Friday’s Mini-Report, 11.13.15

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* More on the deadly violence in Paris on tonight’s show: “At least eighteen people were killed in an outbreak of explosions and at least one shootout in Paris Friday, according to police. Police in Paris told NBC News that several people had been shot at a restaurant, around the same time as at least one other incident.”
 
* Afghanistan: “A crucial district in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand Province is close to falling to the Taliban after three days of heavy fighting left more than 60 Afghan troops dead, government officials said Friday night.”
 
* Syria: “Two people were ‘incinerated’ in the U.S. airstrike targeting an ISIS terrorist known as ‘Jihadi John,’ and a military spokesman said Friday officials are ‘reasonably certain’ he was one of them.”
 
* Iraq: “Kurdish and Yazidi fighters retook Sinjar on Friday morning, on the second day of a major offensive to reclaim this city in northern Iraq, which has been under the brutal domination of the Islamic State for more than 15 months.”
 
* Good move: “A Utah judge reversed his decision to take a baby away from her lesbian foster parents and place her with a heterosexual couple after the ruling led to widespread backlash.”
 
* Pentagon: “Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter has fired his top military aide for allegations of ‘misconduct,’ a highly unusual move prior to a formal investigation into possible misbehavior by the Army general.”
 
* Climate crisis: “The IPCC has estimated that, to stay below 2°C of warming, we’ll need to zero out our emissions and start removing between 2 and 10 gigatons of CO2 from the atmosphere each year by 2050. For perspective, all of the world’s forests and soils put together currently remove just 3.3 gigatons of CO2 each year. So imagine doubling or tripling that. Planting more trees could help, but we’ll need sweeping new carbon-removal techniques on top of that.”
 
* An understandable reaction: “White House spokesman Josh Earnest couldn’t help but crack a smile when asked during a Friday press briefing about Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson’s claim that the Chinese military is involved in Syria. ‘Maybe it violates my job description as a spokesperson to be speechless but I think in this case, I am,’ Earnest told the assembled reporters, who laughed.”
 
* House Freedom Caucus members are preparing a “Contract With America” of their own: “U.S. House Republican hard-liners who helped force out former Speaker John Boehner are readying their next act: a multi-point manifesto demanding quick action on long-time conservative priorities.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 
 

Friday's Mini-Report, 11.13.15