Here is a collection of some of the stories that Personal Liberty staffers will be keeping an eye on throughout the day. Click the links for the full stories.
- Thanks to her “handling” of the Benghazi, Libya, terror attacks, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s popularity has taken a pretty big dive. A Quinnipiac University poll shows 52 percent (still an amazing number) of respondents “approve” of Clinton, but that’s a 9-point drop since her all-time high of 61 percent in February. Of those surveyed, 48 percent blame her for the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others in the Sept. 11 attack.
- Speaking of Stevens: An anonymous U.S. official has told CBS News that Americans in charge of the mess told the Benghazi Medical Center to list Stevens, who died of asphyxiation in the attack, as “John Doe” on his death certificate. “The reason for the pseudonym,” says the official, “was to avoid drawing undue attention to the importance of the victim as Americans rushed to figure out how to recover Stevens’ body and return it to the U.S.” They get a lot of John Does in Libyan hospitals?
- In the gun-panicked suburbs of Washington, D.C., kids are getting thrown out of school for eating stuff into gun shapes, pointing their fingers like guns and firing off Hello Kitty bubble guns that literally shoot pretty, floating bubbles. So an unnamed 5-year-old who brought an orange-tipped cap gun onto the school bus must have seemed, by comparison, like an outright terrorist. So the adults in his life did the sensible thing and suspended him for five days. That’ll teach ’im!
- A former executive for Microsoft is planning to launch America’s first marijuana brand — think Marlboro or Camel, except for weed — by sourcing the product from Mexican suppliers and pledging consistency across the market. It’s still illegal under Federal law, but with States beginning to ignore the Feds, Jamen Shively (he’s the man with the plan) says marijuana in the United States is becoming “a giant market in search of a brand.”
- This afternoon’s 3.6 million-mile flyby of a pretty chunky asteroid — romantically dubbed “1998 QE2” — is turning some scientists’ thoughts toward disaster preparedness. Their best answer for space rock crashes, so far, is… well, to stand by and watch using a bunch of telescopes hooked up to a computer database. Social media could play a role in preparing the public for a direct strike; scientists are using today’s near-miss as an experiment in engaging people in play-by-play discussion of real-time sky events. Giant asteroid; run!