Quote of the day.
"Rimsha has been sent to jail without any proof. We demand this law should be repealed, people are misusing it. And Rimsha should be released immediately." Bishop Arshad Khokhar, chairman of Bishop Council in Pakistan’s Sindh province, at a protest by Christians over the arrest of an 11-year-old girl accused of blasphemy.
1. Isaac crossing Gulf with New Orleans in crosshairs.
Tropical Storm Isaac targeted a broad swath of the Gulf Coast on Monday and had New Orleans in its crosshairs, bearing down just ahead of the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
2. Tropical storm forces Republicans to rework convention script.
Tropical Storm Isaac forced Republicans to rewrite the script for their national convention in Tampa as party officials scrambled to make sure presidential candidate Mitt Romney''s message to voters would not be blown off course.
3. Invitation to Cardinal shows G.O.P.''s Catholic push.
Some benedictions bestow a bigger blessing than others, and Mitt Romney hit the jackpot by signing up Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops, to deliver the closing prayer at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
(New York Times)
4. Texas counties consider expanding Medicaid themselves.
With GOP Gov. Rick Perry vowing not to go along with the Medicaid expansion in President Obama’s health-care law, some Texas county officials are floating a novel alternative: What if they were to band together and do their own Medicaid expansion?
5. U.S. foreign arms sales reach $66.3 billion in 2011.
Weapons sales by the United States tripled in 2011 to a record high, driven by major arms sales to Persian Gulf allies concerned about Iran’s regional ambitions, according to a new study for Congress.
(New York Times)
6. Syrian helicopter down under fire in Damascus.
A day after his enemies accused Assad''s troops and sectarian militia of massacring hundreds of people in the town of Daraya near Damascus, the possible shooting down of the helicopter, the latest of several such successes claimed by lightly armed rebel fighters, bolstered morale.
7. Egyptian leader adds rivals of West to Syria plan.
Staking out a new leadership role for Egypt in the shaken landscape of the Arab uprisings, President Mohamed Morsi is reaching out to Iran and other regional powers in an initiative to halt the escalating violence in Syria.
(New York Times)
8. Taliban deny reports of Haqqani leader death.The operational commander of the Haqqani Network, the group behind some of the most high profile attacks in Afghanistan, may have been killed in a U.S. drone strike, Pakistani and Afghan intelligence sources have said. … A Taliban spokesman in Afghanistan, however, has rejected the reports.
9. Iran opens global summit with nuclear appeals.
Iran has opened a summit bringing together more than 120 nations that call themselves "non-aligned", with an appeal to rid the world of nuclear weapons even as the West suspects Tehran is seeking its own atomic arms.
10. Food shortages could force world into vegetarianism.
Leading water scientists have issued one of the sternest warnings yet about global food supplies, saying that the world''s population may have to switch almost completely to a vegetarian diet over the next 40 years to avoid catastrophic shortages.