Here are the main stories we'll be posting throughout the day:
In world news ...
• In his first interview with a Western newspaper, the new president of Macedonia sits down with the Monitor. The discussion with reporter Christopher Deliso includes US foreign policy in the Balkans, tied in with Joe Biden’s visit to the region, which wraps up Thursday.
• It took the imminent fall of Mogadishu to militant Islamists for Somalia’s neighbors to get involved. Scott Baldauf asks if their Wednesday request for a UN blockade is likely to be fulfilled. And how quickly would it be in place? Would it really stop foreign fighters? How many foreign fighters are there, anyway?
In US news ...
• The declining dollar, now at a low point for this year, is an indicator of deep concern about the fiscal health of the country. Mark Trumbull looks at the risk of a protracted fall.
• Housing’s “shadow market”– the large inventory of homes that are empty, or rented, without a “for sale” sign out front yet – is likely to slow down the sector’s recovery. Out in Surprise, Ariz., Patrik Jonsson reports that banks are deploying complex new strategies, called “quick sales,” to recoup their investments on foreclosed properties. He looks at how these work and what their risks are.
The Monitor editorial today walks through some of the counterpoints to the most prominent arguments for legalizing marijuana.