Here is today's agenda for coverage:
In world news ...
• Are the Tamil Tigers making their last stand in Canada? Susan Bourette is reporting that some 200,000 Tamils live in Toronto and they have gained national political attention in recent days after their protests have shut down parts of Toronto, including a highway.
• Longtime Moscow correspondent Fred Weir observes that from hockey to Miss World to Eurovision, Russians are enjoying a spate of little triumphs in the worlds of sports, music, and glamour. It may seem like no big deal to less-troubled nations, but for Russians they appear to matter a lot. The country, it seems, is on a cultural roll.
• One of Kenya's most famous white aristocrats was sentenced to eight months Thursday, after a judge found him guilty of manslaughter for fatally shooting a poaching suspect on his family estate. Tristan McConnell is finding that the case touches a nerve in Kenya, due to Britain's less-than-savory colonial rule there.
• There is a long tradition of using Sweden as a socialist model to highlight social shortcomings in the United States. Yet if the Scandinavian model were transported whole scale across the Atlantic, the changes would, say analysts here, have little to do with socialism. Tom Sullivan reports from Stockholm.
• Caryle Murphy reports on a human rights petition that 77 Saudis signed and sent to King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz late Wednesday. The petition asserts that security trials of extremists have already started and it demands an end to"secret tribunals" and open court proceedings for the accused.
In US news ...
• Amid Republican disarray, the former vice president is stepping to the fore to defend the Bush administration – and his own – legacy, and to once again knock Democrats off stride. It's an unprecedented role for a former veep. Linda Feldmann looks at why is he so intent on justifying Bush actions and what effect is he having.
• Gail Chaddock is following credit card legislation making its way through Congress. She is finding concern that it may make it especially difficult for young people to get credit. Coming Friday morning.
• Gordon Lubold is reporting on the VA's widely popular new GI bill: Thousands of vets have applied for the generous provisions. But will it come at a cost? Come August 1, when the program goes into effect, active-duty vets may flock to schools, robbing the military of some of their best and brightest.