Today’s Top World News from The Washington Post

Today’s Top World News from The Washington Post  



-As Syria deteriorates, neighbors fear bioweapons threat--Last month’s alleged chemical attack near Damascus has re­focused attention on Syria’s 30-year-old biological weapons research and raised concerns about whether the government there could activate an effort to make a weapon. Syria’s bioweapons program, which U.S. officials believe has been largely dormant since the 1980s, is likely to possess the key ingredients for a weapon, including a collection of lethal bacteria and viruses as well as the modern equipment needed to covert them into deadly powders and aerosols, according to U.S. and Middle Eastern officials and weapons experts. By Joby Warrick

Obama, in Stockholm, says that on Syria, ‘the international community cannot be silent’ by Philip Rucker and Will Englund


- Syrian rebel leader says any American strike on regime targets should be ‘powerful’--  The chief of the rebel Free Syrian Army said Wednesday that he hoped any U.S. attack against Syria would be “powerful and effective” enough not only to prevent further chemical weapons attacks but also to end the Syrian airstrikes and ballistic missile raids that continue to target areas under rebel control.

The comments by the rebel leader signaled uneasiness with President Obama’s pledge that a U.S. attack on Syria would be limited and narrow in scope. Gen. Salim Idriss, the Syrian army defector who heads the loose umbrella group of moderate rebels that the United States has promised to support, said that the Obama administration should instead use any military intervention to even out the rebels’ battlefield disadvantages. By Liz Sly

WorldViews: This Jon Stewart episode is everything wrong with how we talk about Syria by Max Fisher


- Obama’s decision to turn to Congress on Syria decision is fodder for debate--Harry S. Truman went to war in Korea. Ronald Reagan bombed Libya and invaded Grenada. George H.W. Bush invaded Panama. Bill Clinton fired cruise missiles at targets in Sudan and Afghanistan and sent troops to Haiti and bombers to Kosovo. Barack Obama bombed Libya (again). All of these military actions were ordered without seeking authorization from the legislative branch and sometimes even without prior notification. By Karen DeYoung

The Fix: Prospects for Syria resolution dimming in House by Aaron Blake and Sean Sullivan

High holidays a juggling act of piety, politics for Jewish members of Congress, by Michelle Boorstein

WorldViews: The 11 questions Congress faces on Syria by Max Fisher


-The Take: Will Hillary Clinton’s position on a Syria military strike affect the 2016 presidential race?--Hillary Rodham Clinton was a senator from New York the last time Congress was asked to authorize military action in the Middle East. Friends think her vote in 2002 to give President George W. Bush the go-ahead to invade Iraq may have cost her the Democratic nomination — and with it the presidency — in 2008. Today, she is a former secretary of state with another possible presidential campaign in her future. As President Obama ramps up efforts to persuade Congress to authorize military action against Syria, the question is whether this episode will become an asset or a liability if she runs again. By Dan Balz


-PostTV: Specter of Iraq looms over Syria vote--Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) tells In Play's Chris Cillizza that he doesn't know if his resolution limiting the scope of an attack on Syria will gain traction with his party, let alone pass the House.


- In Russia, a parallel G-20 for young women--MOSCOW — A group of young women want to send a message to the mostly male leaders of the Group of 20 nations meeting in St. Petersburg this week: Don’t forget us. Over the summer, young women from the G-20 countries, plus one each from the European Union and African Union, met in Moscow for a gathering sponsored by G(irls)20 Summit, a Canadian-based organization that has been holding similar meetings every year since 2010. The summit’s necessity is obvious to the delegates, who know the problems in their own countries and learn about the challenges women in other countries face every day. By Ivan Gutterman



- With new grass-roots muscle, Heritage Foundation stirs the base and alienates allies--Such red-meat, campaign-style events have boosted Heritage’s standing with tea party activists, but they have also alienated many of the group’s longtime Republican allies on Capitol Hill. On Wednesday, Heritage Action came out against President Obama’s proposal to launch military action against Syria, putting the group at odds with House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio) and other GOP leaders who back the strikes. The Republican Study Committee, a group of the most conservative House members, recently barred Heritage analysts from its weekly strategy meetings, where they had played a central role for years, according to multiple people familiar with the episode. The move came after noisy disputes over a farm bill and other legislation, which left many lawmakers feeling blindsided by Heritage’s positions. By Matea Gold and Lori Montgomery


- Former senior EPA adviser Beale expected to plead guilty in $900,000 pay fraud--Over the past 12 years, John C. Beale was often away from his job as a high-level staffer at the Environmental Protection Agency. He cultivated an air of mystery and explained his lengthy absences by telling his bosses that he was doing top-secret work, including for the CIA. For years, apparently, no one checked. Now, Beale is charged with stealing nearly $900,000 from the EPA by receiving pay and bonuses he did not deserve. He faces up to three years in prison. By Ann E. Marimow and Lenny Bernstein



- Why Obama might tap Summers for Fed despite harsh criticism from left--Democratic lawmakers and top economists are mystified that he’s being eyed for Federal Reserve chairman, the most powerful economic post in the world. Women’s groups are apoplectic about it. Even investors are worried. But Lawrence H. Summers has at least one key supporter who is unlikely to harbor concerns: President Obama, who is strongly considering nominating him in coming weeks to replace Ben S. Bernanke at the Fed. As Summers’s candidacy has vaulted to the forefront this summer, his record has produced two vastly different assessments. By Zachary A. Goldfarb


-Wonkblog: Born poor? You want to live where the middle class is--If you’re a poor child in America, and you’re hoping to climb out of poverty as an adult, where you grow up appears to matter a lot. And if you could choose your hometown, you’d want to pick one with a large middle class, a new study suggests. Building on groundbreaking work from a team of economists led by Harvard’s Raj Chetty, researchers at the liberal Center for American Progress have found a strong correlation between the size of a region’s middle class and the economic mobility the residents of that region can expect to experience over their lifetimes. By Jim Tankersley


-The Switch: How Netflix could use Big Data to make twice as much money off you--For some people, paying $8 a month for Netflix is a steal. Others aren’t so willing to open their wallets. Both types of consumers represent a kind of lost opportunity for Netflix to make more money. Suppose Netflix charged the couch potatoes a little bit more and the reluctant a little bit less. Voila — the company grows its audience by sucking in the people who otherwise wouldn’t have paid up, and it makes some extra cash off the users who think Netflix is worth more than they’re already paying.  By Brian Fung


- Jeff Bezos to his future Washington Post journalists: Put the readers first--Jeffrey P. Bezos had a simple bit of advice for the staff of the newspaper he’ll soon own: Put readers, not advertisers, first. Don’t write to impress each other. And above all, “Don’t be boring.”In a whirlwind series of meetings over two days, the billionaire charmed and disarmed rooms full of skeptical journalists with a relentlessly upbeat vision that evoked The Washington Post’s best traditions while promising to update them for a technologically advanced new era. His plans for The Washington Post are still a mystery, but he has a history of aiming high. By Paul Farhi and Craig Timberg  


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