ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

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September 12, 2013 (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 reflect 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:

U.S.

 WORLD

To view excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more’ and scroll down. 

U.S.

Millions of workers might dump employer plans under Obamacare: study (Reuters)

 As many as 37 million Americans who receive health coverage through employers may be better off with the government-subsidized insurance plans that will be offered under President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law for next year, according to a study released on Monday.

The shocking videos lawmakers saw (CNN)

Men sprawled on a tile floor, shirtless and convulsing. Children, too, seemingly unable to control their shaking and flailing. Panic and screams in the background. These are some of the hard-to-stomach images that the Obama administration has shown a select group of senators in closed-door briefings to make the case that a limited military attack on Syria is justified.

'Baby Veronica' birth father freed after surrendering (Reuters)

 The biological father of "Baby Veronica," a Native American girl at the heart of a protracted custody battle, surrendered to Oklahoma police on Thursday to be extradited to South Carolina where he faces felony charges for interfering with her adoption.

The Unemployment Rate Went Down This Month Because Hundreds of Thousands of People Quit Looking for Work (Reason)

 The unemployment dropped a decimal point in today’s jobs report, from 7.4 percent last month to 7.3 percent. Good news, right? Well, not so much. The reason the unemployment rate went down was not because people found jobs. It was because they stopped looking for them. In the last month alone, 312,000 people dropped out of the labor force, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

US teen births fall to historic low: what has been helping(CS Monitor)

The US teen birth rate is down in all 50 states, and among all racial and ethnic groups, according to data released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

America Violates, Exempts Self From ‘International Norms’ it Aims to Unilaterally Enforce (Reason)

When President Barack Obama claims, as he did at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg Friday, that the absence of a United States bombing attack against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad "threatens to unravel the international norm against chemical weapons embraced by 189 nations, and those nations represent 98 percent of the world's people," he is deliberately blurring the lines between three international treaties to make it look like they require U.S. enforcement.

NSA Has Keys To Most Internet Encryption (NPR)

 The National Security Agency has the keys to most Internet encryption methods and it has gotten them by using supercomputers to break them and by enlisting the help of private IT companies, The New York Timesand The Guardian are reporting.  In plain English, this means that many of the tools — like TLS, used by many banks and email providers — that people worldwide have come to believe protect them from snooping by criminals and governments are essentially worthless when it comes to the NSA…

New details in how the feds take laptops at border (AP)

 The government can target travelers for no reason other than political advocacy if it wants, and obtain electronic documents identifying fellow supporters. 

U.S. court takes on Internet traffic fight (Reuters)

 A potential landmark case for U.S. regulation of Internet traffic goes before a panel of federal judges on Monday, testing whether the Federal Telecommunications Commission has authority to enforce so-called net neutrality rules.  Net neutrality is the principle that Internet users should be able to access any Web content and use any applications they choose, without restrictions or varying charges imposed by the Internet service provider or the government.  Oral arguments in the case pit Verizon Communications Inc against the FCC.

WORLD

CIA begins delivering arms to  Syrian rebels (Washington Post)

 

The CIA has begun delivering weapons to rebels in Syria, ending months of delay in lethal aid that had been promised by the Obama administration, according to U.S. officials and Syrian figures. The shipments began streaming into the country over the past two weeks, along with separate deliveries by the State Department of vehicles and other gear — a flow of material that marks a major escalation of the U.S. role in Syria’s civil war.

 

Syria crisis: Russia ‘hands Syria chemical arms plan to U.S.’ (BBC)

Russia announced its plans for placing Syria's stockpile under international control on Monday and Syria said it welcomed the initiative. The proposal led US President Barack Obama to put military action against Syria on hold in favour of diplomacy.

'US intercepts Iranian order to attack American interests in response to Syria strike'

'Wall Street Journal' reports that leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds force sent message to Shi'te allies to retaliate against American targets in Iraq if US attacks Syria.

Military Leaders Skeptical, "Embarassed" By Administration's Push for Strikes Against Syria, Says Former Army Major General  (Reason, with excerpts from Washington Post editorial)

The Washington Post is running an absolutely brutal op-ed by retired Army major general Robert Scales on military opposition to the White House push to attack Syria.

Egypt minister warns of terrorism wave after assassination attempt

(Reuters) - Egypt's interior minister survived an assassination attempt unscathed on Thursday when a car bomb blew up next to his convoy and gunmen strafed his vehicle, prompting him to warn that a wave of terrorism by opponents of the military-installed government was just beginning.

Nuremberg Prosecutor Makes The Case For Trying Assad (NPR)

Former Nuremberg war crimes prosecutor Benjamin Ferencz about a letter he wrote to the New York Times on Syria arguing that believes the International Criminal Court, not the U.S. government, should decide how to deal with Syrian President Bashar Assad. Ferencz explains with Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin

Former U.S. Ambassador Cautions Against Attack on Syria

(NPR) -- Peter Galbraith, U.S. ambassador to Croatia in the 1990s who was involved in the Croatia-Bosnia peace process, has made a career of studying conflict. Historically a strong interventionist, Galbraith argues against military intervention in Syria and outlines possible alternatives.

Israeli organization delivers hundreds of tons of food, medicine to Syrian refugees (JPost)

 Seventy tons of sanitation items, 670 tons of food, 120 tons of basic home items and 20 tons of medication are just a sample of the aid one Israeli NGO has delivered to Syrian refugees amid the current crisis.

Australia's new gov't vows to limit foreign aid (U-T San Diego)

A new government prepared to take control of Australia on Sunday, with policies to cut pledges in foreign aid and to wind back greenhouse gas reduction measures in an effort to balance the nation's books.

Taliban hit Afghan intelligence HQ

At least four Afghan intelligence staff have been killed after suicide bombers attacked offices of the provincial intelligence department in Wardak. Five suicide bombers were shot dead in the series of co-ordinated attacks, an hour away from the capital Kabul. / More than 100 people - mostly civilians - were injured, police said.  Separately a Nato air strike on Saturday in the eastern province of Kunar killed 15 people, including nine civilians, Afghan officials said.