Please feel free to share your articles and stories in the comments.
The White House will use next week's G8 summit to seek international support for further intervention in Syria that may go beyond the limited military assistance announced on Thursday night, in an attempt to force the Assad regime and its Russian allies into meaningful peace talks.
Discussions are under way between the US and key foreign allies over a range of options, including a no-fly zone, and are likely to come to a head during the G8, when Obama is also scheduled to have bilateral discussions with President Putin.
As apparent US plans to provide small arms to rebel forces met with a disappointed reaction among commanders on the ground, attention is shifting in Washington to building consensus for more radical options.
"This is a fluid situation so it is necessary for [Obama] to consult with leaders of the G8 about the types of support that we are providing for the opposition," the deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, said in a press conference on Friday.
If economists were cheerleaders, their favorite shout-out might be: "What do we want? Growth! When do we want it? Now!"
They won't actually shout those words, but they may be thinking them as global leaders meet this week for a G-8 summit. Economists are hoping that at the gathering in Northern Ireland, leaders of eight major economies will discuss expanding global trade and investment to spur job creation.
"The world needs growth," said Scott Miller, a trade policy expert for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a research gro
In the elaborate, etiquette-riddled role of world summit host, two things matter: first, that you can put on a good show for your fellow leaders, projecting something unique about your country's culture; and second, that you can demonstrate that you have a coherent and distinctive political agenda. The G8 as an institution, after all, is an anachronism – a body without legitimacy or power, in the words of David Miliband last week.
So David Cameron's choice of the remote Lough Erne golf course in Northern Ireland to host the G8 seemed an unfortunate one. The resort hotel is extravagant, debt-ridden and in administration – arguably an accurate symbol of the British economy.
Such is the pared-down No 10 operation these days that members of Cameron's staff were up all night fixing last-minute hitches, such as transport for the leaders. Panic broke out when it seemed that low cloud would delay the helicopters taking world leaders from Belfast International to the site of the summit.
Yet in the end, David Cameron's first day hosting the summit can be counted a success, even if the final judgment will rest on what is agreed overnight.
Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who exposed the U.S. government's secret phone and Internet surveillance programs, said in an online forum on Monday that he could not get a fair trial in the United States.
"The U.S. government, just as they did with other whistleblowers, immediately and predictably destroyed any possibility of a fair trial at home, openly declaring me guilty of treason and that the disclosure of secret, criminal and even unconstitutional acts is an unforgivable crime. That's not justice," he said on the Guardian newspaper website.
The prominent Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, who triggered a diplomatic incident when he escaped house arrest and fled to the US embassy in Beijing last year, says he has been asked to leave New York University following "great, unrelenting pressure" from Chinese authorities.
The university, which has hosted the blind, self-taught lawyer on a fellowship since May last year, has denied the allegations, saying his tenure was intended to last only a year. The New York Post, which reported the allegations on Thursday, linked Chen's impending departure to NYU's efforts to open a campus in Shanghai.
Chen, 41, spent 18 months confined to his home in rural Shandong province by local authorities for his advocacy work against forced sterilisations and abortions. He escaped last spring and sought refuge in the US embassy in Beijing, triggering a high-profile diplomatic incident.
The mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, is preparing to roll out a new composting plan for the city, aimed at diverting some of the 100,000 tons of food scraps that ends up in landfill every year.
Bloomberg, who is due to leave office early next year, has called food waste the "final recycling frontier". Now it appears New York is moving towards that line, testing pilot projects in some neighbourhoods in preparation for a city-wide composting plan.
The city has hired a composting plant to handle up to 100,000 tons of food scraps a year – or about 10% of the city's total food waste, according to the New York Times,, which first reported the story.
Last April, about 100 city restaurants joined a voluntary composting plan, the food waste challenge. By next year, 150,000 households will be on board along with 100 high-rise buildings and 600 schools. The entire city could be recycling food scraps by 2015 or 2016.
The Christian Science Monitor
The Chinese government controls many facets of life in Hong Kong, the former British colony that has been a "special administrative region" of the People’s Republic for the past 16 years. But the fate of Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, may not be one of them.
And as Mr. Snowden prepares for a legal battle in the courts to fight off an expected US extradition request, pro-democracy activists here have seized on the fugitive as a symbol of their resistance to Beijing’s increasing involvement here.
The Supreme Court is looking to make the final stretch of the 2012 term a dramatic one: While the justices knocked out five opinions today, none of them were the major ones we've been looking forward to. As we've told you before, we're waiting for:
— Fisher v. University of Texas, a key test of affirmative action in higher education.The Supreme Court is scheduled to release more opinions at 10 a.m. ET. Thursday. Normally, they set out for their summer recess at the end of June.
— Shelby County v. Holder, in which the issue is whether times have changed and the 1965 Voting Rights Act should no longer apply to that Alabama county.
— Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor, two potentially landmark cases on gay marriage.
Still, this morning's session brought some interesting cases about voting rights, criminal law and the pharmaceutical industry. Here's a roundup:
New York Times (Subscription may be needed)
WASHINGTON — After Republicans lost the presidential election and seats in both the House and the Senate last year, many in the party offered a stern admonishment: If we want to broaden our appeal, steer clear of divisive social and cultural issues.
Yet after the high-profile murder trial of an abortion doctor in Philadelphia this spring, many Republicans in Washington and in state capitals across the country seem eager to reopen the emotional fight over a woman’s right to end a pregnancy. Their efforts will move to the forefront on Tuesday when House Republicans plan to bring to the floor a measure that would prohibit the procedure after 22 weeks of pregnancy — the most restrictive abortion bill to come to a vote in either chamber in a decade.
Rebels fought to halt an advance by President Bashar al-Assad's forces into northern Syria on Monday while U.S. President Barack Obama faced a showdown with Russia's Vladimir Putin over Obama's decision last week to arm the insurgents.
New evidence emerged of escalating foreign support for the rebels, with a Gulf source telling Reuters that Saudi Arabia had equipped fighters for the first time with shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, their most urgent request. Rebels said Riyadh had also sent them anti-tank missiles.
The weapons deal was disclosed as rebel fighters confront government troops and hundreds of militants from the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia seeking to retake the northern city of Aleppo, where heavy fighting resumed on Monday.
Turkey's deputy prime minister said on Monday the armed forces could be called up if needed to help quell popular protests that have swept Turkish cities in the last two weeks, the first time the possibility of a military role has been raised.
Bulent Arinc made the remarks in Ankara, where 1,000 striking trade union workers faced off briefly against police backed by several water cannon, before police retreated and the crowd dispersed.
In Istanbul, the cradle of protests that have presented Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan with the greatest public challenge to his 10-year leadership, several hundred union members also marched in sympathy with the anti-government protests.
The German government has been largely silent on revelations of US Internet spying. Berlin profits from the program and is pursuing similar plans.
Just a few days ago, the man whom many Germans now see as one of the greatest villains in the world visited Berlin. Keith Alexander, the head of the world's most powerful intelligence operation, the National Security Agency (NSA), had arranged meetings with important representatives of the German government, including top-ranking officials in Germany's intelligence agencies and leading representatives of the Chancellery and the Interior Ministry.
The election of moderate cleric Hassan Rohani as Iran's new president has the potential to end the stalemate in the nation's nuclear dispute with the West, say German commentators. The West should seize the opportunity.
Is Iran about to ditch its isolationist course and seek compromise with the West? The surprisingly clear landslide victory won by moderate cleric Hassan Rohani in the country's presidential election on Friday has ignited hopes that it will, after eight years of confrontation under his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
A car bomb has struck near the Syrian northern city of Aleppo, killing at least 60 members of President Bashar al-Assad's troops, activists have told Al Jazeera.
Monday's blast, carried out by a jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaeda, hit near a military complex in the town of al-Douwairinah near Aleppo's international airport, Mohammad al-Hadi, an activist in the city, said.
"The car was filled with six tonnes of explosives," he told Al Jazeera.
The blast was one of the largest attacks targeting regime forces. Activists posted a video on social media that purports to show the moment of the explosion. However, the authenticity of the video could not be verified.
It came hours after a car bomb attack targeting a checkpoint near a military airport in Damascus, the Syrian capital.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said there were 20 casualties in the blast on Sunday night in the western Damascus district of Mazzeh, but did not state how many were killed or injuried in the attack.
A university professor who has struggled with depth perception since birth says his vision has dramatically improved after watching 3D movies.
Bruce Bridgeman, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, lived with poor depth perception until he watched the Martin Scorsese 3D film Hugo, in February 2012. Suddenly he was able to see with an improved sense of depth, and the phenomenon continued when he left the cinema. "Suddenly, things began to jump out at me," Bridgeman told CNN, adding that he felt "euphoric". He said he previously "saw the world as kind of, in theory, three-dimensional, but the experience is more flat," Adding: "I didn't realise that until I began to see in proper stereo."
YouTube-focused online video firm Fullscreen has raised a Series A funding round led by former News Corporation president Peter Chernin's investment group.
Comcast Ventures and WPP participated in the round. Fullscreen hasn't said how much it raised, but earlier this year All Things Digital suggested the round would be $30m, valuing the company at $110m.
The company is one of a group of multi-channel networks (MCNs) building their businesses on YouTube, with rivals including Maker Studios, Machinima and ZEFR.
Fullscreen runs more than 10,000 channels on Google's video site, with more than 150m total subscribers and 2.5bn monthly views. It works with new talent on YouTube as well as established TV industry companies such as NBCUniversal and Ryan Seacrest Productions.
The 19th century just lost its last living man.
Jiroemon Kimura, of Kyotango, Japan, was born in April 1897, lived right through the 20th century and died last Wednesday. He was 116. According to Guinness World Records (which searches for these things), he was the last surviving male born in the 1800s. All the other boys from that century, as best we know, are dead.
The ladies, however, are still ticking. Misao Okawa of Osaka is now officially the oldest person on the planet. She was born in 1898. There are four others — two in Britain, one in the USA, and another in Japan — all 19th century-born, all female, all still alive.
A new study shows that memory pathology in older mice with Alzheimer’s disease can be reversed with treatment. The study by researchers from the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – The Neuro, at McGill University and at Université de Montréal found that blocking the activity of a specific receptor in the brain of mice with advanced Alzheimer’s disease (AD) recovers memory and cerebrovascular function. The results, published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation in May, also suggest an underlying mechanism of AD as a potential target for new therapies.
The cable industry says it is more than ready to compete with Google Fiber, but adds that consumers are nowhere near ready for gigabit speeds. Is it cable's pricing schemes that are holding back adoption?
The cable industry insists that it's ready and able to compete with Google Fiber when it comes to delivering ultra high-speed broadband.
Indeed, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts last week showed off a 3Gbps cable broadband connection at the industry's annual trade show in Washington, D.C. That's three times faster than Google Fiber, which itself is nearly 150 times faster than the current average broadband connection in the U.S. Armed with that capability, he confidently welcomed Google's challenge to deliver ultra high-speed broadband to consumers.