A rioter throws a rock at riot police in Clarence Road in Hackney, London, Monday. Rioting and looting continued into the night Monday in parts of London, as well as in Birmingham. The unrest was prompted by the initial rioting in Tottenham and then in Brixton on Sunday night.
Cars and buildings were burning and stores were looted in areas across London Monday, on the third night of riots and violence in the British capital. "Area is an absolute war zone," pub manager Alan McCabe told the BBC in Croydon.
Prime Minister David Cameron is returning early from his summer vacation to help get the riots under control. He will meet with police and Home Office officials Tuesday, part of his "COBRA" emergency response team. The group takes its name from the Cabinet Office Briefing Room in which it meets.
Even though rising cigarette prices and new restrictions on smoking in public places have helped to make a dent in smoking rates in the U.S., there are still plenty of heavily addicted smokers out there who remain at great risk of developing cancer from their habit.
The political blame game that has followed Standard & Poor's U.S. debt downgrade has been dismally predictable.
Democrats point fingers at the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. Republicans condemn President Obama for an inability to lead. And S&P has been alternately hailed for calling out Washington's budgeting dysfunction and excoriated for overstepping in its ratings role.
A ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is being seen as a victory against "patent trolls," companies that acquire intellectual property for the sole purpose of extracting licensing fees or settlements, despite having no intention of using the protected technology or idea themselves.
Science has failed parents, at least when it comes to determining how to toilet-train their children. There's scant data on whether it's better to potty train early or late, or whether it's OK to go diaper-free with "elimination communication," which involves whisking tiny babies off to the potty whenever they pee, which can be two or three times an hour.
Standard & Poor's moved to downgrade housing lenders Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and a handful of insurance companies Monday — all in connection to Friday's credit downgrade of long-term U.S. debt.
There's a lot of speculation about how much these risk downgrades are weighing on stock markets, and whether they will continue to ripple through the economy. But, there are systemic reasons ratings matter less than they have in recent years.
Conventional wisdom says a U.S. downgrade would make Treasuries riskier. It would make yields — or interest rates — rise.
Scientists have long thought that Earth's continents once formed a "supercontinent" called Pangaea. Now they've found evidence that parts of North America and East Antarctica were joined in a supercontinent called Rodinia 1.1 billion years ago — even earlier than Pangaea.
"I can go to the Franklin Mountains in West Texas and stand next to what was once part of Coats Land in Antarctica," said geochemist Staci Loewy, who led the work. "That's so amazing."
Snake charming is a dying art in India. Here, a man named Buddhanath is shown at a New Delhi market during Nag Panchami, the yearly religious festival in honor of the king cobra. The charmer plays a gourd flute and his snake responds.
Credit Courtesy Wildlife SOS
Kartick Satyanarayan, of the animal rescue group Wildlife SOS, holds a rat snake. The group says it is trying to retrain traditional snake charmers and use their skills to remove danerous snakes from populated areas where they threaten people.
A Navy SEAL from Massachusetts is among the 30 Americans who died Saturday when insurgents shot down their helicopter after a battle in Afghanistan. Kevin Houston was one of 22 members from the elite U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 on board. Some of Houston's classmates gathered over the weekend to remember their friend.
New details are emerging about the downing of a Chinook military helicopter in Afghanistan early Saturday that killed 30 U.S. service members and 8 Afghans. Of the American casualties, 22 were Navy SEALS. The NATO mission in Afghanistan released a statement about the crash Monday.
In the rest of the developed world, the downgrade of United States debt is seen as an important marker in a long process that will likely harm both the world economy and America's reputation as a fiscal steward.
"There's real fear that, given the mounting challenges facing the administration and the stand-off in Congress, this could really weaken U.S. influence and the U.S. role in the world," says Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform in London. "For most Europeans, that's not a prospect they welcome."
Today, British tabloidThe Daily Mirrorpublished a report that alledged new recordings of Jackie Onassis reveal that she believed President Lyndon B. Johnson had a hand in the assassination of her husband John F. Kennedy.
Syria's President Bashar Assad has removed the country's defense minister and replaced him with the army chief of staff, according to Syria's state-run news agency. The change, one of several in key government posts, comes during Syria's "brutal crackdown on a five-month-old uprising" against Assad, the AP reports.
That crackdown is bringing pressure on Syria and Assad from nearly all quarters. As Eyder reported earlier, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have now recalled their ambassadors. Here's a quick rundown of other developments:
The White House announced that President Obama will deliver a speech today at 1 p.m. ET.
The AP reports that Obama will likely address the first downgrade of the country's credit rating in history. And the president is also expected to talk about the 30 U.S. troops killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Saturday.
You can listen to the president live on NPR.org and CSpan will stream video of it. We will live blog it here, too.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that faced with outcry from the sates about the unrealistic requirements of the education law No Child Left Behind, the Obama administration will grant waivers to states.
In an interview with CNBC, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Standard& Poor's "has shown really terrible judgment and they've handled themselves very poorly," when it downgraded the United States' rating.
"They've shown a stunning lack of knowledge about basic U.S. fiscal budget math. And I think they drew exactly the wrong conclusion from this budget agreement," Geithner added.
At the dawn of Western philosophy and science, some 2,700 years ago, Heraclitus, declared that, "the world bubbles forth." There is, in this fragment of thought, a natural magic, a creativity beyond the entailing laws of modern physics. I believe Heraclitus was right about the evolution of the biosphere and human life. We live beyond entailing law in a natural magic we co-create.
Leslie Savan blogs for The Nation about media and politics.
Right before a break on The Daily Rundown the other day, host Chuck Todd was talking about the debt deal and mentioned "unemployment lines." Then he announced, "Coming up: Did Washington take its eye off the ball of what really matters?"
Diana Nyad attempted it once before. It was 1978 when she was 28, but 42 hours into what's supposed to be a 60-hour swim, her team pulled the plug. Nyad, a world-class endurance swimmer, had been defeated by nature: the water temperature was a tad cool and the wind produced sizable waves.
Members of a pro-Islamic human rights group and Syrians living in Turkey gather, one holding a placard that reads, "we did not forget Hama" as they stage a protest against the Syrian regime and its leader Bashar Assad during a protest outside the Syrian embassy in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Aug. 1, 2011.
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."
President Barack Obama speaks about efforts to prepare veterans for the workforce, Friday, Aug. 5, 2011, at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington. On Friday the president also declated Aug. 7-13 as National Health Center Week.
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.
Turmoil in the financial markets has coincided with an annual fishing trip for economists and top executives deep in the woods of Maine near the Canadian border. While the economists were together, Standard and Poor's took the unprecedented step of downgrading the U.S. government's credit rating.