"On behalf of the entire NASA family, I would like to express my deepest condolences to Carol and the rest of the Armstrong family on the passing of Neil Armstrong. As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them, remembered for taking humankind's first small step on a world beyond our own.
"Besides being one of America's greatest explorers, Neil carried himself with a grace and humility that was an example to us all. When President Kennedy challenged the nation to send a human to the moon, Neil Armstrong accepted without reservation.
"As we enter this next era of space exploration, we do so standing on the shoulders of Neil Armstrong. We mourn the passing of a friend, fellow astronaut and true American hero."
Italy / USA: Unicredit Bank in Iran sanctions investigation.BBC reports that Unicredit is cooperating with a US investigation over a possible breach of Iran-related sanctions.
Afghanistan: Haqqani figure confirmed killed.Fox reports that Badruddin Haqqani, the son of the founder of the powerful Haqqani militant network has been killed in an airstrike in Pakistan, citing Afghan intelligence sources.
UK: Galloway asserts sex with a sleeping woman is not rape.Breitbart:
During a recent guest spot on a British radio program, Galloway revealed his belief that a woman who has sex with a man after a night out, really has no grounds to complain if he takes sex from her again the next morning: with or without her consent.
Using WikiLeaks mastermind Julian Assange as an example, Galloway said: "Let's take woman A. Woman A met Julian Assange, invited him back to her apartment, gave him dinner, went to bed with him, had consensual sex with him. Claims that she awoke to him having sex with her again. This is something which can happen, you know. I mean not everybody needs to be asked prior to each insertion." ...
Ethiopia: PM Meles dies. 'Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has died, Ethiopian state television said on Tuesday. Meles had not been seen in several weeks. The government said in July that he was taking a break to recover from an unspecified condition. State television said Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will be acting prime minister. ...'
Russia / Israel: Gazprom eyes Leviathan. 'Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom is studying opportunities to participate in the development of Israel's Leviathan offshore natural gas field, Bloomberg reported Aug. 20 ...'
Turkey: Gaziantep bombing kills 8.CNN: 'Eight people were killed in a bombing in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, an official in the Interior Ministry said Monday. A spokesman for the Gaziantep governorship said 66 people were wounded in the blast. ...' Bianet - English: 'An explosion that took place near the Karşıyaka Police Station in the southeastern province of Gaziantep killed eight people and injured 61 at around 20:00 on Monday. The blast occured after someone detonated the explosives loaded inside a vehicle, Gaziantep Governor Erdal Ata told the broadcasting station NTV. The victims of the blast were passengers inside a nearby automobile and a minibus, according to reports. Two buses also caught fire in consequence of the explosion ...'
Gaziantep, previously and still informally called Antep; ʻayn tāb [ʕajn tæːb] is a city in southeast Turkey and amongst the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. The city is located 185 kilometres (115 miles) northeast of Adana and 127 kilometres by road north of Aleppo, Syria. The city has two urban districts under its administration, Şahinbey and Şehitkamil. It is the sixth most populous city in Turkey.
USA / terrorism: Hezbollah funds seized.BBC: 'The US authorities say they have seized $150m (£95m) from a bank allegedly linked to a money-laundering scheme of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. Last year, US officials accused the Lebanese Canadian Bank (LCB) of helping the group launder profits from drug trafficking and other crimes. The funds were allegedly used to ship cars from the US to West Africa, with the proceeds smuggled back to Lebanon. ...'
Analysis: Benjamin Kerstein on Chomsky, NPR. Michael Totten interviews Benjamin Kerstein on Noam Chomsky:
Benjamin Kerstein: There are a couple of main points that should be made. First, Chomsky is an absolutely shameless liar. A master of the argument in bad faith. He will say anything in order to get people to believe him. Even worse, he will say anything in order to shut people up who disagree with him. And I’m not necessarily talking about his public critics. If you've ever seen how he acts with ordinary students who question what he says, it's quite horrifying. He simply abuses them in a manner I can only describe as sadistic. That is, he clearly enjoys doing it. I don't think anyone ought to be allowed to get away with that kind of behavior.
Second, Chomsky is immensely important to the radical left. When it comes to American foreign policy he isn't just influential, he's basically all they have. Almost any argument made about foreign affairs by the radical left can be traced back to him. That wasn't the case when he started out back in the late '60s, but it is now.
Third, he is essentially the last totalitarian. ...
Put simply, NPR is for coastal liberals what Rush Limbaugh is for heartland conservatives: a means of relating to the world from within the confines of a specific subculture. The difference, of course, is that Limbaugh’s admirers do not force others to pay for it.
Nor, I imagine, are Limbaugh’s listeners laboring under the same illusion as NPR’s. Most of them probably understand that Limbaugh is giving opinions based on his political point of view, which is, to say the least, well known to his listeners. NPR’s listeners, on the other hand, are quite convinced that they are receiving nothing less than the pure, unvarnished, objective truth from the network. They believe themselves to be smart and informed, and thus the network they love must also be, perhaps by definition, smart and informative. ...
BBC: 'At least seven police officers have been killed in a suicide bomb blast in the Russian Caucasus region of Ingushetia, investigators say. The explosion took place at the funeral of a fellow officer who was shot dead on Saturday. ...'
"In a private house where the funeral was taking place for a neighbourhood policeman, a suicide bomber triggered an explosive device on his body," the committee, which investigates major killings, said in a statement on Sunday.
"As a result of the explosion, according to preliminary information, seven people died including the suicide bomber, and there are also wounded whose number is being clarified," the statement said.
The RIA Novosti news agency cited Akhmed Kotiyev, the secretary of the regional security council, as saying that 11 people were wounded in the attack.
Ingushetia's leader, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, called the bombing as Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan a "terrorist" attack. ...
USA: Family Research Council shooter politically motivated.CNN: '[Floyd Lee Corkins II], 28, was reportedly a volunteer at an organization in Washington serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. CNN was unable to discern a known job or source of income for Corkin and he did not appear to leave a significant online presence. He had no significant criminal record. But a court filing Wednesday suggests that Corkins may have had something else -- an ideology. And those political leanings could have been behind the Tuesday morning shooting at the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian policy group. ...'
Afghanistan / USA: Panetta wants answers from Karzai.Fox: 'Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday to discuss the rising number of "insider" attacks in which Afghan security forces have turned their guns on American and other coalition troops. ...'
Iraq: Bomb injures Sunni cleric.Stratfor reports that Sheikh Mahdi al-Sumaidaie was injured in a Baghdad bombing that killed one of his bodyguards.
Syria: Rebels claim to hold pilot. They say they shot his plane down. Reuters: 'Syria's rebels were jubilant on Tuesday, claiming to have shot down a jet and captured its pilot, an apparent victory against the overwhelmingly superior firepower of President Bashar al-Assad's forces. Video uploaded onto the Internet on Monday showed the jet bursting into flames as it streaked through the sky amid heavy gunfire. The rebels said they had hit it with newly acquired high-caliber anti-aircraft guns. ...'
Syria / China: China hosts Assad regime aide Bouthaina Shaaban.BBC: 'A senior aide to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has flown to China for talks on the crisis, officials say. The Chinese foreign ministry said Bouthaina Shaaban would meet Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi later. The ministry said it was part of its effort to implement the UN's six-point peace plan. ...'
Egypt: Meet the new boss, etc.The Arabist on SCAF: 'I agree with [Accidental Occidental's] take and put it in a different way in a Guardian piece yesterday — i.e. that talk of Morsi's triumph overshadows that generals (just different generals) were still kingmakers. ...'
Israel: No recognition, no entry.Arutz Sheva: 'Israel is getting tough with Arab [sic] countries that do not recognize Israel and bars them from crossing Jordan to Ramallah. The Foreign Minister explained that diplomats from Cuba, Indonesia, Malaysia and Bangladesh are not being allowed to attend a mini-Non-Aligned Movement conference in the Palestinian Authority headquarters because their governments do not have diplomatic ties with Israel.' (The A7 article is incorrectly worded, as the countries named are not Arab nations.) Full article at the link.
Nigeria: Bombing in northeast kills soldiers.BBC: 'A suicide bombing in the north-eastern Nigerian city of Damaturu has killed several soldiers, reports say. According to an eyewitness, the suicide bomber rammed a car into a military vehicle that was part of a convoy. ...' Reuters: 'A suicide car bomber on Sunday attacked a military checkpoint in Nigeria's northeastern city of Damaturu, killing six soldiers and two civilians, police said. Suspicion will fall on Islamist sect Boko Haram, which is waging an insurgency against President Goodluck Jonathan's government across the north with the aim of carving out an Islamic state in a country split evenly between Christians and Muslims. ...'