Week In The News: Syria Horror, Manning Sentence, NSA

Nerve gas charges and scenes of horror in Syria.  Bradley Manning gets 35 years.  More trouble for the NSA.  Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Syrian refugees cross into Iraq at the Peshkhabour border point in Dahuk, 260 miles (430 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. (AP)

Syrian refugees cross into Iraq at the Peshkhabour border point in Dahuk, 260 miles (430 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. (AP)

Hideous images out of Syria this week.  Nerve gas charges.  And once again, the question of what the world should do.  It’s done little.

In Egypt, Hosni Mubarak flies out of prison.  In the US, Bradley Manning heads into a 35 year sentence and says he’s a woman.  Chelsea.  She.  With everybody heading back to school, Barack Obama says he’ll use government leverage to beat tuition down.

The NSA, in more trouble on surveillance.  Wall Street’s in a tizzy.  Fukushima is leaking large.  Elmore Leonard has died.  Up next On Point:  our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

– Tom Ashbrook


Romesh Ratnesar, international editor and deputy editor for Bloomberg Businessweek. (@romeshratnesar)

Rana Foroohar, assistant managing editor for Time magazine, in charge of economics and business. (@ranaforoohar)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

NBC News: UN has ‘strong concern’ over reports of hundreds killed in Syria chemicals weapons attacks — “The U.N. Security Council said Wednesday it was necessary to clarify reports from Syria’s opposition that hundreds of civilians – including many women and children – have been killed in chemical weapons attacks. The council, however, stopped short of demanding a probe by U.N. investigators in Syria — although said it welcomed U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon’s calls for one.”

Politico: Bradley Manning plans to ask for White House pardon — “Bradley Manning’s defense team plans to ask President Barack Obama to pardon the soldier, who was sentenced to 35 years in prison for giving thousands of secret government documents to WikiLeaks. Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, said Wednesday he would file a request early next week with the Department of the Army with the hope of making its way to the president, asking him either to pardon Manning or commute his sentence to time served.”

The Wall Street Journal: New Details Show Broader NSA Surveillance Reach — “The National Security Agency—which possesses only limited legal authority to spy on U.S. citizens—has built a surveillance network that covers more Americans’ Internet communications than officials have publicly disclosed, current and former officials say. The system has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic in the hunt for foreign intelligence, including a wide array of communications by foreigners and Americans. In some cases, it retains the written content of emails sent between citizens within the U.S. and also filters domestic phone calls made with Internet technology, these people say.”


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