1. America’s Least Favorite Politicians Gear Up For a Busy Fall
The politicians America loves to hate are back in session today, and they have plenty of opportunities on the horizon to prove they can actually get something done. After voting on President Obama’s proposal to strike Syria, Congress will face its third budget showdown since 2011, debate the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, and try to push immigration reform through the House. Here’s a look at what’s coming up for some of the issues on Congress’ fall agenda:
• Find out where the votes stand on Syria (WaPo). In a crazy twist of fate, the first big Syria vote could come on the anniversary of 9/11 (CNN).
• Why the success of Obamacare depends on millennials (CS Monitor).
• Immigration reform falls to the back of the line (NY Times).
The success of these debates will hinge on talks between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner. Here’s an inside look at how they negotiate (WaPo).
2. The Real Story Behind Obama’s “Red Line”
President Obama’s famous “red line” comment was never supposed to happen. Top White House officials say the Obama administration planned to send Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a stern warning against using chemical weapons in the summer of 2012. The president went much further when he spoke to the public: “A red line for us is… a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.” Now the White House is distancing itself from the red line rhetoric. Obama last week said “the world set a red line,” and Secretary of State John Kerry just backed him up.
• How Obama put himself between a rock and a hard place with his red line on Syria (PolicyMic).
• Coming up next in the Syria debate: Charlie Rose scored an interview with Assad, and Obama will make his case to the public on Tuesday (CBS, USA Today).
3. Tokyo is a Safe Bet For the 2020 Summer Olympics
The International Olympic Committee made a safe choice this weekend by picking Tokyo to host the 2020 Summer Games. “In today’s political and economic situation, the clear tendency was toward tradition and stability,” said an IOC delegate. That could be a not-so-subtle reference to the turmoil surrounding the Olympic Games in Brazil and Russia. Tokyo beat out Istanbul and Madrid for the coveted hosting position. A victory for Istanbul would have been historic: A predominantly Muslim country has never hosted the Olympics.
• 4 American cities that should have hosted the 2020 summer Olympics (PolicyMic).
• Wrestling will be making a comeback at the 2020 Games (ESPN).
4. Moscow Mayor’s Race Could Spell Trouble For Putin
The surprising results in Moscow’s first mayoral election in a decade could spell trouble for Russia’s political elite. Official results gave incumbent Sergei Sobyanin 51% of the vote, while prominent Kremlin-critic Aleksei Navalny finished second with 27%. However, Navalny claims the election was rigged, and there are polls to back him up. Keep an eye out for unrest in Moscow: Navalny has threatened to call his supporters to the streets.
• With Alexei Navalny in prison, Putin’s rivals have all disappeared (PolicyMic).
• Why Moscow’s mayoral race matters (Forbes).
5. Apple Just Got Access to 700 Million New Users
Apple took one step closer to world domination over the weekend. The Wall Street Journal reports China Mobile has signed-on to carry the iPhone. China Mobile’s huge subscribers base (they have 700 million users) could help Apple make up some of the market share it has lost to Samsung in recent years. There’s a good chance Apple’s cheaper iPhone 5C will also be a hit with Chinese consumers. Look for Apple to unveil the 5C and the top-tier iPhone 5S at a launch event on Tuesday.
• The new iPhone release covers up a dark secret from Apple (PolicyMic).
• Get a look at the new features of the iPhone 5S, and find out how much the 5C will cost (Forbes, AllThingsD).
• The NY Times explores what it means to be popular.
• It would cost scientists $1.4 billion to discover 272,000 unknown viruses (Smithsonian).
• You won’t believe what customers get up to at Ikea stores (Quartz).
• The “Netflix for books” is finally here (Slate).
• The science behind getting high (Salon).
Thanks for reading!
What do you think about the topics in today’s Mic Check? Do you think Congress has what it takes to make some compromises this fall? Share your thoughts with me on Twitter @nicholascbaker.
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