Top of the Morning: USA To Provide Direct Military Aid to Syrian Rebels

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US to Provide “Direct Military Assistance” To Syrian Rebels

The White House announced last night that it has confirmed that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons and that it plans on boosting aid to Syrian rebels. The White House was still coy on the precise nature of the new military assistance, but stressed that it will be substantively different than the prior aid. Reading the tea leaves, it looks like the White House does not want to publicly state it is providing weapons to rebels prior to the Geneva conference. (NYTimes

There will be 9.6 Billion People on Planet Earth By 2050

From a new UN report: “The report, World Population Prospects: the 2012 Revision, notes that the population of developed regions will remain largely unchanged at around 1.3 billion from now until 2050. In contrast, the 49 least developed countries are projected to double in size from around 900 million people in 2013 to 1.8 billion in 2050. Compared to previous assessments of world population trends, the new projected total population is higher, mainly due to new information obtained on fertility levels of certain countries. For example, in 15 high-fertility countries of sub-Saharan Africa, the estimated average number of children per woman has been adjusted upwards by more than 5 per cent.” (UN