Good morning! Got a tissue? Because let's get the super sad shit out of the way: "Dying Toddler to Be Best Man at Parents' Wedding."
America is so peeved that Russia offered asylum to Edward Snowden, the former intelligence contract worker who leaked proof of several National Security Agency surveillance programs, that Barack Obama might cancel a one-on-one summit that Vladimir Putin had been planning his whole summer around.
But Obama also signaled, to senators like peeved about all that surveillance, including Oregon's Ron Wyden, that he's open to making changes at the NSA. "Open"... get it? I kill me. (Or else they will.)
Snowden's probably actually worried about that. That's why he's in a "safe location." He's reportedly very tired—airport cots are hell on the back!—and misses his girlfriend. Aww.
Months after a reported chemical weapon strike in Syria, the government in Damascus is finally letting UN inspectors show up and look around. The UN is tracking 13 reports of chemical strikes in Syria's civil war since 2011.
Threats from Al-Qaida are still a thing that sometimes happens.
Iran's "moderate" president-elect, on the eve of is inauguration, just called Israel an "old wound" that needed to be removed. (I feel bad for the guy. Don't you? It must be annoying to be "in charge," on paper, but still have a cadre of fusty robed clerics actually calling all the shots.)
About those fusty robed clerics... we've got 'em, too! A Catholic High School in Southern California fired a teacher after his very happy and fun-seeming wedding, to his loving partner of 10 years, was featured in the newspaper. Oh, and he also happens to be gay.
The rate of unemployment is down again (yay!)—still doing better than actual unemployment. The 162,000 or so jobs added last month underwhelmed forecasters who'd expected more and I guess are extra disappointing because other arbitrary indicators earlier this week seemed good.
Three economists have made the president's short list for Federal Reserve chair. A lot of people really don't like one of those candidates: Larry Summers.
Now everyone is writing stories about how John McCain, after calling Tea Party colleagues in the Senate "wacko birds," is the closest thing the president has to a BFF in the Republican Party.
In case you missed it, Dirk posted on Blogtown last night about a Portland cop, Kevin Macho (it's pronounced "MOCK-o), who has threatened to sue the police bureau because women keep getting promoted over him.
North Williams' so-called "last black bar," LV's Twelve-22, is now one for the ages.
OH, CANADA. EVEN YOUR OBNOXIOUSLY DRESSED STONERS DRINK COFFEE AT TIM HORTON'S! (HE'S ALSO "NOT HAPPY WITH THE BANKS RIGHT NOW." AND HE'S ALSO "GOING OVER TO PAPA SMURF'S HOUSE" LATER.)
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