Mic Check: The One Question Everyone’s Forgetting to Ask About Syria

1. The One Question Everyone’s Forgetting to Ask About Syria
 
As the U.S. debates a strike on Syria, we’ve forgotten to ask an important question: How would a strike affect the Syrian people? The truth is, a military strike probably wouldn’t do much. Obama’s modest goal is to prevent Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from using more chemical weapons. A strike could even backfire by hitting civilians. We could help Syrians without launching a strike by welcoming refugees across our borders, pressuring Assad to stop targeting hospitals, or increasing humanitarian aid. It’s clear something needs to change. The Syrian war has killed 100,000 and displaced 2 million more.
 
Read stories from Syrians in the middle of the conflict:
A Search For Loved Ones Between Mass Graves – A Syrian woman recounts the horrors of the chemical attack outside Damascus (Now Media).
 
In the Camps – Read about life in a Syrian refugee camp (Foreign Policy).
 
Take Your Portion – A survivor speaks out about rape in Syria (Atlantic).
 
Read more:
9 unbelievable photos of a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan (BuzzFeed).
 
• This map shows where Syrian refugees have fled (Europa).
 
 
2. A Swing and a Miss For U.S. Jobs
 
Bad news on the jobs front: The U.S. only added 169,000 jobs in August. Economists expected the number to be closer to 180,000. What’s more, the Department of Labor now says we added 104,000 jobs in July, a sharp drop from its previous estimate of 164,000. The unemployment rate dropped slightly to 7.3%, but that’s probably because of an exodus from the workforce. The silver lining is investors may actually respond positively: Economists feared the Federal Reserve would pull back on its stimulus in response to strong jobs growth.
 
The uninspiring August jobs report in two charts (Quartz).
 
• This graph sums up the scary truth about our economy (PolicyMic).
 
 
3. Could You Survive on Fast-Food Wages?
 
Low-wage workers in the U.S. have had enough. Wal-Mart employees organized strikes across the country on Thursday to demand higher pay and protest the firing of other activists. Just last week, McDonald’s employees held strikes in 60 different cities. They want McDonald’s to boost their pay to $15. There’s a strong economic argument for increasing wages: The more money employees have in their pockets, the more they spend stimulating the economy.
 
Are labor unions read to stand up for today’s working class? (PolicyMic)
 
Could you survive on fast-food wages? (Mother Jones).
 
 
4. Yahoo Gets a New Look
 
Yahoo got a new look when the company revealed its first new logo in 18 years on Thursday. The revamped logo is the latest in a string of high-profile changes for Yahoo under new CEO Marissa Mayer. Mayer has made headlines by shelling out millions for hip companies (think Tumblr) and introducing controversial office policies (no more working from home!). Has all the change been worth it? In July, Yahoo attracted more traffic than Google for the first time in over 2 years.
 
• Has Marissa Mayer been a successful CEO? (PolicyMic).
 
What’s the point of Yahoo’s new logo? (New Yorker)
 
 
5. 15 Revelations About Every Angsty Teen’s Favorite Author
 
We’re about to learn a bunch of new details about every angsty teen’s favorite author, J.D. Salinger. A new documentary about the author opens in theaters today. If the companion biography is anything to go by, the movie should provide fascinating insight into Salinger’s life. We’ve already found out Salinger wrote five unpublished books. Expect them to hit shelves starting in 2015. The strangest revelation so far? Salinger was apparently born with one testicle.
 
• J.D. Salinger and 5 authors as reclusive as they were famous (PolicyMic).
 
• 15 revelations from the new J.D. Salinger biography (Daily Beast).
 
 
DESSERT
How a computer turned itself into the ultimate poker machine (NY Times).
 
• How a lone bandit pulled off France’s greatest diamond heist (Atlantic).
 
• The people have spoken: 2013’s summer movies sucked (PolicyMic).
 
• Welcome to the Japanese island ruled by cats (Daily Beast).
 
• POLL: Majority of Americans approve of sending Congress to Syria (Onion).
 

Thanks for reading!
Nick
 
What do you think about the topics in today’s Mic Check? Share your thoughts with me on Twitter @nicholascbaker.
 
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