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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Good Morning, News!

Posted by Dirk VanderHart on Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Intrigue! It's an exclamatory edition of "Good Morning, News!" Brought to you by the Mercury coffee pot!

Mall crisis! The siege of a Kenyan shopping mall has entered its fourth day, and we've got a clearer picture of the group carrying out the attack. It's Somali extremist group al-Shabab, apparently, but gunmen participating in the attack hail from around the world. “We are fighting global terrorism here," a Kenyan general says. Gunfire, explosions and competing Twitter accounts of the standoff are ongoing. God damn it, Twitter.

President Obama gave a speech! This one was before the United Nations General Assembly this morning, and there's not any recaps of his remarks as I write this. He was expected to discuss our intractable transnational problems, though—Syria, Kenyan shopping mall terrorism, Iran, other things.

Speaking of Iran! The halls of the UN are filled with an urgent whispering most associated with gaggles of middle school girls. The object of the chatter: Will Obama and new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani shake hands—even exchange words—at the summit? If so, it would be one of the more-significant diplomatic handshakes in decades.

Yet and still! Regardless of whether that meeting occurs, the US and Iran are going to talk in New York.

Oh wait! Here's an account of the president's UN speech. No mention of Kenyan shopping mall terrorism, I guess. The full text.

Tiresome theater! Everyone's dutifully playing their parts on Capitol Hill and another budget standoff looks inevitable.

Sticking it to the little guy! Federal workers are used to government shutdowns by now, and accessing their back wages once the bluster ends is old hat. That might not happen this time around. "The bitterly divided Congress includes many lawmakers who are unsympathetic to the plight of federal workers and could be loath to help them recoup their money," says the Washington Post.

Chicago cops! Give them credit. Their city may be unspeakably violent and shootings are probably going unsolved on a weekly basis, but they're on their job in the recent shooting of 13 people—including a three-year-old—in a city park.

I admit it! I never understood everyone's fascination with @horse_ebooks. Ain't got time for nonsense in my Twitter feed. I'm a news man. But here's the scoop on the mysterious handle for those of you dying to know.

Why?! Gov. John Kitzhaber is calling all lawmakers back to Salem for a super-important (he says) special session on public pension savings and news taxes. But as part of that package, the O reports, they might be forced to vote on a completely unrelated farming bill critics say is aimed at easing regulations on GMOs. I say again: Why?!

History! Former Metro councilor Rex Burkholder has penned a look at Portland's bike policy over the years for the Huffington Post. Apropos of what, I'm not sure, but it's always good information to have.

One thing I hate! About this time of year is how much I appreciate the return of rain/chilliness/autumn. I'm not one of you "I hate dry weather" types. It will become maddening. But for now: pleasant.

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It's basically Christmas, by the way!

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