'We believe that the USA is the major player against Syria and the rest are its instruments' --Assad's Foreign Minister gives his first interview to a Western journalist since the conflict began 28 Aug 2012 The battle for Damascus could be heard inside the Foreign Minister's office yesterday, a vibration of mortars and tank fire from the suburbs of the capital that penetrated Walid Muallem's inner sanctum, a dangerous heartbeat to match the man's words. America was behind Syria's violence, he said, which will not end even after the battle for Aleppo is over. "I tell the Europeans: 'I don't understand your slogan about the welfare of the Syrian people when you are supporting 17 resolutions against the welfare of the Syrian people'. And I tell the Americans: 'You must read well what you did in Afghanistan and Somalia. I don't understand your slogan of fighting international terrorism when you are supporting this terrorism in Syria'."
Britain and US plan a Syrian revolution from an innocuous office block in Istanbul 26 Aug 2012 An underground network of Syrian
Isaac becomes Cat 1 hurricane near Gulf Coast 28 Aug 2012 Finally reaching hurricane status, the unwieldy and wobbly Isaac bore down on this city Tuesday, offering one of the first tests for a stronger, more fortified levee system built after the catastrophic failures [exploded levees to flood the Ninth Ward] during Hurricane Katrina. Seven years after that storm transformed this city, the mood was calm as the first wave of rain bands and wind gusts rolled ashore... Isaac looked to make landfall as early as Tuesday as a Category 1 hurricane with winds of at least 74 mph -- much lower than the 135 mph winds Katrina packed in 2005.
Arctic becoming a 'giant slushie,' says scientist 28 Aug 2012 Long-term thinning of Arctic sea ice combined with an intense, windy storm over the Arctic in early August contributed to a new record low for sea-ice extent, scientists said Monday. "It used to be the Arctic ice cover was like a big block of ice," said Walt Meier, a research scientist with the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) during a press conference held after the new record low was set on Sunday (Aug. 26). "Now it's become crushed ice and that is a lot easier to melt and melt more quickly. Parts of the Arctic have become like a giant slushie. [That] makes them more vulnerable to these types of storms."