Iraq is falling apart. "Al-Qaida-inspired" insurgents calling themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria are conquering city after city in the country's relatively sympathetic Sunni north, rolling with stunning speed toward a clash in Shiite-dominated Baghdad. Iraq's splintering along sectarian and ethnic lines took another turn this morning after Kurdish fighters seized an oil-producing city in their heartland almost without a fight. Iraq's prime minister begged the Obama administration for airstrikes weeks ago, before the insurgency metastasized so dramatically—only to be rebuffed. Iran appears ready to fill the role of savior instead.

Life in recovery. Five years after the end of last decade's almost-depression, "economic growth has averaged only about 2 percent a year, well below its historical average. Household incomes continue to stagnate, and millions of Americans still can’t find jobs. And a growing number of experts see evidence that the economy will never rebound completely."

Now the police, in India, are accused of gang-raping women—instead of, you know, just actively ignoring it.

Texas Governor Rick Perry, in a speech in the queer mecca of San Francisco, compared homosexuality to alcoholism—saying people can choose, just like he's choosing, to defy their throbbing, insistent, needy genetic impulses. Sigh.

A scientist thought it would be a good idea—in case it ever came back on its own! so we can fight it!—to re-create the pandemic Spanish flu virus that killed tens of millions worldwide a little less than a century ago.

Eric Cantor's loss to a Tea Party nobody in this week's GOP primary also thrusts a Democratic nobody (he's a romance novelist!) into the campaign spotlight. The fallout of Cantor's defeat, meanwhile, is ginning up a Mason-Dixon-style war within GOP leadership.

Tomorrow's news today! North Korea's weather bureau has been vanished and/or fed to dogs, after Kim Jong Un showed up to their offices the day before and publicly castigated the place for inaccurate forecasts.

Israel's military has denied shooting a Palestinian boy to death during a demonstration last month. An autopsy of the boy's corpse found that's not entirely the truth.

Russia revived the sweet deal on natural gas it had offered to Ukraine's since-ousted pro-Russian president earlier this year, and Ukraine said no and demanded even more generous terms. And those negotiations—despite all the combat out east, and the Crimean annexation and the posturing among world leaders—mean we've now returned to the real fight between the two countries.

A would-be john in Florida tried paying for a prostitute with a fast-food salad. The "prostitute" was actually an undercover cop.

In case you missed it, Portland police reported their third officer-involved shooting of 2014 this morning, after a robbery report along SE Foster and the Springwater Corridor Trail. Keep checking Blogtown today for updates.

The "Randy Leonard" fire station under construction at the foot of the Hawthorne Bridge is millions over budget, in part because of seismic work and an expensive new boathouse not initially included in estimates. But mostly just because of course it is.