Why did the president cite 84,000 for job growth?
In a speech in Youngstown, Ohio, last Friday, President Obama said, "[O]ur businesses created 84,000 new jobs last month." That was different from the official Labor Department numbers released that morning, which put the number of new jobs at 80,000. Obama was pointing to private-sector job growth. Government payrolls actually fell by 4,000. Obama has blamed the weak economy on GOP reluctance to help local and state governments maintain their payrolls.
Will embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad hang on?
Nearly 16,000 people have died in Syria since a popular uprising against Assad began in March 2011. The United States and Western European nations have urged Assad to resign. But, with the help of Russia and China, the regime remains in control of the capital, Damascus, and key centers in the country. For now. The defection of Syrian Brig. Gen. Manaf Tlas, who was close to Assad, is seen as the latest sign that the regime is tottering. After meeting with Tlas, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said, "Even those close to Assad have begun to understand that one cannot support a slaughterer like Bashar al-Assad."
Will members of the D.C. Council be paid while they're in recess?
Yes. When lawmakers close up shop for a two-month recess later this week, they'll continue to draw a salary adding up to $125,000 a year. Phil Mendelson will also pull in his $190,000 annual salary for being the council's chairman. Legislators will spend the break on vacation, campaigning, crafting proposals for the fall and, in some cases, working other jobs.
Will the FBI (indirectly) shut down your computer Monday?
Last year, the FBI broke up a group that was behind malware called DNSChanger that had infiltrated personal and business PCs, redirecting computers to a set of domain name system servers programmed to lead searchers to malicious websites. Some arrests were made, and the FBI took over the infected servers, running them with clean DNS data. But those servers are slated to go offline on July 9, and if your PC is using one of them to connect to the Internet, you may be unable to go online. The chances are fairly small, but to check, you can visit dns-ok.us to see if your computer is infected.