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Know It All: Friday's top stories from NBC News

A Free Syrian Army fighter stands Thursday near a damaged military tank that belonged to forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
A Free Syrian Army fighter stands Thursday near a damaged military tank that belonged to forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.Molhem Barakat / Reuters

Here are some of the stories NBC News is following today:

Syria: American public is skeptical on strikes

Roughly eight in 10 Americans believe that President Barack Obama should get approval from Congress before using force against Syria. Public support for military intervention increases when it is limited to launching cruise missiles from naval ships, according to a new NBC News poll. Go inside the numbers from NBC Politics.

Syria: What now?

Lawmakers say President Barack Obama will have to work harder to sell Congress and the public on an attack to punish Syria for using chemical weapons. If the United States acts, it apparently will be without its staunchest ally, Britain, where Parliament defeated a resolution on a Syria strike. Read more from NBC News.

Two key decisions on benefits for gay couples

A federal judge says the Department of Veterans Affairs has to provide full benefits to a California veteran in a same-sex marriage. The ruling came hours after the IRS said all married gay couples across the country will get tax benefits previously reserved for straight couples. Read more about the VA ruling and the IRS decision from NBC News.

NFL settlement reflects growing concern about concussions and the brain

A decision by the NFL to settle pay $765 million in a settlement with players over head injuries reflects a growing body of research showing that repeated concussions can cause permanent brain damage. One panel of medical experts says the concern is great enough to justify a study into youth sports. Read more from the NBC News health team.

An electric opener kicks of college football — full weekend of games ahead

Football is back. South Carolina mostly cruised past North Carolina in a lightning-delayed opener to the college season, and Ole Miss and Vanderbilt followed with a thriller. There’s a full slate of games ahead this weekend. Watch a preview from NBC Sports.

Gun-toting, obscenity-spewing Pennsylvania chief will learn his fate

A Pennsylvania police chief who posted videos of himself firing gun owned by his borough and unleashing expletive-laden rants about the Second Amendment and liberals could learn his fate tonight. He expects to be fired — but he’s not going quietly. Read more from NBC Philadelphia.

Valerie Harper ‘pretty close to a remission’

Fans of Valerie Harper, TV’s “Rhoda,” were devastated when she announced in March that she had a rare, terminal form of cancer. But in a shock, she appears to have beaten it back for now. Her doctor even says “we’re getting pretty close to a remission.” Watch what Harper had to say to NBC’s Meredith Vieira.