US May Go It Alone On Syria

WASHINGTONPresident Barack Obama on Thursday prepared for the possibility of launching unilateral American military action against Syria within days as Britain opted out in a stunning vote by Parliament.  Facing skepticism at home, too, the administration shared intelligence with lawmakers aimed at convincing them the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its people and must be punished.

Despite roadblocks in forming an international coalition, Obama appeared undeterred and advisers said he would be willing to retaliate against Syria on his own.

“The president of the United States is elected with the duty to protect the national security interests in the United States of America,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

Even before the vote in London, the U.S. was preparing to act without formal authorization from the United Nations, where Russia has blocked efforts to seek a resolution authorizing the use of force, or from Capitol Hill.  But the U.S. had expected Britain, a major ally, to join in the effort.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/news/793287/US-may-go-it-alone-on-Syria

Bells Peal Across Britain On Olympic Games Opening Day

LONDON, July 27 (Reuters) – Bells rang across Britain on Friday to signal the final countdown to the Olympic Games, which open with an exuberant and eccentric ceremony celebrating the nation in an explosion of dance, music and fireworks inspired by Shakespeare’s “Tempest”.

The three-hour showcase created by Oscar-winning “Slumdog Millionaire” director Danny Boyle takes spectators on a journey from Britain’s idyllic countryside through the grime of the Industrial Revolution and ending in an explosion of pop culture.

Watched by 60,000 people at the main Olympic stadium built in a run-down part of east London and a global audience of more than a billion, the event will have passages described by British Prime Minister David Cameron as “spine-tingling”.

The spectators will be urged to join in sing-a-longs and help create spectacular visual scenes at an event that sets the tone for the sporting extravaganza, when 16,000 athletes from 204 countries share the thrill of victory and despair of defeat with 11 million visitors.

Read more: http://london-games.reuters.com/london-olympics-2012/articles/football/mens-100m/2012/07/26/all-eyes-london-and-spectacular-games-opening