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1:30 PM ET, August 21, 2013


 Top Items: 
Syria conflict: ‘Chemical attacks’ kill hundreds  —  Chemical weapons attacks have killed hundreds on the outskirts of Damascus, Syrian opposition activists say.  —  Rockets with toxic agents were launched at the suburbs of the Ghouta region early on Wednesday as part of a major bombardment on rebel forces, they say.
Syria opposition: Chemical agents kill hundreds in Damascus countryside  —  (CNN) — Syrian opposition groups claimed that hundreds were killed Wednesday when the government used chemical agents in rebel strongholds in the Damascus countryside.  —  Videos posted online by opposition activists …
Loveday Morris / Washington Post:
Syrian activists accuse government of deadly chemical attack near Damascus
Activists say more than 200 killed in gas attack near Damascus
Discussion: The Week
New York Times:
Syrian Rebels Accuse Government of Chemical Attack
Discussion: Associated Press and ThinkProgress
Julie Tate / Washington Post:
Judge sentences Bradley Manning to 35 years  —  A military judge on Wednesday morning sentenced Army Pfc. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.  —  Manning, 25, was convicted last month of multiple charges …
New York Times:
Manning Sentenced to 35 Years for Leaking Government Secrets  —  FORT MEADE, Md. — A military judge on Wednesday sentenced Pfc. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for providing more than 700,000 government files to WikiLeaks, a gigantic leak that lifted the veil on military and diplomatic activities around the world.
Luis Martinez / ABC News:
Bradley Manning Sentenced to 35 Years for Leaking Secrets
Discussion: Politico and Hot Air
Carla Caldwell / bizjournals:
UPS to drop 15,000 spouses from insurance, cites Obamacare  —  United Parcel Service Inc. plans to remove thousands of spouses from its medical plan because they are eligible for coverage elsewhere.  The Atlanta-based logistics company points to the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare …
Neetzan Zimmerman / Gawker:
Sydney Leathers Does Porn (For Real This Time) [NSFW]  —  Talk about a tease: Just two weeks after releasing the sex tape equivalent of a dry hump, Sydney Leathers of Anthony Weiner fame has unleashed a full-(hard)on porno to satisfy the demands of her handful of fans.
Discussion: Taylor Marsh
Tom Kludt / Talking Points Memo:
Poll: Louisiana GOPers Unsure If Katrina Response Was Obama's Fault  —  A significant chunk of Louisiana Republicans evidently believe that President Barack Obama is to blame for the poor response to the hurricane that ravaged their state more than three years before he took office.
Discussion: ThinkProgress, Mediaite and Wonkette
Maggie Gallagher / National Review:
What I Really Think About Christie's Veto  —  Due to staff error, a statement on Chris Christie's signing a bill banning all professional counseling for minors unless it is gay-affirming was issued without my consent, or knowledge.  I dislike using language that portrays gay people as …
Discussion: Good As You and Equality Matters
John B. Judis / The New Republic:
The GOP Plan to Crush Silicon Valley  —  What will become of Steve Jobs's angel?  —  When Congress returns from its summer recess in early September, it will have exactly nine legislative days to agree on a budget or the government will shut down.  House Republicans are seeking far greater cuts …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
The price Gina Gray paid for whistleblowing  —  President Obama, in his news conference this month, said that Edward Snowden was wrong to go public with revelations about secret surveillance programs because “there were other avenues available for somebody whose conscience was stirred and thought …
Discussion: Prairie Weather
Steve Friess / BuzzFeed:
How The NRA Built A Massive Secret Database Of Gun Owners  —  While the National Rifle Association publicly fights against a national gun registry, the organization has gone to incredible lengths to compile information on “tens of millions” of gun owners — without their consent.
William A. Galston / Wall Street Journal:
William Galston: How Much Transparency Do We Really Want?  —  Nations at war do not have a responsibility to make their military strategy public.  —  The controversy over NSA surveillance raises two distinct issues—privacy and transparency—that are often conflated.
Discussion: Lawfare
Wall Street Journal:
What You Need to Know on New Details of NSA Spying
Paul Gallagher / The Independent:
Slavery in the City: Death of 21-year-old intern Moritz Erhardt at Merrill Lynch sparks furore over long hours and macho culture at banks  —  Young German worked until 6am for three consecutive days before collapse at home in east London  —  Serious concerns have been raised tonight …
Discussion: Crooks and Liars, Guardian and Gawker
Kyung Lah / CNN:
18th woman accuses San Diego mayor  —  Businesswoman Dianne York told CNN that San Diego Mayor Bob Filner put his hands on her buttocks during this photo op after a meeting three months ago.  York said there were witnesses to what happened.  She said both her advisers and Filner's were in the room at the time.
(Credit: Michael Lionstar)  —  I can vividly remember the first time I read Camille Paglia.  I was visiting New York with my mom during college and we happened across “Vamps and Tramps” at a bookstore near our hotel.  Lying in neighboring twin beds, I read passages out loud to her.
Discussion: Jihad Watch and Althouse
Noah Rothman / Mediaite:
'I'm Not Paranoid': Matthews Says GOP'ers Calling Obama ‘Obama’ Attempt to ‘Delegitimize’ Him  —  MSNBC host Chris Matthews went off on Tuesday about what he characterized as a variety of efforts by Republicans and conservatives to “delegitimize” President Barack Obama.
Megan McArdle / Bloomberg:
How Democrats May Lose Their Media Edge  —  Yesterday saw a spate of stories arguing that Republicans are — quietly, off the record — a bit worried about their ability to hold the House of Representatives come 2014.  Not panicking, by any means; the electoral map still looks challenging for Democrats.
Chris Christoff / Bloomberg:
Abandoned Dogs Roam Detroit in Packs as Humans Dwindle  —  Detroit Dominated by Pitbulls as 50K Dogs Roam Free  —  As many as 50,000 stray dogs roam the streets and vacant homes of bankrupt Detroit, replacing residents, menacing humans who remain and overwhelming the city's ability to find them homes or peaceful deaths.
Sean Sullivan / Post Politics:
Hecklers confront Ted Cruz at town hall meeting  —  A Dallas town hall meeting designed to rally support for defunding President Obama's health-care law grew testy Tuesday night when Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) was interrupted three separate times by hecklers.  —  The conservative senator handled …
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
Bill's Turn at Bat  —  So it turns out that Michael Bloomberg and Bill de Blasio, who's campaigning for mayor on a promise to de-Bloomberg Gotham, do have something in common.  —  Both men, who grew up in the Boston area, threw caution to the wind and admitted while running for mayor of New York that they were Red Sox fans.
Lara Seligman / The Hill:
Trump to Christie: Hiring Romney team for 2016 would be ‘disaster’  —  Donald Trump slammed Stuart Stevens, the top strategist for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign, warning Gov. Chris Christie against working with him if the New Jersey Republican launches a 2016 White House bid.
Discussion: Politico and Taegan Goddard's …
Brian Stelter / New York Times:
Al Jazeera Makes Limited American Debut  —  There was ample attention in journalistic circles as Al Jazeera America had its premiere on Tuesday — particularly among those who could not watch.  —  The news channel — which replaced Current TV at 3 p.m. Eastern time — was expected to be carried …
Alexandra Jaffe / Ballot Box:
Obama endorses Cory Booker for NJ Senate  —  President Obama has endorsed Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) for Senate in New Jersey, saying Booker would be an “important partner” in promoting his agenda if he makes it to the Senate this fall.  —  “Cory Booker has dedicated his life to the work …
Discussion: Politico
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 More Items: 
Howard Dean to visit NH during presidential campaign ‘testing the waters’ phase
The Huffington Post:
North Carolina Mayoral Candidate Drops Out Over Racial Slur
Japan raising Fukushima leak alert
Discussion: AMERICAblog, NPR and Guardian
Michael D. Shear / New York Times:
Obama to Offer Plans to Ease Burden of Paying for College
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Landrieus lead in Louisiana
Discussion: ThinkProgress
 Earlier Items: 
CBS Sacramento:
California Wants Small-Business Owners To Pay Back $120 Million In Tax Breaks
Discussion: protein wisdom and The PJ Tatler
Argus Leader:
Former S.D. governor's residence to be auctioned Thursday in Rapid City
Peter Gleick / Significant Figures:
Peak Water in the American West
Justin Sink / The Hill:
NSA story cuts into Obama's popularity with young voters
Josh Hicks / Washington Post:
Top Democrat files suit against IRS over tax-exemption rules
Dominic Raab / Telegraph:
Are David Miranda and Caroline Lucas victims or criminals?
Investigations / NBCNews:
US doesn't know what Snowden took, sources say

From Techmeme:

Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
A look at Apple's hubris that doomed the electric car project, spring hardware updates without a dedicated event, and Dan Riccio's retirement plans

Sharon Goldman / VentureBeat:
Legal experts say Musk's lawsuit against OpenAI is a stretch because handshakes and expectations are hard to enforce, but it does make a strong policy argument

Matt Burgess / Wired:
Researchers create an AI worm that can spread between generative AI agents via an “adversarial self-replicating prompt”, which can steal data or spread malware

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