1. Syria holds presidential election
Syria holds an election Tuesday in the middle of its bloody civil war — a vote that President Bashar Assad is expected to win easily and that critics have denounced as a sham. Assad's re-election to another seven-year term would show the tenacity of a ruler who had only a tenuous grip on power just over a year ago. In the past 12 months, his troops have clawed back to regain lost ground and significantly strengthen his position, giving him little reason to seek a political compromise in a conflict that has killed more than 160,000 people.
2. GOP senator on ropes and 4 other keys to primary day
The fate of Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran, who was first elected in 1978, tops the races to watch Tuesday as eight states hold primary elections. The primaries will set up key November contests in Iowa, South Dakota and Montana that will help decide whether Republicans can win the six seats they need to take control of the U.S. Senate. Voters in Alabama, California and New Jersey also head to the polls.
3. Study says classroom absences extend beyond students
Teachers in the USA's largest school districts missed an average of 11 days, according to a report on teacher attendance released Tuesday. The study from the National Council on Teacher Quality looked at attendance for more than 234,000 teachers in 40 districts during the 2012-13 year and found that 16% of all teachers were classified as chronically absent because they missed 18 days or more.
4. Obama arrives in Poland to talk Russia
President Obama arrives in Warsaw, Poland, with one thing on his mind: Russia. From meetings with presidents and pilots to commemorating Polish Freedom Day, joint training missions and the USA's support for young democracies in Eastern Europe will be reiterated throughout his trip. Obama will leave Poland on Wednesday for Brussels for the G-7 summit. Even the G-7 summit is a poke at Russia: the Brussels get-together replaces a meeting that had been set for Sochi, Russia, back when the group was known as the G-8.
5. Panera to give all food additives the heave-ho
Panera has a radical plan for all artificial additives in the food it sells: junk 'em. Amid growing consumer concern about the ingredients in foods purchased in restaurants and grocery stores, one of the nation's most successful fast-casual dining chains on Tuesday will announce plans to dump all artificial additives from its food menu by the end of 2016. That means no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives in any of the hundreds of food items it sells.
And, the essentials:
Weather: Severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes will thrash portions of the central USA Tuesday while extreme heat bakes the Southwest.
Stocks: U.S. stock futures are moving lower ahead of the bell.
TV Tonight: Find out what's worth watching, and what's not, in prime time.
And, if you missed Monday's news, we've got you covered here.