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Friday, August 22, 2014

Good Morning, News!

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 9:30 AM

The National Guard, ordered into Ferguson, Missouri, at the height of clashes between protesters and tear-gas-lobbing local police officers, has been ordered to stand down now that things have stayed quiet for another night in the St. Louis suburb, almost two weeks after a police officer shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Just seven arrests were reported amid ongoing peaceful protests, with no major confrontations.

Some of the remarkable journalists who've been flooding the place, and braving chemicals and plastic handcuffs, now say they're ready to leave—including an Al-Jazeera freelancer who decided he could no longer stomach what increasingly felt like the exploitation of a town's history and pain.

"Apocalyptic" is the terrifying descriptor used by the men in the "defense community" itching to sink America into a deeper fight with the Sunni militant group ISIS, AKA the Islamic State. “They can be contained, but not in perpetuity. This is an organization that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision which will eventually have to be defeated.” The sectarian bloodshed, of course, is going in both directions—with Shiites reportedly gunning down some 50 Sunnis in a mosque in central Iraq.

Down on the ground, Iraqi soldiers and Kurdish peshmerga fighters have been seizing back some of the towns ISIS had taken in Iraq's northern reaches. That's come with a bit of help from the US and Britain—help that won't be extended to Syria, which also is struggling against ISIS.

And Syria's civil war, raging for years now, has officially claimed more than 191,000 lives, according to updated statistics just released by the United Nations.

With Africa's Ebola crisis so close to its developed-world doorstep, and especially after the death of a Spanish missionary who'd gotten sick with the disease, false alarms and panicked testing have increasingly become the norm in several European countries determined not to be caught unawares by an epidemic.

Gaza's lost far more than several hundred residents to Israeli airstrikes and attacks. A tally of breathtaking economic damage shows the loss of 360 factories, about 10 percent overall, and damage to thousands of acres of farmland. One estimate says half of the territory's poultry population has died.

Hamas, leaders of the Gaza Strip, have responded to the surprise death of three top military leaders by murdering 18 Palestinians suspected of supplying information and intelligence to the Israeli military.

Wait! Those Russian trucks? Heading into Ukraine? Turns out they maybe don't have the Ukraine government's permission.

Florida has joined the hallowed ranks of states where judges have decided that banning same-sex marriages is unconstitutional. The state's attorney general says she'll wait to see what the US Supreme Court decides.

Despite promises from the Department of Defense, WikiLeaks whistleblower and former soldier Chelsea Manning has yet to receive gender reassignment treatment.

Beverly Hills cops were so excited when they thought Scott Weiland was in their jail for an entire month. It was not Scott Weiland.

Observe! One of the most horrible parents in America! (Turns out tapeworms are maybe not an acceptable weight loss gimmick for a kid trying to make it in the pageant world.)

SING AND TAN WHILE YOU CAN. AUTUMN IS STALKING OFF IN THE SHADOWS, READY TO DROWN US ALL AGAIN.

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