News bites: On Syria, Obama tests limits of executive power

“Mr. Obama’s strategy ensures that no matter what happens, the crisis is likely to create an important precedent in the often murky legal question of when presidents or nations may lawfully use military force,” writes the Times's Charlie Savage, who notes that Obama, like presidents before him, has previously ordered limited military intervention elsewhere. 

A federal government panel has approved a Chinese firm’s $4.7 billion acquisition of Virginia’s Smithfield foods, prompting renewed concerns from Democratic lawmakers, according to RegWatch.

Facing increased regulatory scrutiny, payday lenders are moving their services online,McClatchy's Washington bureau reports.

Treasury’s Lael Brainard is seen as a possible nominee to fill one of the Federal Reserve’s vacant seats, a move that could reduce pressure on the president to select a woman for the chairmanship, according to The Washington Post.

In Los Angeles, Valerie Jarrett told the AFL-CIO White House that the White House is committed to seeing that a long-stalled worker safety rule on silica dust exposure is finalized, RegWatch reports.

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