September 13, 2012 -- (San Diego’s East County) – ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflecting all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:
- US Ambassador murdered as extremists on all sides win, again (CSMonitor)
- There may be no anti-Islamic movie at all (CSMonitor)
- Obama vows to “bring justice” to ambassador’s killers (Reuters)
- Another protest turns violent outside U.S. embassy in Cairo (CNN)
- Global drought causes concerns around the world (CNN)
- Syrian troops storm Damascus refugee area, chase rebels (Reuters)
- 4 years later, auto industry rebounds (CBS News)
- Federal court will review marijuana’s classification as a dangerous drug with no health benefits (Think Progress)
- New York City hit by tornadoes (BBC)
- Administration urges terror surveillance renewal (UT San Diego)
- U.S. Policy in Mideast challenged by assaults (Wall Street Journal)
- Romney camp tries to manage fallout from Libya response (CNN)
- New report warns of smart meter failures due to temperature and weather extremes (StopSmartMeters.org UK)
- Disillusioned Obama supporter in RNC ad is actually Republican staffer (Talking Points Memo)
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.
US Ambassador murdered as extremists on all sides win, again (CSMonitor)
September 12, 2012 -- The murder of US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens yesterday as an unopposed crowd ransacked and torched the consulate in Benghazi, along with a raucous protest at the US embassy in Cairo, are events that are going to reverberate for months to come. That the violence came on the anniversary of the 2001 Al Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington was not a coincidence.
Mr. Stevens was killed along with three other Americans in Libya's second-largest city, in protests that used as their pretext a hitherto unknown amateur film designed to insult the prophet Muhammad. Stevens was the first US ambassador murdered in the line of duty since Ambassador Adolph Dubs was assassinated in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1979. Early unconfirmed reports from Benghazi indicated the other dead Americans were Marines assigned to diplomatic security.
There may be no anti-Islamic movie at all (CSMonitor)
September 12, 2012 -- The online 14-minute clip of a purportedly anti-Islamic movie that sparked protests at the US embassy in Cairo and and the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya is now looking like it could have been ginned up by someone sitting a basement with cheap dubbing software.
Full credit goes to Sarah Abdurrahman at On the Media and Rosie Grey at Buzzfed who appear to be the first to highlight (there may be others, but they're the ones who caught my eye) the fact that almost every instance of language referring to Islam or Muhammad in the film has been dubbed in. That is, mouths are mouthing but the words you're hearing don't match.
Obama vows to “bring justice” to ambassador’s killers (Reuters)
September 13, 2012 -- President Barack Obama vowed on Wednesday to "bring to justice" the Islamist gunmen responsible for a ferocious assault that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans - an attack that may have been organized in advance.
Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the other Americans died after the gunmen attacked the lightly fortified U.S. consulate and a safe house refuge in Benghazi on Tuesday night. The attackers were part of a mob blaming America for a film they said insulted the Prophet Mohammad.
Obama said he had ordered an increase in security at U.S. diplomatic posts around the globe following the assault.
Another protest turns violent outside U.S. embassy in Cairo (CNN)
September 12, 2012 -- Riot police fired warning shots and tear gas Thursday outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to keep hundreds of protesters away from the building's perimeter, witnesses said.
Six police officers suffered minor injuries during the clashes, said Alla Mahmoud, a spokesman for the Egyptian Interior Ministry. Some protesters received medical treatment inside ambulances.
Demonstrators threw rocks and Molotov cocktails as police tried to disperse them by firing tear gas canisters from police vehicles as they drove through Tahrir Square, near the embassy.
Global drought causes concerns around the world (CNN)
September 8, 2012 -- Hurricane Isaac may have inundated the parishes of Louisiana, but for thousands of American farmers, it was a blessing, a reprieve from the most torrid summer on record.
In much of North America, July was the hottest month since such a record was first taken. Crop yields have fallen sharply; thousands of livestock have been lost.
The Midwest has suffered its worst drought in 56 years, and theInternational Grains Council has cut its forecast for the U.S. maize harvest by 25 million tons.
Syrian troops storm Damascus refugee area, chase rebels (Reuters)
September 9, 2012 -- Two bombs exploded simultaneously on Sunday night next to Syrian army compounds in the northern city of Aleppo, killing and wounding scores of President Bashar al-Assad's forces, residents and opposition activists said.
The bombs targeted makeshift barracks and the military police headquarters, situated in two adjacent sealed off districts in the centre of the city, said several residents and opposition campaigners from Aleppo.
4 years later, auto industry rebounds (CBS News)
September 4, 2012 -- President Obama is making the health of the car industry a big issue, claiming credit for saving General Motors. On Tuesday, GM reported its sales rose 10 percent in August compared to a year ago. Additionally, Ford's sales were up 13 percent while Chrysler's rose by 14 percent. So why is Detroit in high gear?
Five million Americans either build or sell cars and trucks. On Tuesday, workers showing up for the midday shift at GM's plant in Arlington, Texas were smiling.
"It's wonderful," said one man. "I hope they keep going up. Everybody here needs to keep working."
Federal court will review marijuana’s classification as a dangerous drug with no health benefits (Think Progress)
August 1, 2012 -- For the first time since 1994, the question of medical marijuana will go before a federal court. The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit lawsuit challenging the DEA’s classification of marijuana as a dangerous drug with no medical value. The ten-year-old suit, brought by Americans for Safe Access, will present scientific evidence on marijuana’s therapeutic properties.
The appeal brief calls the DEA’s refusal to analyze numerous studies on the drug’s medical uses “arbitrary and capricious,” and asks the court to order the DEA to conduct a hearing on the scientific evidence.
New York City hit by tornadoes (BBC)
September 8, 2012 -- Two rare tornadoes have hit New York City's borough of Queens and Brooklyn, damaging homes, causing blackouts and throwing debris into the air. The first storm, with winds up to 70mph (113km/h), struck Breezy Point on Queens' Rockaway Peninsula.
The second tornado, with gusts reaching 110mph, hit Brooklyn's Canarsie area just minutes later.
Administration urges terror surveillance renewal (UT San Diego)
September 11, 2012 -- The Obama administration maintains it is unable to say how many times one of the government's most politically sensitive anti-terrorism surveillance programs - which is up for renewal this week on Capitol Hill - has inadvertently gathered intelligence about U.S. citizens.
In a briefing for reporters on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the general counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said Tuesday that the program designed to monitor international communications by terrorist suspects has collected an extraordinary amount of valuable intelligence overseas about foreign terrorist suspects while simultaneously protecting civil liberties of Americans.
U.S. Policy in Mideast challenged by assaults (Wall Street Journal)
September 13, 2012 -- President Barack Obama has supported the democratically elected governments that have emerged in the Mideast over the past 18 months, despite concerns about the influence of Islamists that historically opposed the U.S.
Tuesday's attacks put that policy at a crossroads. On Wednesday, some American lawmakers and policy makers called for the U.S. to suspend financial aid, and possibly security cooperation, to Egypt and Libya, countries that were transformed by the revolutions of the Arab Spring.
Romney camp tries to manage fallout from Libya response (CNN)
September 12, 2012 -- Facing criticism for its aggressive and politically-charged response to Tuesday's violent attacks on the American embassies in Egypt and Libya, Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is quietly advising Republicans how to respond to questions about the campaign's handling of the episode.
In talking points currently being pushed to Republican leaders and top surrogates, the Romney campaign recommends attacking President's Obama "foreign policy of weakness" and dismissing questions about how the campaign responded to the crisis last night.
New report warns of smart meter failures due to temperature and weather extremes (StopSmartMeters.org UK)
September 5, 2012 -- A sobering report for Stop Smart Meters! (UK) by independent scientist and researcher, Dr. Issac Jamieson, has brought to light some extremely troubling facts associated with international ‘Smart” Meter design specifications which could spell catastrophe for thousands of households and even lead to loss of life.
In the report, entitled Smart Meters and Weather Extremes – Set to Fail? What happens when weather is colder than smart meters can operate?, Dr. Jamieson:
Disillusioned Obama supporter in RNC ad is actually Republican staffer (Talking Points Memo)
September 6, 2012 -- Republicans debuted a new ad Thursday in which a frustrated former Obama supporter expresses her disappointment with the president. The only problem: The woman in the video is actually an RNC staffer. The new ad features Republican National Committee Director of Hispanic Outreach Bettina Inclan, who in the ad purports to be an average woman voter who supported Obama in 2008. She describes her disillusionment with the president in the ad as a romantic relationship gone awry.