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Hurricane Irene Gaining Strength; Japan Expecting New Prime Minister

The projected path puts the center of the storm over North Carolina at 2 a.m. ET on Sunday.
The projected path puts the center of the storm over North Carolina at 2 a.m. ET on Sunday.

Good morning.

The fight for control of Tripoli continues, as we reported earlier. From Libya, NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports that what had looked like it might be a quick victory for opponents of Moammar Gadhafi is turning into what could be "a bitter, difficult battle."

According to The Associated Press, "rebels and pro-regime troops fought fierce street battles in several parts of the city, a day after opposition fighters swept into the capital with relative ease."

Meanwhile, other stories making headlines include:

-- "Irene Expected To Become An Extremely Dangerous Category 4 Hurricane," Carolinas In Path: "Hurricane Irene is lashing the northern coast of the Dominican Republic this morning as the Bahamas prepare for a category four hurricane. ... Irene will make its way across the Bahamian Islands through Thursday before turning north-northwest for the southeastern United States. 'Based off of what we see this morning both Carolinas are at risk for a landfalling hurricane by Saturday,' added [Storm Team 2 Meteorologist Josh] Marthers. 'Although, North Carolina may have the highest risk at this point.' " (WCBD-TV; Charleston, S.C.)

Related link: National Hurricane Center.

-- New Prime Minister Likely In Japan: "Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and his cabinet will resign in the coming days, a senior cabinet minister says, plunging the country into fresh uncertainty even as it is still struggling to recover from a devastating tsunami and nuclear disaster." (The Globe and Mail)

From a related story by Voice of America: "Mr. Kan said he will resign only if parliament passes a renewable energy bill as expected on Friday. His planned departure sets up a contest between several leading party figures to become Japan's sixth prime minister in five years."

-- S&P Chief Stepping Down: "The president of Standard & Poor's is stepping down, an announcement coming only weeks after the rating agency's unprecedented move to strip the United States of its AAA credit rating. The McGraw-Hill Cos., the parent of S&P, said late Monday that Deven Sharma will be replaced by Douglas Peterson, now the chief operating officer of Citibank N.A., Citigroup Inc.'s chief banking arm. ... McGraw-Hill's statement did not mention of the Aug. 5 downgrade that sent shock waves through global financial markets and was sharply criticized by the Obama administration." (The Associated Press)

-- Strauss-Kahn Charges Expected To Be Dropped Today: "It's back to court for former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Tuesday. New York City prosecutors on Monday asked a judge to dismiss all criminal charges against Strauss-Kahn because they aren't sure the hotel maid who accused him of sexual assault is telling the truth." (Morning Edition)

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