❖ ”Scientists have discovered that sarin, a deadly nerve agent, can be detected long after its use on the battlefield.” Even four years later.
❖ ”Punitive strikes ineffective, even counterproductive, analysts say: The type of limited military campaign being contemplated against Syria has failed to deter U.S. adversaries in the past”.
❖ How awful: ”Syrians in Damascus hoard food, seek shelter as foreign strike looms: Fears rife in Syria’s capital, where dozens of military sites are mixed in among the civilian population.”
❖ “White House Syria Deliberations: ‘Do Less’ Camp is Still Winning.”
❖ “After initially insisting that Syria give United Nations investigators unimpeded access to the site of an alleged nerve gas attack, the administration . . . reversed its position on Sunday and tried unsuccessfully to get the U.N. to call off its investigation.”
❖ “Syria envoy alleges rebel gas attack, demands U.N. investigate.”
❖ “UK secretary general says more time should be allowed for inspectors to investigate chemical weapons attack”. Update: Russia says the UN Security Council “should not consider a draft resolution” condemning use by the Assad forces of chemical weapons “before U.N. inspectors report on their findings”.
❖ President Obama is said to be weighing “‘Limited’ StrikesAgainst Syrian Forces”, or “deter and degrade” moves, without actually forcing out Syrian President Assad. Update: UK Prime Minister David Cameron says they’re “not considering regime change in Syria.” Update: According to an “anonymous administration official” the US won’t undertake unilateral military action against Syria. Major Update: US says it won’t let diplomatic paralysis slow action against Syria.
❖ “US, Allies Going Around UN to Justify Syria Action.“ In order to do that, “they must build a cohesive rationale and win broad international backing for a strike.” Update: The Arab League is backing the US’ plans for a strike against Syria.
❖ Did Ed Miliband force David Cameron to abandon his timetable for military action against Syria? Update: ”Strike against Assad regime stalled by British political rows: Military response to alleged Syria chemical attack may be delayed until Tuesday”. Update: “William Hague plays down imminence of Syria attack as UN seeks more time.”
❖ “A series of co-ordinated bombings in the Iraqi capital Baghdad has killed more than 50 people and wounded dozens more”.
❖ Reaching back to the 1953 coup, “Iran’s parliament has approved fast tracking debate on a bill that seeks to sue the U.S. for its involvement” in that coup.
❖ “First Nations loses bid to block Canada-China FIPA treaty.”
Money Matters USA
❖ “How Depraved Money Hungry Media Is Distorting What We See, and Messing with the Country.”
❖ President Obama met yesterday with that five-member panel charged with reviewing “the privacy issues involved with U.S. government surveillance programs”.
❖ The NYC Police Department reportedly “has secretly labeled entire mosques as terrorism organizations”. Such designations opened the door for use of “informants to record sermons and spy on imams”. The NYPD also persuaded “a federal judge to rewrite rules” pertaining to police and the First Amendment. Update: The NY Police Commissioner says the story is “‘Fiction’”.
❖ Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), Tea-Partier, put together “a list of problems he believes afflict African-Americans”, problems that, from his point of view, seem to be self-inflicted, including through lack of good parenting. Walsh, BTW, reportedly owed $117,437 in overdue child support in 2011.
❖ NC’s war on voting rights continues, this time with Republicans’ escalating “Attack on Student Voting.”
❖ TX’s Republican Lieutenant Governor says state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) doesn’t “stand a chance” of winning the governorship.
❖ NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) has contributed $350,000 “to a group fighting recall campaign against two Colorado politicians who supported gun control legislation”.
Health, Homelessness & Hunger
❖ 57% of Americans do not “support the effort to defund Obamacare”: Kaiser Health Tracking Poll.
❖ Thanks to sequestration, around “3,400 military medical workers quit this year . . . when furloughs were threatened or being carried out”.
❖ “Why is [WI] Gov. Scott Walker hiding health care prices?” Other states are posting health insurance prices of on their exchanges. Why not WI?
❖ 8 cases of Dengue fever reported in south FL.
❖ Matt Taibbi on President Obama’s “suddenly-urgent new road show around America’s college campuses, where he’s stumping for his ‘bold’ new plan to reduce tuition costs.” Obama’s “new education plan may or may not turn into something five years from now. But right now, it’s all words.”
Planet Earth News
❖ The “severity rating of the latest radioactive water leak at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant” has been officially raised to “Level 3″ or “serious incident”.
❖ “Report: Frackers cheating Pa. landowners and gov’t out of billions: Thousands are receiving far less money than they were promised by energy companies to drill their properties. Some are being paid virtually nothing.”
❖ “Produced water” is contaminant-laden water “piped off industrial developments in the Alberta Oil Sands.” It’s now responsible for ”A toxic waste spill, the largest of its kind in North America”.
❖ Australian scientists are deeply concerned that “New GMO wheat may ‘silence’ vital human genes.” Silly them. Don’t they know making profit off GMO anything is the whole point?
❖ “Three leaking mustard gas shells isolated at Pueblo Chemical Depot” in CO. Is there no way to neutralize this hideous stuff?
❖ “Race to save Ecuador’s Yasuni national park from oil lobby: Green groups campaign for a petition to force a national referendum to block president’s unilateral sanction for drilling.”
❖ 1.5 miles down below the ocean floor are bacteria growing amongst rocks. Those bacteria reproduce once every 10,000 years. And what an occasion that must be.
❖ Malala Yousafzai, who survived a Taliban assassination attempt, will receive the International Children’s Peace Prize.