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Alexander Morales, who served in the Army in the 1970s, with his family: wife Roberta; Elvia, 7, Elena, 8, and Elvira, 7 (in front), and Ruben Verdugo, 13, and Aaron D. Huerta, 17 (in back). Morales' family has been going for years to the Stand Down event in San Diego, where veterans receive assistance.

Homeless Vets: They're Not Just Single Men Anymore

Every summer for 27 years, a small tent city has popped up in San Diego. "Stand Down" is a three-day oasis for homeless veterans, with showers, new clothes, hot meals, medical help, legal aid and a booth set up for every housing program in the city.

Increasingly, the event needs ways to keep children entertained.

"They've got the kids zone and everything. My kids live out here very happy. They're looking forward to it from last year," says Alex Morales, who served in the Army in the 1970s.

The Saltire, the flag of Scotland, flies near the Union Jack in Gretna in Scotland. Some economists say Thursday's vote on Scotland's independence could have wide-ranging economic impacts.

Like It Or Not, Scotland's Drama May Hit Your Wallet

Does news of Scotland's independence vote make your eyelids feel heavy?

Americans may feel a yawn coming on when told of a political squabble playing out in a distant land less populated than metro Atlanta.

But economists say this Thursday's vote is no snoozer. You may wake up to find its outcome has triggered another global financial upheaval.

To understand the risks to your economic health, let's first review a couple of basics:

Members of Iraqi security forces are seen during a fight with Islamic State militants Sunday on the outskirts of the city of Ramadi.

U.S. Begins Airstrikes In Support Of Iraqi Ground Forces

The United States has begun its first-ever airstrikes in direct support of Iraqi ground forces, in the opening move of what could be a protracted fight against so-called Islamic State militants in the region.

NPR's Tom Bowman, on Morning Edition, says the airstrikes, south of Baghdad, targeted an ISIS position after Iraqi soldiers fighting them requested the assistance.

"This is something new," Tom says. "For the first time, U.S. airstrikes have been in support of Iraqi forces."

Ukrainian lawmakers applaud a televised address by the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz (on screen) in the Ukrainian Parliament on Tuesday in Kiev. The parliament voted to strengthen trade ties with the EU, but not until 2016.

Ukraine Approves EU Pact And Temporary Self-Rule For Rebels

Ukraine's parliament has granted separatist-held areas temporary self-rule and given militants amnesty in a vote aimed at quelling a months-long insurgency that has threatened to permanently cleave.

The parliamentary move comes in tandem with another to expand economic ties with the European Union beginning in 2016. Last year, former President Viktor Yanukovich rejected a similar pact, leading to his ouster in November.

President Obama addresses the nation from the Cross Hall in the White House on Sept. 10. Obama ordered the United States into a broad military campaign to degrade and ultimately destroy militants in two volatile Middle East nations, authorizing airstrikes inside Syria for the first time, as well as an expansion of strikes in Iraq.

How To Measure Success Against The New Monster In The Middle East?

Over the weekend, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough was asked on NBC's Meet the Press what victory would look like in the new struggle against Islamist extremists in Iraq.

"Success looks like an ISIL that no longer threatens our friends in the region, that no longer threatens the United States," McDonough said.

Vague as that is, it may be the best answer available at the moment. And that is a problem.

A U.S. soldier stands guard near a damaged vehicle at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul on Tuesday.

Suicide Bombing In Kabul Kills 3 NATO Troops

The Taliban has claimed credit for a suicide attack on a military convoy just yards from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul that killed at least three NATO soldiers and wounding nearly 20 other troops and civilians.

NPR's Sean Carberry, reporting from the Afghan capital, says the car bomb was detonated on one of the busiest streets in the city during rush hour.

"It shook the capital and set off alarms at the embassy," he says.

Conrad Goetzinger and Cassandra Rose struggle to pay their bills as $760 is garnished from their paychecks every two weeks by debt collectors. Twice, Goetzinger's bank account has been emptied by collectors after he failed to payoff a loan for a laptop.

With Debt Collection, Your Bank Account Could Be At Risk

Kari Fiotti moved back to Omaha, Neb., in 2009 after a decade living in Italy. She had divorced her husband and returned to the U.S. to start a new life.

Then, Fiotti, 44, took a pricey fall.

"When I came back, I fell and I broke my wrist without insurance," she says.

Her doctor, she says, rejected her offer to make partial payments. So, like millions of Americans, her debt — which had grown to $1,640 with interest and fees — was turned over to collectors.

Fiotti soon learned how hard they would try to collect her unpaid bills.

Members of the Ohio Student Association gather outside Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office in Columbus last month to call for the release of in-store video in the fatal police shooting of John Crawford III.

Community Keeps Calm Despite Questions About Wal-Mart Shooting

While the police shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Mo., continues to get considerable attention, another shooting of a black man by white police officers, near Dayton, Ohio, has been met with a more measured response.

Beavercreek, Ohio, is a mostly white, moderately affluent city of about 40,000. On Aug. 5, 22-year-old John Crawford III of nearby Fairfield was shopping at a Wal-Mart there.

A tourist wears a poncho decorated with the national flag of Scotland to shelter from the weather in Scotland's capital, Edinburgh, on Monday.

Will Scotland Vote To Cut The Cord?

It's pouring in Edinburgh, and the fog is so thick you can barely see to the end of the block.

People walking through the city center duck out of the rain into a little stone alcove to talk about the subject on everyone's mind — Thursday's big vote on whether Scotland will become an independent country.

The latest polls show the race is extremely tight.

In the Edinburgh rain, a striking number of voters have recently changed their minds. Michael Constantine says he and his parents all switched sides.

Pump jacks are seen in an oil field over the Monterey Shale formation near Lost Hills, Calif. Much of the U.S. oil industry wants to lift an export ban that followed the 1970s energy crisis.

With U.S. Oil Supply Climbing, Some Call For End To Export Ban

An oil drilling boom that has made the U.S. the world's leading oil and petroleum product producer has some people urging an end to the four-decade ban on exporting domestic crude.

Some in the oil industry are launching a campaign to lift the ban, and they hope to win over a skeptical public.

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