President Barack Obama said he is confident Congress will agree to a military strike against Syria despite divisions. But a top aide said on NPR this morning that it’s unlikely the president will act without congressional approval. The New York Times and other news media reported the National Security Agency has succeeded in breaking encryption that keeps people’s personal data safe online. The Labor Department reported mixed news on summer unemployment numbers as the jobless rate dips to 7.3 percent. Prospects for an immigration overhaul have dimmed over the summer congressional recess. And the White House steps up its public relations campaign for health care enrollment. A panel of journalists joins guest host Susan Page for analysis of the week's top national news stories.
Olivier Knox of Yahoo! News discussed whether President Barack Obama set a precedent for future presidents when he asked Congress to agree to a military strike against Syria. David Leonhardt of The New York Times said it's a mark of a democracy when Congress is able to say yes or no to such a request. "We don't want a situation in the big picture in our country in which every time the president asks for the authorization to use force, Congress feels like it needs to do it for patriotic reasons," Leonhardt said.
By visiting Africa this month, President Obama is drawing attention to one of the diplomatic tools that most directly shapes America's relationships with other countries: foreign aid and assistance. But now all policy makers at home feel the United States is pursuing the soundest strategy when it comes to providing aid abroad. We explore the issue with the official in charge of the Africa portfolio for the United States Agency for International Development.
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