VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press
SYRIA TALKS OF WEAPONS TURNOVER
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Confronted by the threat of U.S. air strikes, Syria swiftly welcomed the idea of turning over all of its chemical weapons for destruction on Monday, capping a remarkable chain of events that started with a suggestion from Secretary of State John Kerry, followed by a public proposal from Russia and immediate endorsement by the U.N. secretary-general.
The Obama administration tried to play down the significance of Kerry's comments and scoffed at the Russian proposal's prospects for success but ended up saying it would consider the idea. President Barack Obama pressed ahead with efforts to win congressional backing for U.S. military action, and officials insisted that Syrian President Bashar Assad's government must be held accountable for using chemical weapons regardless of what happens to its stocks.
Building his case, Obama was appearing in six television network interviews Monday evening, and administration officials were briefing more members of Congress as they returned from summer recess. Obama will address the nation Tuesday night.
The White House cast Russia's proposal as a direct result of the pressure being felt by Syria because of the threat of a U.S. strike and warned that it would not allow the idea to be used as a stalling tactic.
"Any positive reaction to the suggestion that they would forsake their chemical weapons by the Syrian government would never have been forthcoming if it weren't for the fact that there is a credible threat of U.S. military action," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
"We would welcome any development - and would have for some time now - that would result in the international control of and the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons stockpile," he added.
ZIMMERMAN, WIFE SAY THE OTHER WAS AGGRESSOR
LAKE MARY, Fla. (AP) -- George Zimmerman and his wife are accusing each other of being the aggressor in a conflict that sent police officers to her father's house
Lake Mary Police spokesman Zach Hudson says the estranged husband and wife are blaming each other for starting the fight Monday afternoon.
Shellie Zimmerman says on a 911 call that her estranged husband punched her father in the nose, grabbed an iPad out of her hand and smashed it and threatened them both with a gun.
She also says on the call that he had his hand on his gun while he was in his car.
Zimmerman hadn't been arrested by late afternoon.
Shellie Zimmerman filed for divorce last week, saying she and her husband had separated a month after he was acquitted of any crime for fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
BILL & MELINDA GATES, 5 SCIENTISTS WIN LASKER MEDICAL PRIZES
NEW YORK (AP) -- Two scientists who illuminated how brain cells communicate, three researchers who developed implants that let deaf people hear and philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates have won prestigious Lasker Awards for medical research and contributions to public health.
The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation announced the recipients of the $250,000 prizes on Monday. The awards will be presented Sept. 20 in New York City.
The Gateses won the public service award "for leading a historic transformation in the way we view the globe's most pressing health concerns and improving the lives of millions of the world's most vulnerable," the Lasker foundation said.
They have donated more than $26 billion to their philanthropic foundation. They often team up with agencies that can provide diverse expertise, the Lasker foundation said, noting that they supported an international partnership that has helped immunize hundreds of millions of children against killer diseases. Their current priorities include polio, agriculture and family-planning information and services.
The Lasker clinical medical research award will be shared by Graeme Clark, an emeritus professor at the University of Melbourne in Australia, Ingeborg Hochmair of the company MED-EL in Innsbruck, Austria, and Blake Wilson of Duke University in North Carolina, for developing the modern cochlear implant. More than 320,000 people around the world use the implants for severe hearing loss, the foundation said.
The devices stimulate the auditory nerve with electric signals. Hochmair and Clark worked independently, in the face of scientific skepticism that electrical stimulation could produce meaningful hearing. The implants were approved in the U.S. in 1985.
The Lasker award for basic medical research will be shared by Richard Scheller of the biotech company Genentech and Dr. Thomas Sudhof of Stanford University. With research they began independently in the late 1980s, they unraveled details of how brain cells release chemical messengers to communicate with each other. Scientists are beginning to find connections between the molecular equipment they studied and serious illnesses like Parkinson's disease, the foundation said.
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