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The Obama Administration is now arguing for both diplomacy and Congressional authorization to use force against Syria. We update developments at the UN, Capitol Hill and the White House as President Obama prepares to address the nation tonight. Also, e-cigarettes, a way to stop smoking or a new way to become addicted to nicotine?

Banner image: President on the phone with his National Security Staff. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Making News Momentum Picks Up on Russian Syrian Arms Proposal 7 MIN, 49 SEC

Yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry made a rhetorical suggestion that Syria might turn over chemical weapons to international control. Sizing the moment, Russia made a formal proposal, and Syria got on board. President Obama said it could be a breakthrough, but is still pushing for Congress to authorize force. Today before a House committee, Kerry credited the "credible use of force" for bringing Syria to acknowledge that he has chemical weapons and "our determination to hold Assad accountable that has motivated others to even talk about a real and credible international action that might have an impact. Jonathan Broder is senior editor at CQ Roll Call.




Jonathan Broder, Newsweek (@Newsweek)

Main Topic Conflicting Messages in the Midst of a Crisis 33 MIN, 43 SEC

As President Obama prepares to address the nation tonight, it appears he'll be arguing for both war and diplomacy at the same time. He's embraced the Russian proposal that Syria's chemical weapons be placed under international control — if it proves to be serious. But he also wants Congress to approve military action despite polls showing that most Americans are opposed. We see how developments have complicated the President's challenges at the United Nations, on Capitol Hill and with American public opinion. 

Vivienne Walt, Time magazine (@vivwalt)
Richard Guthrie, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (formerly)
Matthew Rojansky, Wilson Center (@MatthewRojansky)
Frank Newport, Gallup Poll (@gallup)
Julian Zelizer, Princeton University (@julianzelizer)

Arsenal of Democracy

Julian Zelizer

Today's Talking Point E-Cigarettes: Safe Alternative or Worse than the Original? 9 MIN, 26 SEC

E-cigarettes release a vapor that allows users to inhale nicotine without the toxins associated with tobacco. Since they started in China a few years ago, they've become an industry worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The Centers for Disease Control report that 10% of American high school kids tried e-cigarettes last year -- twice as many as the year before. They're hip for celebrities and popular for helping smokers to quit. Big Tobacco is taking notice. Mike Esterl reports for the Wall Street Journal.

Mike Esterl, Wall Street Journal

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