Top of the Morning: USA May Directly Aid Syrian Rebels; Dengue Fever on the Rise in Brazil

Top stories from DAWNS Digest. 

USA May Directly Aid Syrian Rebels

Not with arms, but this would be a big change from current policy. “The Obama administration is moving toward a major policy shift on Syria that could provide the rebels with equipment such as body armor, armored vehicles and possible military training and could send humanitarian assistance directly to Syria’s opposition political coalition, according to U.S. and European officials. The administration has not provided direct aid to either the military or political side of the opposition throughout the two-year old Syrian conflict, and U.S. officials remain opposed to providing weapons to the rebels.” (WaPo

Sharp Rise of Dengue Fever in Brazil

Three times more dengue cases have been recorded in the first seven weeks of this year in Brazil as compared to last year. “Health authorities in Brazil say there has been a steep rise in the confirmed cases of dengue fever this year. More than 200,000 people were infected in the first seven weeks of 2013 compared to 70,000 in the same period last year, official figures suggest. The southern state of Mato Grosso do Sul has been hardest hit. Officials said the cases were likely to rise as the rainy season increases the risk of reproduction of the mosquito which transmits the disease. Health Minister Alexandre Padilha said that despite the higher incidence, the cases had been less severe than those recorded last year.” (BBC