NEWS

Morning Security Brief: U.S. Moves Toward Military Strike on Syria, Firefighters Make Progress on Yosemite Blaze, and More

By Laura Spadanuta

 The United States appears to be moving closer to a military strike on Syria. Yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry stated that the Obama Administration believes there must be accountability for last week's chemical attacks on civilians in a region near Damascus. According to Bloomberg, Syrian opposition groups say the attack killed 1,300 people. The White House maintains that it has not decided whether to use force in response to the chemical attacks. UN inspectors drew sniper fire yesterday on their way to the site of the chemical attack. VOA News reports that America has postponed Syria talks with Russia as it decides what to do.

Firefighters have begun making progress on a massive California wildfire that threatens Yosemite National Park, reports VOA News. The article states that nearly 3,700 firefighters are working to contain the blaze. The "Rim Fire" is 20 percent contained but has already consumed 61,000 hectares, includring part of Yosemite. The fire is also threatening San Francisco's drinking water reservoir. The fire broke out on August 17 and is under investigation.

The United Nations stated yesterday that it would look into reports that the National Security Agency had hacked into its internal communications. USA Today reports that the UN stated it would contact the United States over the reports. The article references German magazine Der Spiegel, which reported that Edward Snowden shared documents indicating that the NSA decrypted the UN video conferencing system. If the United States did monitor UN communications, it is a violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention, which protects international organizations' communications from the host country.

Also in the news: Jurors may meet to discuss sentencing in the Fort Hood shooting case as early as today, Afghan Taliban forces kill government workers, and the FBI and DHS are concerned about Android security vulnerabilities.

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