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Overnight News Digest
Welcome to the Overnight News Digest with a crew consisting of founder Magnifico, current leader Neon Vincent, regular editors jlms qkw, maggiejean, wader, rfall, and JML9999, side pocket,Man Oh Man. Alumni editors include (but not limited to) palantir, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, ek hornbeck, ScottyUrb, Interceptor7, BentLiberal, and Oke. The guest editor is annetteboardman.

Please feel free to share your articles and stories in the comments.


Iraq violence: Baghdad and Baquba hit by bomb attacks

A wave of bomb attacks across Iraq has killed at least 46 people, police and medical sources say.
Worst affected were Baghdad and the central city of Baquba, which were hit by numerous blasts.
Violence during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which ended in early August, left more than 670 people dead - one of the highest tolls for years.
The rising level of casualties comes amid heightened tensions between Sunni and Shia Muslims

Yosemite boundary burns in California Rim Fire

Firefighters in California are struggling to gain control of a huge wildfire which has reached the edge of Yosemite National Park.
Known as the Rim Fire, it covers an area of nearly 203 sq miles (526 sq km) and threatens a major reservoir serving San Francisco.
The fire is now 7% contained, officials say, up from 2% on Friday.
However, officials say strong winds could hamper efforts to control the blaze further.
"It's going to allow the fire to advance to the north-east," said Daniel Berlant of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
More than 5,000 homes are endangered by the blaze, which began on 17 August in the Stanislaus National Forest.
BBC     Darwin award, my bold

Australia man snatched in crocodile attack feared dead

A man is believed to have been killed by a crocodile in Australia's Northern Territory while swimming in a river during a birthday party.
Police say he ignored signs to stay out of the water at a popular camping ground at Mary River, 65 miles (100km) from Darwin, the state's capital.
The river has one of the highest crocodile populations in the area.
Onlookers watched in horror as the victim was suddenly attacked.
He was last seen in the crocodile's powerful jaws, reports the BBC's Phil Mercer in Sydney. Police are searching for him.
The victim and another man had gone swimming across the river, and were swimming back when the crocodile attacked, police say.

Syria lets U.N. inspect gas attack site, Washington says too late

(Reuters) - Syria agreed on Sunday to let the United Nations inspect the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack, but a U.S. official said such an offer was "too late to be credible" and Washington was all but certain that the government of President Bashar al-Assad had gassed its own people.

The U.S. remarks appeared to signal a military response was more likely. A senior senator said he believed President Barack Obama would ask for authorization to use force when Congress returns from recess next month.


Iran's Rouhani acknowledges chemical weapons killed people in Syria

(Reuters) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday for the first time that chemical weapons had killed people in ally Syria and called for the international community to prevent their use.
Rouhani stopped short of saying who he thought had used the arms, but Iran's Foreign Ministry on Saturday said evidence pointed to rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Tehran has previously accused Syrian rebels of being behind what it called suspected chemical attacks.
Rouhani did not mention the international furor around Syrian opposition reports that government forces had killed as many as 1,000 civilians with gas in Damascus on Wednesday.
Thailand, conservative but tolerant, may legalize gay marriage
(Reuters) - On a sweltering Saturday night in Bangkok's Patpong entertainment district, a group of men spill out of a neon-lit bar blasting dance music. Among them is Aashif Hassan and his long-term partner, both visitors from Malaysia.
"We're celebrating tonight. Where we're from, it's illegal to be gay. Here we feel liberated," said Hassan.
Known for its laissez-faire attitude, Thailand has positioned itself as a holiday destination for gay couples and could soon be cashing in on another niche market if a proposed law makes it the first Asian country to legalize gay marriage.
Other Southeast Asian countries such as Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei ban sexual relationships between men, but Thailand has become a regional haven for same-sex couples.
USA Today

New telescope will be 10 times sharper than Hubble

Scientists are currently hard at work on a new telescope that promises to have 10 times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope — but we're going to have to wait awhile.
So far, only one of an eventual seven massive mirrors has been completely cast and polished for the Giant Magellan Telescope. Each mirror is 27 feet across, weighs 20 tons, and takes a year to polish, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The project's cost? $700 million, reports
"We expect to be able to make observations and spectrographic studies of the first stars that formed after the Big Bang," says the VP of the nonprofit coordinating the project, per the Times. "We'll be able to observe the earliest galaxies, as those stars assembled, and answer the question, when did black holes arrive?"
National Geographic

Battles Escalate Over Community Efforts to Ban Fracking

As President Obama visits upstate New York and northeastern Pennsylvania this week to discuss his education agenda, a separate issue looms large in the background: fracking, a practice that has transformed Pennsylvania's economy and divided New York, where a moratorium is in place
Protesters on both sides of the issue are expected to greet the President. And while his trip highlights many unresolved issues related to America's new wealth of natural gas and oil, a growing number of communities are taking matters into their own hands.

From New York to New Mexico, more than 100 municipalities have passed fracking bans or temporary moratoriums, according to FracTracker, a nonprofit organization that compiles data on the oil and gas industry. The bans often put communities in direct conflict with states over the right to regulate the oil and gas industry


Mexico train crash: Five dead from 'La Bestia' accident

At least five people are dead after a cargo train notorious for transporting Central American migrants hoping to reach the US derailed in southern Mexico, authorities have said.
Officials said at least 35 people were injured, 16 gravely. It is feared the death toll could rise.
An unknown number of people were also trapped, the Red Cross said.
Soldiers, marines and emergency workers were trying to access the remote crash site, which ambulances could not reach.
Officials were working to establish air or water access to the site.
Cesar Burelo Burelo, the head of civil protection for Mexico's Tabasco state, said the derailment occurred early on Sunday in a remote area with no mobile phone coverage.
S F Gate  Desert tortoise faces threat from its own refuge  Added by special request from FoundingFatherDAR
LAS VEGAS (AP) — For decades, the vulnerable desert tortoise has led a sheltered existence.
Developers have taken pains to keep the animal safe. It's been protected from meddlesome hikers by the threat of prison time. And wildlife officials have set the species up on a sprawling conservation reserve outside Las Vegas.
But the pampered desert dweller now faces a threat from the very people who have nurtured it.
Federal funds are running out at the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center and officials plan to close the site and euthanize hundreds of the tortoises they've been caring for since the animals were added to the endangered species list in 1990.
S F Gate  A handful of celebrants 'Go Topless' in Dolores Park (From what I know of Delores Park, it was nothing new)
A woman who traveled two hours from the Central Valley to be in San Francisco on Sunday for "Go Topless Day" stood in the sunshine of Dolores Park, shook her bare breasts and exclaimed, "The bells of liberty! Let them ring!

"I'm a healthy senior citizen, and I think it's so unfair that men with bigger boobs than mine are free to bare them in public," said the woman, who gave her name only as Judy P. "I'm here for gender equality."

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