– Defense Secretary Leon Panetta “soon will issue special guidance spelling out how the military services should interact with Congress as further defense spending cuts loom.” A military official said the services need to know “how we can address” members of Congress and staff.
– The international community is working on a set of initiatives, possibly including Palestinian authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivering a letter to the Security Council but not forcing a Council vote, to avert a diplomatic showdown if Abbas pushes forward with a Palestinian statehood bid.
– Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered talks in New York to Abbas in order to avoid a vote on a Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations.
– In coordination with Turkey, the U.S. is quietly planning how to limit possible sectarian violence in Syria if, as is increasingly expected, President Bashar al-Assad is unable to remain in power.
– Attorney General Eric Holder yesterday pledged the Obama administration’s support for using civilian courts for trials of alleged terrorists and working within the United Nations to combat terrorism. Holder said the U.S. is committed to “strengthening the capacity of civilian courts around the world, which have time and again shown their effectiveness.”
– Yemeni security forces fired mortars at protest camps as clashes escalated between anti-government demonstrators and the government for a second day.
– Incrasing foot patrols in areas mined with explosives in Afghanistan have led to a rising number of injuries resulting in the loss of limbs to U.S. servicemembers. Through July, 134 servicemembers lost limbs in combat this year and 70 cases of multiple amputations were reported, more than any previous year.