❖ UN estimates: “five million Syrians have been displaced inside the country [and] 2 million . . . have fled to neighboring countries.” International funding to relieve the suffering is “a ‘drop in the sea’” compared to need. Phil Williams of ABC tweet: “Another huge camp being prepared in Jordanian desert to hold 120,000 more Syrian refugees”.
❖ “Two-thirds of Britons [polled] do not care if refusing to intervene militarily in Syria damages the US-UK ‘special relationshp’.”
❖ “[Syrian] Canadian protesters oppose U.S. intervention in Syria”
❖ “Syria Asks U.N. To Block U.S. Strike”.
❖ Brief interview with Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Faysal al-Mikdad, on the impact of the potential US-French action against Syria.
❖ “A French intelligence report [on the chemical attacks in Syria] suggests the ‘massive and coordinated’ attack was launched from government-held areas”.
❖ “Cyprus cannot be used as a launching pad for attacks on Syria” according to Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides”.
❖ “Navy Carrier Strike Group [including the USS Nimitz] Rerouted for Possible Help in Syria”.
❖ “U.S. Marines Website Hacked By Syrian Electronic Army”.
❖ “Taliban attacks Nato base in Afghanistan.” 3 ‘insurgents’ killed.
Money Matters USA
❖ “How Labor Day was hijacked: 5 reminders of the day’s real purpose: Yes, plenty of holidays amount to just days off and barbecues. But this one has become particularly corrupted.”
❖ “It is not surprising that religious leaders have been conspicuously present on many of the fast food workers’ picket lines. . . . priests and ministers, rabbi and imams . . . The nation’s largest labor-religious coalition, Interfaith Worker Justice, . . . is sponsoring Labor Day prayer services in cities across the country honoring the dignity of labor”.
❖ “Wall Street Eager to See Larry Summers Nominated Fed Chair: Summers likely to be next Fed chair not despite failures but because of them.” Not only that, but the “end-game memo” written by Timmeh Geithner involved “Larry Summers in deal that helped setup the global economic crisis”.
❖ Director of the Detroit Institute of Arts: selling items from the art collection “will not only ‘threaten the millage proceeds . . . but . . . would also be equivalent to shutting the museum’s doors.” Doesn’t appear that Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr or staff has had much contact with the DIA’s office, either.
❖ The UK’s GCHQ has a “listening post on Mount Troodos in Cyprus”, a “most valued asset” . . ., monitoring “all radio, satellite and microwave traffic across the Middle East [and] almost all landline telephone communications”. John Kerry claims to have info regarding “Syrian military and officials organising chemical weapons attacks”, intelligence furnished by Mossad. Since “Mossad have nothing comparable to the Troodos operation”, how’d that happen? Emptywheel explores this issue in depth.
❖ The NSA also spied on the French Foreign Ministry.
❖ Brazil has summoned the US Ambassador “over new allegations that the US National Security Agency spied on President Dilma Rousseff”. A nugget: ”The United States has rejected a Brazilian offer to negotiate a bilateral agreement on surveillance.”
❖ “Syria resolution will be ‘a very tough sell‘ in Congress, lawmakers say.”
❖ President Obama “is asking a jury of safe spectators [Congress] to press the yes or no buttons on missile strikes . . . challenging world leaders to get off the fence and approve his plans.” “It is a case of breathtaking arrogance . . . that the US is not only the world’s policeman, but the world’s enforcer.” Update: Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN) “got into a ‘heated exchange’ with John Kerry during the conference call. Nolan says he “will vote and work against President Obama’s request for open-ended authority”.
❖ Senators Tweedledum (John McCain (R-AZ)) and Tweedledee (Lindsey Graham (R-SC)) strongly support President Obama’s planned strike on Syria. They think a ‘No’ vote would be “‘catastrophic’ for the United States and its credibility in the world.”
❖ Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has scheduled a hearing tomorrow to debate “the use of military force in Syria.”
❖ Two dozen+ protesters in Little Rock, AR against US intervention in Syria.
Health, Homelessness & Hunger
❖ Stunning: “Only 6 out of 53 landmark cancer studies could be replicated, a dismal success rate of 11%! . . . The reasons for the lack of reproducibility include intentional fraud and misconduct . . . but more often it’s negligence, inadvertent errors, imperfectly designed experiments and the subliminal biases of the researchers or other uncontrollable variables.” What happened? It’s a secret. There is a journal for precisely such results.
❖ “An outbreak of measles among unimmunized members of a Texas megachurch is fueling new health worries about pockets of vaccine-wary parents”.
❖ $67m was set aside for training and subsequent hiring of 105 “Navigators” to help people understand what’s available to them under the Affordable Care Act and to help them negotiate the system, including state exchanges. Republicans have jumped on this, fancying all kinds of secret, nefarious purposes.
❖ India’s new law establishes “an ambitious program to provide nearly free food to some 800 million”. As you’ll recall, last July the US House of Representatives “passed a farm bill that lacked the entire nutrition portion” or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or food stamps for the poor.
The War on Women
❖ “A bill to allow first-trimester abortions by nurse practitioners and some others” (under physician supervision) is headed to CA Gov Jerry Brown’s desk for signature.
❖ If you’re a teenager in India and you participate in the savage gang-rape and murder of a female on a public bus in Delhi, get caught and go on trial, you end up sentenced to three years in prison. Update: There’s “outrage” over the verdict in India.
Planet Earth News
❖ They’re serious about “discharging into the ocean water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant”. New water leaks discovered, too. Update: Tepco issues apology “for the great anxiety and inconvenience caused by the recent contaminated water issues.
❖ Quebec’s going to use natural gas to force crude to the surface?