Feeling isolated. President Barack Obama found himself in the minority at the Global 20 summit today as traditional allies joined opponents to urge the U.S. leader not to launch a military strike against Syria. Russia, which is hosting the summit, and China have long defended Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his attempt to quash a three-year rebellion. But now the European Union and the Vatican have joined a rising cacophony of international calls for restraint, even as the U.S. Congress considers authorizing some kind of strike against Syrian government positions. Although they believe Assad is responsible for a chemical attack that killed at least several hundred people, possibly more, European Union leaders say American military action won’t bring resolution to the conflict. Only France has joined the Obama administration in insisting last month’s attack on a Damascus suburb necessitates a response.
Egyptian violence. An unknown assailant tried unsuccessfully to assassinate Egyptian Minister of the Interior Mohamed Ibrahim this morning as he left his home in Nasr City, an upscale neighborhood in Cairo. The attack injured 21 people, including a child. Ibrahim was not hurt. Analysts expect the attack to touch off more violence in the country, where tensions have continued to simmer since the military-backed government took power in July. In response, government forces are likely to crack down even harder on the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of the country’s deposed president, Mohamed Morsi.
Veronica’s saga continues. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed an extradition order today for Dusten Brown, the biological father of a 3-year-old at the center of a custody battle that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Brown, who surrendered this morning, will be transferred to South Carolina to face felony charges for interfering with court orders to return the girl, known as Baby Veronica, to her adoptive parents. Although the South Carolina Supreme Court initially gave Brown custody of the girl just before Matt and Melanie Capobianco were set to adopt her, the nation’s high court ordered the lower court to reconsider earlier this year. After taking the girl’s best interests into consideration, the state Supreme Court affirmed the adoption. Brown has so far refused to turn her over.
Republican rapists? Michigan State University officials are investigating a well-known creative writing teacher for anti-conservative remarks he made during class. A student secretly recorded novelist William Penn calling Republicans “cheap” and saying they “don’t want to pay taxes because they have already raped this country and gotten everything out of it they possibly could.” After Campus Reform posted the video, a university spokeswoman said the school wanted to create a classroom environment conducive to a free exchange of ideas, with respect shown to all opinions. Penn has not responded to requests for comment. At the end of his classroom rant, Penn said, “If you’re a Republican, forgive me. If your parents are Republicans, forgive me. They won’t and I don’t care.”