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Last night's debate in Iowa produced fireworks between Republican presidential contenders. What did it reveal about a Republican Administration if one of these candidates defeats Barack Obama? Also, Syria continues its bloody crackdown on protestors, and the US Postal Service wants to lay off 120,000 workers.

Banner image: (L-R) Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, businessman Herman Cain, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman shake hands after participating in the Republican presidential debate at Iowa State University August 11, 2011 in Ames, Iowa. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Making News Syria Continues Its Bloody Crackdown on Protesters 7 MIN, 47 SEC

Syrian activists claim government forces have killed more than 2400 protesters and detained thousands more. International condemnation is building and, now, a fact-finding mission is looking for evidence to sustain a war-crimes trial against President Bashar Assad. That's according to Borzou Daragahi who's in Beirut, Lebanon for the Los Angeles Times.

Borzou Daragahi, BuzzFeed News (@borzou)

Main Topic Republicans Go to the Mat in Iowa 35 MIN, 28 SEC

Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment was "never speak ill of another Republican.” Not all this year's presidential candidates got the message. Last night's debate featured unusually nasty exchanges between Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty, candidates with a lot at stake in Iowa. All eight contenders practiced attacks on Barack Obama and promised they'd never raise taxes, even if they got 10 times more spending cuts than new revenue. Did consensus front-runner Mitt Romney hold onto his lead? Did newcomer Jon Huntsman make an impression? Were they all overshadowed by the man who wasn't there -- Rick Perry, who will enter the race tomorrow? We hear excerpts and a variety of opinions.

Michael D. Shear, New York Times (@shearm)
Doug Gross, veteran Republican activist
James C. Moore, former national TV correspondent (@moorethink)
Rich Galen, Mullings.com (@richgalen)
Walter Shapiro, Roll Call / Yale University (@MrWalterShapiro)

Bush's Brain

James Moore

Reporter's Notebook Postal Service Threatened with Drastic Cuts in Jobs, Benefits 7 MIN, 45 SEC

Acknowledging that its request is "extraordinary, the US Postal Service has told Congress that "we will be insolvent next month,” and need to break labor agreements and get out of the federal retirement system. Mail volume has dropped by 20 percent, producing a loss of $20 billion in the past four years, $8.5 billion last year alone. We hear more from Lisa Rein, who reports on the federal government for the Washington Post, and Maynard Benjamin, president of the Envelope Manufacturers Association.

Lisa Rein, Washington Post
Maynard Benjamin, Envelope Manufacturers Association

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