VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press
OBAMA LOBBYING LAWMAKERS ON SYRIA FROM OVERSEAS
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama pressed skeptical lawmakers to give him the authority to use U.S. military force against Syria during his overseas trip while the administration struggled to rally international support for intervention in an intractable civil war.
Obama was making calls to members of Congress while he attends an economic summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser, told reporters on Thursday. The president spoke to a bipartisan group of five lawmakers on Wednesday.
"He is going to be doing outreach on the Hill," Rhodes said of the president's lobbying during the two-day summit in Russia.
The Obama administration cleared one obstacle on Wednesday when a deeply divided Senate panel approved a resolution authorizing military force, but a significant number of senators remain unconvinced and opposition is growing in the House.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., will formally file the resolution on Friday at a brief Senate session in advance of votes next week. A vote to move ahead on the measure could occur on Sept. 11. The House also will meet briefly on Friday although no resolution is pending.
Days from a Senate vote, an Associated Press survey of senators found 34 supporting or leaning toward military action, 26 opposed or leaning against and 40 undecided.
USFS: HUNTER CAUSED HUGE WILDFIRE NEAR YOSEMITE
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A gigantic wildfire in and around Yosemite National Park was caused by an illegal fire set by a hunter, the U.S. Forest Service said Thursday.
The agency said there is no indication the hunter was involved with illegal marijuana cultivation, which a local fire chief had speculated as the possible cause of the blaze.
No arrests have been made, and the hunter's name was being withheld pending further investigation, according to the Forest Service. The only legal hunting allowed at the time the fire started Aug. 17 was archery for bear and deer.
A Forest Service statement gave no details on how the illegal fire in a remote canyon of the Stanislaus National Forest had escaped the hunter's control.
Because of high fire danger across the region, the Forest Service had banned fires outside of developed camping areas more than a week before the fire started.
The Rim Fire has burned nearly 371 square miles - one of the largest wildfires in California history and has cost $81 million to fight.
In some cases people who have started wildfires in California have been sued to pay for the costs and damages.
STUDY: THE RIGHT BACTERIA MIGHT HELP FIGHT OBESITY
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Call it a hidden ally: The right germs just might be able to help fight fat.
Different kinds of bacteria that live inside the gut can help spur obesity or protect against it, say scientists at Washington University in St. Louis who transplanted intestinal germs from fat or lean people into mice and watched the rodents change.
And what they ate determined whether the good germs could move in and do their job.
Thursday's report raises the possibility of one day turning gut bacteria into personalized fat-fighting therapies, and it may help explain why some people have a harder time losing weight than others do.
"It's an important player," said Dr. David Relman of Stanford University, who also studies how gut bacteria influence health but wasn't involved in the new research. "This paper says that diet and microbes are necessary companions in all of this. They literally and figuratively feed each other."
The research was reported in the journal Science.
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