The CNN Daily Mash-up is a roundup of some of the most interesting, surprising, curious, poignant or significant items to appear on CNN.com in the past 24 hours. We top it with a collection of the day's most striking photographs from around the world.
In an exclusive interview with CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has some pointed words for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose country's civil war is growing bloodier by the day:
I'm sure that deep down Assad knows he's in trouble and it's just matter of time before he has to go. I would say if you want to be able to protect yourself and your family, you better get the hell out now.
CNN iReporter Finnur Andresson in Iceland hurried out this morning with his camera when his photo club said he should to drive down to Krossvik because many whale sightings were occurring. As he began to take photos, he says the whales went wild and started to swim toward the shore when a whale watching boat approached closer to them.
"All of them turned back, but three to four whales continued to swim to shore (and became stranded)," he said. "I rushed to where they were stuck and then I saw two men in their waders come up. They went immediately to try to pull the whales out to sea. After the rescue, people cheered and everyone was very happy with this achievement. They are clearly the heroes of that day!"
If you think you're going to marry U.S. Olympic swimming star Ryan Lochte, you need to know a little more about him. What better source than his mother?
CNN's Todd Leopold asked the question: "Has the gimmickry of pop music artists like Lady Gaga gone too far? Have we become numb to the emotion and the power of music? The stuff used to be about something, dammit, not a soundalike drone of manufactured robots, lip-synching amid falling tinsel.
Thousands of CNN.com readers have been only too happy to reply. Here are just two:
Image is not the problem. You will never be able to separate image from music; bands from the '60s had the same amount of image as bands of today. A good band creates what's cool. Bands like Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Elvis, oozed the image of that era.
The real problem is we have less than half a dozen no-talent producers creating the entire Top 40. They use a formula to create music, not creativity. Record companies control what music we hear, and they only market music from these hacks since execs like formulas; there's no risk in a formula.
Record companies are the problem, not image.
My my – the rose-colored glasses sure are fitting.
Between 1967 and 1976 you had such "well-crafted music" as:
Tony Orlando and Dawn
etc., etc., etc.
Seriously – spare us the "back in the day" nostalgic idiocy.
An exterminator in Pasadena, Texas, called it a "mountain of hell," but he agreed to help homeowners Adam and April Ybarra tackle their bee problem - for free, CNN affiliate KHOU reports. Claude Griffin of Gotcha Pest Control knew the few bees he was seeing on an outside wall were only a hint of what was waiting for him under the siding. Watch if you dare.
Mitt Romney returns to the United States after a trouble-plagued weeklong tour of Great Britain, Israel and Poland. President Barack Obama will return to Ohio for the second time in less than a month. He'll visit Akron and Mansfield; Mansfield's General Motors plant shut down as part of the Obama-sponsored bailout of the company in 2009.
August 1 anniversaries
1944 - Anne Frank makes her final entry in her diary. The Nazis discover the Frank family in their Amsterdam attic hiding place three days later and send them to concentration camps.
1944 - The Warsaw Uprising against the Nazi occupation of Poland begins.
1981 - MTV debuts.
2007 - The I-35W bridge collapses in Minneapolis, Minnesota, killing 13 people and injuring 145.
August 1 birthdays