Chatter: The Red Cross holds positive talks with Syria




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Need To Know:

It seems Peter Maurer, the new head of the Red Cross, is a man of his word.

On Monday, Maurer announced that he would urge Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to improve humanitarian access to civilians in the war-torn country.

CRC spokesman Hicham Hassa said
, "During the meeting with President Assad this morning, the ICRC president discussed issues related to the protection of the civilian population during the conduct of hostilities such as the importance of access to health care and basic necessities and also visits to persons detained in Syria."

Hassan added that the talks remained positive.

According to a UNHCR briefing, more than 100,000 people are seeking asylum in surrounding countries - the highest monthly total of the Syria crisis to date.

Want To Know:

A second night of rioting in Belfast has left 15 Northern Irish police officers injured. Catholic and Protestant gangs have been throwing petrol bombs, bricks and bottles at police and each other in some of the worst sectarian violence seen this year.

Fighting in Northern Ireland
is common through the summer when parades held by Protestants, who want the country to remain part of the United Kingdom, are seen as provocative by the Catholic community, who want to be part of a united Ireland.

A total of 62 police were injured
in just over 24 hours with three officers hurt Monday being sent to the hospital.

Dull But Important: 

Moody's officially lowered its outlook for the European Union's AAA credit rating to "negative" while warning that its rating could be downgraded.

Moody's said that nations including Germany, France, Netherlands and the UK all have a negative outlook and that all are exposed to the region's debt crisis, hurting their creditworthiness.

The agency added, "Hence, it is reasonable to assume that the EU's creditworthiness should move in line with the creditworthiness of its strongest key member states."

Just Because:

A new study has shown that when it comes to nutrition, organic food has no real advantage.

Researchers at Stanford University and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System found that there were similar vitamin levels in produce that was organically grown and produce that was not.

The study looked at over 200 previous studies to ascertain the benefits of organic foods over so-called conventional foods.

Researchers said they were suprised that the findings did not show more health benefits for organic produce.

Strange But True: 

It turns out rap star Nicki Minaj is down with the GOP.

In a new track off Lil' Wayne's mix tape Minaj raps, "I'm a Republican voting for Mitt Romney, you lazy b------s are f------ up the economy."

At least Obama still has Jay-Z.