NEAL CONAN, host: This week, the world watched as Tunisia held its first free and democratic election. Last week, the 42-year dictatorship of Moammar Gadhafi ended in airstrikes and gunfire. Meanwhile, the cycle of protest and crackdown continues in Syria. Activists reported at least nine civilian deaths today, while state television reported that tens of thousands packed a square in Damascus to support President Bashar al-Assad. Washington Post foreign correspondent Liz Sly will join us in just a moment.
In 2001, Ruth Simmons left Smith College to take the helm at Brown University, becoming the first African-American president at an Ivy League school. She's guided Brown through financial challenges, devised a long-term Plan for Academic Enrichment and addressed multiple campus controversies.
On a small crest deep in South Dakota's Black Hills, a dozen children jumped on sleds and floated across the snow. They are wards of the state, and this is their home: the western campus of the Children's Home Society.
There are rolling hills, a babbling brook — even a new school.
Children's Home Director Bill Colson says it's a place to help children who can't make it in regular foster homes.