1. Three years ago this week, Syria began to be torn apart. Here are 14 photos of life inside Syrian refugee camps.

     


  2. I’d read somewhere that you’d be sending Hulk Hogan to Syria. Or is that more of a job for Tonya Harding?
     

  3. Syria’s breaking point. More editorial cartoons here.

     

  4. More editorial cartoons here.

     

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  6. 15 seconds.
    — 

    Every day the president spends trying to rally support in Congress for a military strike against Syria, an average of 5,000 refugees will flee the country, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

    That is about one person every 15 seconds.

     

  7. More political cartoons here.

     


  8. Western military intervention could have huge repercussions for the region.

     

  9. Syria’s bloody civil war will hit its two-year mark this March, and still, embattled despot Bashar al-Assad clings to power. The all-consuming war has left more than 70,000 people dead — half of them civilians. Sadly, violent conflict has become the new normal in much of Syria,  and it’s often only while taking refuge behind Aleppo’s crumbled, pock-marked walls that Free Syria Army fighters can indulge in fleeting moments of their previous lives

    • A soldier tries to entice a stray cat to come a little closer in Khan al-Assal on Nov. 10, 2012. (REUTERS/Zain Karam)

    • Rebels pose with their weapons and a snowman in Homs on Jan. 10.(REUTERS/Yazan Homsy)

    • A fighter finds a moment to fix himself up a bit in Aleppo on Dec. 25, 2012. (REUTERS/Muzaffar Salman)
     

  10. At 5:26 a.m. New York time (12:26 p.m. in Damascus), Syria’s internet went dark. According to two U.S. internet monitoring companies, Renesys and Akamai Technologies, Syria is now completely cut off from the e-world, with all internet connections down along with at least some phone service. “A smaller outage could be chalked up to an errant mortar shell,” but the entire country? says Sam Biddle at Gizmodo. “Only the Syrian regime has the power to create that kind of lockout at will.”

    "Shutting down web and phone service is a tactic increasingly pursued by countries to limit the spread of information both within the country and to the outside world," says Shara Tibken at CNET NewsWithout communication, the anti-government rebels are cut off from one another, limiting their ability to fight. 

    Why Bashar al-Assad unplugged the internet in Syria

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  11. Two Syrian children lay on a handmade swing in front of their tent at the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan on Sept. 2: The camp was originally built to hold 500 people. Now it has 26,000. Photo: AP photo/Mohammad Hannon

    In August, 103,416 refugees fled Syria seeking asylum, the highest monthly total since the country’s uprising began in March 2011, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The August rush almost doubled the total number of refugees, which now stands at 235,300, in just a single month. “If you do the math, it’s quite an astonishing number,” says Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman for the U.N. refugee agency. And that figure only reflects the people who have registered, meaning the actual numbers might be far higher.

    Turkey, Syria’s neighbor to the north, says it has let in 80,000 Syrians, with another 8,000 caught in a bottleneck at the border. Jordan, to the south, says that as many as 183,000 Syrians have crossed the border since the uprising began, with 1,000 more now arriving each day. Another 500 a day are going east into Iraq — up from about 500 per week in early August. Smaller numbers are going to Lebanon, which borders southwestern Syria. And meanwhile, another 1.5 million Syrians have fled their homes but remained inside Syria — meaning 8 percent of the country’s entire population is on the move.

    Keep reading…

     

  12. According to a recent study, college students who binge drink report being significantly happier than non-binge-drinking students. Of course, their judgment may be impaired.

    GOOD DAY FOR:

    Overdue progress
    The controversially exclusive Augusta National Golf Club welcomes female members for the first time in its 80-year history. [BuzzFeed]

    Aquatic charity
    A 14-year-old girl becomes the youngest person ever to swim across Lake Ontario — and raises $90,000 in the process. [GlobalPost]

    Party animals
    A new study finds that college students who binge drink are generally happier with their social lives than those who drink less. No word on whether they’re happier with their grades. [LiveScience]

    BAD DAY FOR:

    Twi-hards
    In the wake of her cheating scandal, Twilight star Kristen Stewart drops out of the remaining press events slated to promote the franchise’s final film,Breaking Dawn Part II. Her ex-beau/co-star Robert Pattinson follows suit. [The Frisky]

    Flying “economy”
    Air France crew members ask passengers to pony up some extra cash for fuel during an emergency stop in Syria. [Consumerist]

    Reckless auteurs
    A Vancouver man is arrested after he allegedly steals a gun and films himself driving around a neighborhood shooting it. [Death & Taxes]

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  13. Syria has a huge stockpile of chemical weapons, and The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Syrian soldiers were moving some of the weapons out of storage.

    Syria’s former ambassador to Iraq, Nawaf Fares, said Assad is like a “wounded wolf” and would "eradicate the entire Syrian people" if the 17-month uprising against his regime gets close to toppling him.

    Would Syrian President Bashar al-Assad use chemical weapons on his own people?