bulgaria. Seven people were killed, we're told, among them, five Israelis, in a suspected suicide bombing. It happened at a seaside resort town called Burgos. More than 30 more people were injured by this explosion. Israel is calling it a terrorist attack and says it suspects Iran or Muslim extremists. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro joins us on the line, now, from Tel Aviv.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renée Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. China's economic growth has slowed down to a three-year low. That's according to new figures released today. The numbers matter to us because of the way the world economy is so interconnected. Americans import a lot from China, sure, but have also been working to boost exports to other nations, including China.
NPR's Louisa Lim joins us from Beijing to make sense of the latest news. Hi, Louisa.
Some future news now. The Olympics begin two weeks from today in London, and we can already tell you the likely big winners. China will take the most gold medals, followed by the U.S. and host country, Great Britain. Team USA will win the most overall medals, followed by China and Russia.
Here's a little of what's happened in Syria over the past 24 hours. A Syrian air force colonel flew his jet out of the country, defecting to Jordan. Syria's army intensified its offensive against a rebel army. And the Red Cross had to abandon a mission to evacuate civilians from the city of Homs.
We're going to get some perspective on all of this from NPR's Deborah Amos, who's just left Syria after a very rare 10-day trip to Damascus. She's now in Lebanon. Hi, Deborah.
NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is nearing the end of his Revolutionary Road Trip, a journey across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves. Steve and his team began in Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, drove across the deserts of Libya, and filed this report from the third and final country, Egypt.
NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is wrapping up his Revolutionary Road Trip, a journey of more than 2,700 miles across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves. Steve and his team have traveled from Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, across the deserts of Libya, and filed this report from the third and final country, Egypt.
Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is taking a Revolutionary Road Trip across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves. Steve and his team are traveling some 2,000 miles from Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, across the deserts of Libya and on to Egypt's megacity of Cairo. In the Libyan towns of Benghazi and Derna, he talks to Islamists about their desire to see a new Libya ruled by Shariah law.
The other day in Benghazi, Libya, we found our vehicle surrounded by truckloads of men with machine guns.