David Kenner is an associate editor at Foreign Policy.
Something was stirring in the Syrian city of Hama. The Assad regime appeared to be losing control; it had issued vague warnings about an Islamist takeover, but had gone ominously silent for over a week. A government-planned trip to the city was canceled. Syrian officials warned privately that any attempt by intrepid journalists to visit Hama would be "life-threatening."
As we said earlier, we'll be watching the markets as they react to the United States' rating downgrade and the greater worries about the global economy. But, here are some other stories making headlines:
-- London Riots: For the first time in decades, London witnessed intense riots this past weekend. The riots started after police shot and killed Mark Duggan a 29-year-old father of four. The AP reports:
Wall Street was poised Monday for a day of potential turmoil after global stocks slid in the wake of a first-ever downgrade of U.S. credit and major intervention by the European Central Bank to help stave off defaults in Spain and Italy.
European markets lost early momentum and moved sharply lower amid mounting concerns over eurozone debt woes and the pending opening of U.S. markets, when traders will have their first chance to respond to Standard and Poor's decision Friday to lower its triple A rating for the U.S.
Anyone who assaults a doctor or nurse in a hospital emergency room would be charged with a Class “D” felony under a bill proposed by Kentucky state Senator John Schickel. The Republican from Union spoke in support of his measure during a meeting today of a legislative panel. Schickel says the proposal has the support of the Kentucky Association of Emergency Room Nurses and the Kentucky Hospital Association.
Much of the speaking at this weekend’s Fancy Farm picnic trended towards national issues. Candidates praised the military, worried about public debt and criticized what is—or isn’t—getting done in Washington. But coal and federal environmental regulations were also a target in several speeches.
Speaking at this year’s Fancy Farm picnic, the candidates for secretary of state continued their debate about registering homeless people to vote in Kentucky. Declaring that people without an address should not be allowed to vote, Republican nominee Bill Johnson said allowing them to register opens the door to possible voter fraud. Last month, he filed an ethics complaint over a 2-page memorandum sent to county clerks by the secretary of state’s office telling local officials to approve voter applications that have “homeless” or “place to place” listed as an address.
A judge in Indianapolis is scheduled to hear arguments this week in a lawsuit challenging the state’s school voucher program, created this year by the General Assembly. The program allows parents who meet income guidelines to use tax money to send their children to private schools, including those with religious affiliations.Opponents of the program include the Indiana State Teachers Association.