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Chatter: Tension grows amid talk of strike on Syria

Western intervention looms in Syria, Baghdad hit by bombings, and bells ring for the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.
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Graphic. (Antler Agency/GlobalPost)
           

                      

   

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NEED TO KNOW

The drums of war. As Western intervention in Syria looms, the question has become one of when? And how?

Washington is weighing its options. The UK meanwhile has drafted a resolution to go before the UN Security Council today "authorizing necessary measures to protect civilians."

Amid the rising tensions, GlobalPost senior correspondent Tracey Shelton spoke with Syrians in Lebanon about the suspected chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds, and now threatens to spark a wider war.

Bombings in Baghdad. A series of bombings and attacks during morning rush hour in the Iraqi capital have killed at least 50 people and wounded dozens more.

The attacks, which included a car bomb that killed at least seven people in Jisr Diyala in southeastern Baghdad, targeted mainly Shia neighborhoods.

Violence has increased in Iraq in recent months, with heightened tensions between Sunni and Shia Muslims. More than 1,000 Iraqis were killed in July, the highest monthly death toll in five years, according to UN figures.

WANT TO KNOW

"I Have a Dream." Exactly 50 years after civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. gave his iconic speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the first black US president will speak in the same spot as an example of the racial progress King had hoped to see.

Barack Obama's address this afternoon, marking the anniversary of King's historic address and the March on Washington, is expected to focus on how far the country has come  and how far it still has to go.

Elsewhere, the bells of 100 churches, schools and historical monuments will ring in honor of a particular line in King's speech, which he repeated to powerful effect on this day in 1963, standing before a crowd of hundreds of thousands: "Let freedom ring."

STRANGE BUT TRUE

To twerk (verb). So, we thought we could get away without discussing a certain former child star turned jiggly, tongue thrusting awards show performer in latex shorts the color of raw poultry.

But Oxford Dictionaries has gone and legitimized it all by creating an official entry for the phrase "twerking."

"Twerk, verb," the dictionary entry begins, defining this scourge of modern language as follows: "dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance."

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. Now that we've defined it, can we please move on?

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