The Muslim freakout keeps spreading: "CAIRO — Anti-American protests inspired by a video denigrating the Prophet Muhammad entered a fourth straight day here in the Egyptian capital and other demonstrations erupted in much of the Middle East after Friday Prayer — an occasion often associated with public displays of dissent... In Lebanon, one person was killed and 25 injured as protesters attacked restaurants, while in Sudan demonstrations flared outside of the German and British embassies. There was also turmoil in Yemen, Bangladesh, Qatar, Kuwait, and Iraq. Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces in Jerusalem, and held protests in the West Bank and Gaza."
The plot thickens: "One ran a low-profile Christian charity from a sleepy suburb east of Los Angeles. The other was a financially strapped gas station operator just out of federal prison. In the last year, these men, both Egyptian immigrants, became unlikely collaborators in an endeavor that has shaken the stability of the Middle East... Media for Christ, whose stated mission is to "glow Jesus' light" to the world, obtained permits to shoot the movie in August 2011, and Nakoula provided his home as a set and paid the actors, according to government officials and those involved in the production."
On one hand: Well done, evangelicals! Way to "glow Jesus" so hard that people are murdered in multiple countries and Muslim-Christian relations in the Middle East have been significantly set back! On the other hand: I don't believe this version of the story. This situation is Watergate-level weird (somebody important had an idea, handed it to bungling ex-cons, things got out of control). And from a theater/film critic's perspective, I don't think the dumb video would hold that many people's attention long enough to make them that pissed off. So what's the real root of this story?
But this is the morning news, not Brendan's Konspiracy Korner, so I'll get on with it.
The end of Seattle's ride-free zone! "For nearly 40 years, downtown Seattle's free-ride zone has made it easier to visit restaurants and shops, and given poor people a break. As the city became more crowded, the system has maintained traffic flow by helping buses load riders quickly, rather than wait for everyone to pay. The free ride ends Sept. 29. And that one change — among many in King County Metro Transit's biggest-ever service overhaul — is expected to cause slowdowns and confusion."
Indian farmers protest dam-caused flooding by submerging themselves in water for days on end: "The Asian Human Rights Commission said roads to the demonstration area were cordoned off by police so the media could not reach the scene. It accused police of severing 'communication links of the media so that the news could not be broadcast.' 'The police moved in with force and took into custody the villagers,' the commission said. 'The state's brute use of force, even against the media, is a matter of extreme concern.' Kalpana Anand, a district official in Harda, told Al Jazeera that compensation had been given to some farmers. He did not elaborate. But Agarwal said only a few villagers had been given cash, and no one had received new land. Under the government rehabilitation and resettlement policy, authorities are responsible for giving displaced villagers 'land for land.'"
See color for the very first time: "The world's first colour moving pictures dating from 1902 have been found by the National Media Museum in Bradford after lying forgotten in a tin for 110 years."
Urban oil drilling: "In the early days of California's oil boom, derricks crowded beaches, covered hillsides and dominated cityscapes. If a road was in the way of the oil, the road was moved. Nowadays, after years of falling oil production, the state is seeing a new drilling boom because of high petroleum prices. In July, an average of 53 rotary rigs were exploring for crude and natural gas in California, the most for that month in 22 years, according to industry data. Drillers looking to revive old urban oil fields find themselves surrounded by homes and businesses that weren't there way back when, and the companies are negotiating increasingly complex agreements with neighbors and local officials on rules governing aesthetics, noise, hours of operation and much more."
Keep your eyes on Karen Lewis: She's leading the Chicago teachers' strike and she's matching wit and rhetorical skill with with witty and rhetorically masterful Rahm Emanuel. I bet she'll be running for a bigger office sometime soon.
Obama narrowly leads Romney in an NYT/CBS poll: "With their back-to-back political conventions behind them and the general election season fully engaged, the poll found Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney running essentially even among those seen as the most probable to vote. The president has 49 percent and Mr. Romney has 46 percent, a difference within the margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points on each candidate."
Can't a princess sunbathe in peace? "Just weeks after the scandal about pictures of Britain's Prince Harry naked in Las Vegas, a magazine has sparked fresh controversy by publishing pictures of Prince William's wife, Catherine, topless while vacationing."