It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
Support for Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, may be further deteriorating. That's after Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said his country would be glad to see Assad step down if most Syrians agreed. Russia's been one of the Syrian regime's staunchest supporters.
In Syria itself, another night of gunfire and explosions, some of it in the capital, Damascus. NPR's Deborah Amos is there and with me now.
The Justice Department has launched an investigation to determine the source of a series of leaks about sensitive intelligence matters. President Obama denied his administration authorized the leaks, but some Senate Republicans accused the White House of deliberately leaking the stories in order to boost the president's national security credentials.
On Jan. 1, trillions of dollars in spending cuts and tax increases — called Taxmageddon — will take effect unless Congress and the White House can agree on a new plan. Many economists say the country will fall back into a recession if it happens. Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin says Congress may actually be "forced to make a decision that affects taxes and spending."
Like most members of the Penobscot Nation, Scott Phillips grew up near the Penobscot River and learned to paddle and fish as a young boy. He took to it like a duck to water. He became a competitive racer and eventually opened his own business selling canoes, kayaks and other outdoor gear.
Next week, the first of two dams on the river will be removed, altering the way it's used recreationally. The change could also be a boon to Phillip's business.
Steve Guttenberg (left), Michael Winslow (center) and G.W. Bailey star in 1987's <em>Police Academy 4: Citizens On Patrol</em>, part of the film franchise launched by 1984's <em>Police Academy</em>.
Credit Warner Bros./Getty Images
Steve Guttenberg (left) stars alongside Daniel Stern (center) and Paul Reiser in 1982's <em>Diner</em>, which continues to be one of his most beloved film projects. He sometimes appears as a guest at revival screenings.
When Steve Guttenberg was 16, he went to see an agent about starting his acting career.
That agent told him: "You are the last guy I would pick to be a movie star."
Guttenberg decided to become an actor anyway.
The summer before he was supposed to start the University of Albany, he moved from Long Island to Los Angeles to try his luck. Once there, he tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz, he snuck onto the Paramount Studios lot, set up his own office, and started making phone calls to agents and producers.