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World leaders once again accused the Syrian regime of resorting to a chemical weapons attack, killing dozens in Douma on April 8. While the regime regularly uses chlorine—a choking agent that causes respiratory problems, vomiting, and death—this attack involved something deadlier. Witnesses described symptoms that mirror those who fell victim to sarin gas, but this likelihood remains unconfirmed. Syrian regime supporters have questioned these accusations, rhetorically wondering why Bashar al-Assad would risk another international backlash against the war effort at a time when the international community appears resigned to his eventual victory. The answer lies in the urgency Assad faces in ending the conflict as quickly as possible.
Much of the political class in Washington, D.C. is currently holding its breath for the big event of the week: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s long-awaited Capitol Hill testimony, starting tomorrow morning before a joint session of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees and continuing the next day before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. His prepared remarks have already been posted, so we at least know where the conversation with lawmakers is going to start. Any new set of rules that comes with a congressional seal of approval, however, can be expected to lead eventually to more government-enforced definitions of what counts as “fake,” and denials of the ability of individuals to post on social media anonymously.
This week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before three congressional committees to answer questions about the privacy scandal that’s engulfed the social media platform since mid-March, when The New York Times and The Observer of London reported that a British voter-profiling company had obtained and analyzed data on 50 million or more Facebook users in attempt to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
'Social media has poisoned us': young Britons on why they are unhappy
From student debt to loneliness, young people in Britain share their reasons for why the happiness of 16 to 25-year-olds is so low.
Nonprofit Organization in Stanford, California
Time To Celebrate Munich
And so here we are with the eightieth anniversary of the Munich agreement to look forward to this coming September. Of course, it represents the best in the great liberal tradition that one can find a reasonable solution to any major international dispute, based on the common threads of humanity and disgust at the myths of military preparedness. Recognizing that Czechoslovakia was far away and that the country’s geographic position and industrial strength were irrelevant to any serious strategic considerations, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed away its citizens’ freedom. Moreover, in one of the great political and humanist gestures of history, he signed an agreement with Adolf Hitler that, as he told the British people on his return to London, “guaranteed peace in our time.” And in spite of the urgings of Winston Churchill, Chamberlain’s government undertook no serious efforts to repair the dreadful weaknesses that existed in the British armed forces until the following March, when public outcry demanded that the prime minister do something in the wake of Hitler’s trashing of the Munich agreement.
Someone once defined metaphysics as searching in a dark room for a black cat that isn’t there. For the last 35 years in Washington, I have been searching for rational government policies. And, like that black cat, I’m starting to doubt that it is actually there.
February 16, 1887: I return without my approval House bill No. 10203, entitled "An act to enable the Commissioner of Agriculture to make a special distribution of seeds in the drought-stricken counties of Texas, and making an appropriation [of $10,000] therefor."
Several killed & injured in ‘missile attack’ on airbase in Homs – Syrian state media
A military airport in Homs province has been targeted in a “missile attack,” SANA reports. Although Syrian air defense systems allegedly intercepted at least eight projectiles, several people were reportedly injured and killed. Several missiles struck Syria's Tiyas Military Airbase in the Homs governorate (also known as T-4 Airbase) on Sunday night, SANA reports, citing a military source. As a result of the strike, there were several “martyrs [killed] and wounded ,” the agency added, without specifying the number of casualties. The attack has “probably” been carried out by the United States, the agency said, but US officials have firmly denied such allegations. While the US Defense Department is "aware" of reports of an alleged missile strike, it has dismissed the reports of any US involvement.
Davenport Hotel doorman John Reed dies after 75-year career
John Reed, the dapper doorman who greeted generations of visitors to the historic Davenport Hotel during an astonishing 75-year career, has died at age 88. Reed died in his sleep Sunday night or Monday morning at his home in northeast Spokane. His niece, Susan Wilmoth, said he had reluctantly taken the past few weeks off from his job at the Davenport to nurse a foot ulcer, a complication of diabetes. Reed never dreamed of retiring from the hotel, where he started working as a bus boy on June 1, 1942. Until recently, he was a fixture at the doors, greeting visitors and passersby four days a week, looking like a ringmaster in his black top hat and red three-piece suit.
In 2014, the Swedish Navy turned its painfully unsuccessful hunt for a "Russian submarine" into an international thriller. Today, Navy experts are blaming substandard maps of the challenging and difficult-to-navigate seascape for reducing the nation's submarine hunting capacity. Poor measurement of the seabed poses extra problems for the country's Naval Forces, making it particularly challenging to discover naval mines or hostile submarines.
Deputy Russian Prosecutor General Saak Karapetyan has addressed the case, surrounding the alleged poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal, who reportedly is no longer in critical condition.
After a precipitous fall from record highs in December amid valuation debates and threats of regulation, digital coins are showing signs of a strong rebound.
Israel has yet to confirm the information, while local media reports suggested that the IDF spy jet had been spotted in the area. The Russian Defense Ministry has stated that it had been two Israeli warplanes that had attacked a Syrian government T-4 airbase in the Homs province early on Monday. "On April 9, from 03:25 to 03:53 Moscow time, two Israeli Air Force F-15 jets, carried out an airstrike by two guided missiles on the T-4 airfield from the Lebanese territory and without entering Syria's airspace."
The inexorable rise in Seattle's homeless population has coincided, seemingly paradoxically, with an extraordinary economic boom in this city. With great prosperity have come great rent increases, however. As of February, the average monthly tab for a one-bedroom apartment within a 10-mile radius of central Seattle is above $2,100, according to Rent Jungle, which monitors real estate trends. The growth rate in rents has been among the nation's highest for years.