Aug 19, 2012

Wall Street Turncoats: Money Guys Ditch Obama

Today: Assad Shows Face in Damascus , Egypt's New Defense Minister Abdel Fatah al-Sisi , Japanese Activists Land on Islands
Cheat Sheet: Morning

August 19, 2012

Sorry, Obama. In a sharp reversal from 2008, employees of financial-services companies have given most of their $128 million and counting in 2012 political donations to groups and candidates on the right. The Daily Beast's Caitlin Dickson takes a look at who's giving what to whom.


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made a rare appearance at a Damascus mosque Sunday, one day after rumors spread that the country's vice president had defected. The Sunday appearance is the leader's first since a bombing in the Syrian capital in July. Vice President Farouk al-Shara, whose defection Syria has denied, was not among the officials who appeared alongside Assad Sunday. Footage of Assad's visit to the mosque shown on state television included a sermon in which Syria was described as the target of a Western plot that would not "defeat our Islam, our ideology, and our determination in Syria."


Booting a 20-year veteran, President Morsi has tapped the U.S.-educated Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi to become the nation's defense minister. The Daily Beast's Christopher Dickey on why Washington is breathing easier now.


At least 10 Japanese activists have landed on islands at the center of a territory dispute with China, as tensions mount between the two nations. The individuals, whose requests to be allowed to visit the islands were denied, have been detained by Japan's Coast Guard and are being questioned. Chinese officials have taken a hard line on visits to the island by Japanese nationalists, calling them "illegal and invalid." The Japanese said they wanted to pay their respects to soldiers who died fighting near the islands in the Second World War.


Thirty-one Sudanese government officials, including two state ministers, were killed Sunday after their plane crashed, state television reported. "All people on board were killed," said Sudan aviation authority spokesman Abdelhafiz Abdelrahim, when the plane was landing at an airport southwest of Khartoum. The spokesman said "an explosion was heard, and the plane was destroyed," though another official told state media that the plane "crashed into a hill." The officials were on their way to celebrations to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Big Tobacco Lawyers Take On Food
Claim companies are misleading customers.
More College Grads Enlist
With jobs scarce, thousands sign up.
3 Car Bombs Explode in Tripoli
First attack since fall of Gaddafi.
Ryan: Medicare Helped My Grandmother
Speaking in world's largest retirement community.
Madonna: Let Pussy Riot Go!
Condemns sentence as "inhumane."
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The War on Waxing?

Pubic hair: it's the blogosphere's latest controversy. After a Guardian story on the ills of grooming went viral for suggesting women refrain from waxing due to its health risks, we took to the streets to see who's waging the war.

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