Decision nearing on Syria?

Shorter Question Everything

Navy ready to launch first strike on Syria: Britain is planning to join forces with America and launch military action against Syria within days in response to the gas attack believed to have been carried out by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces against his own people. Royal Navy vessels are being readied to take part in a possible series of cruise missile strikes, alongside the United States, as military commanders finalise a list of potential targets. Government sources said talks between the Prime Minister and international leaders, including Barack Obama, would continue, but that any military action that was agreed could begin within the next week.

U.N. experts in Syria to visit site of poison gas attack. Syria agreed on Sunday to allow the inspectors to visit the site. The United States and its allies say evidence has been destroyed by government shelling of the area over the past five days, and the Syrian offer to allow inspectors came too late.

UN accuses Syrian rebels of chemical weapons use: Syrian rebels have made use of the deadly nerve agent sarin in their war-torn country’s conflict, UN human rights investigator Carla del Ponte has said. “According to the testimonies we have gathered, the rebels have used chemical weapons, making use of sarin gas,” del Ponte, a former war crimes prosecutor, said in an interview with Swiss radio late on Sunday. “We still have to deepen our investigation, verify and confirm (the findings) through new witness testimony, but according to what we have established so far, it is at the moment opponents of the regime who are using sarin gas,” she added. She stressed that the UN commission of inquiry on Syria, which she is a part of, had far from finished its investigation.

Snowden

Russia and Wikileaks were working together to shelter Edward Snowden far earlier than they’ve admitted: Kommersant reports some very interesting new details regarding Edward Snowden’s flight from Russia: While in Hong Kong, he approached the Kremlin for support and even stayed in the consulate for a few days there.

• The respected Russian newspaper Kommersant is reporting that NSA leaker Edward Snowden approached the Kremlin for support and spent a few days in the Russian consulate in Hong Kong before flying to Moscow in June. Russia hoped to be rid of the whistleblower a day later until the U.S. essentially blocked him from leaving Russia by threatening Cuba and other unnamed countries with “undesirable consequences” if they allowed him to land on their territory or helped him in any other way, Kommersant writes, citing Russian and U.S. diplomatic sources.

Rightwing

• On Face the Nation this Sunday, Colin Powell, former Secretary of State under President George W. Bush, warned his fellow Republicans that the continuing push to restrict voting rights is going to “backfire” and harm the Republican Party: These kinds of procedures that are being put in place to slow the process down, and make it likely that fewer Hispanics and African Americans might vote I think is going to backfire, because these people are going to come out and do what they have to do in order to vote and I encourage that. … Here’s what I say to my Republican friends: The country is becoming more diverse. Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, African Americans are going to constitute a majority in a generation. You say you want to reach out, you say you want to have a new message, you say you want to see if you can bring some of these voters to the Republican side. This is not the way to do it. The way to do it is to make it easier to vote and then give them something to vote, they can believe it. It’s not enough to say just we have to have a new message. We have to have a substance to that new message.

Donald Trump has launched a website that accuses New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman of “gross incompetence” and other misdeeds. The website — 98percentapproval.com — was launched less than 24-hours after Schneiderman sued Trump for $40 million on Saturday for allegedly defrauding more than 5,000 people nationwide through his “Trump University.” Trump claimed the lawsuit was an attempt to extort money from him. “[T]his is not the first time Eric Schneiderman has used his stature as Attorney General for his own political gain or to attack critics of President Obama,” the website states.

Scarborough warns Republicans: Don’t embrace George Zimmerman as a hero: George Zimmerman’s recent visit to a gun factory had Republican MSNBC host Joe Scarborough concerned on Monday about him being taken in by his party. “This is not a man that Republicans should embrace as a hero,” Scarborough said of Zimmerman, who was found not guilty of murder in July 2013 in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. “He is anything but a hero.”

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