Friday’s Mini-Report, 1.16.15

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Syria: “The U.S. will send about 400 troops to train the moderate Syrian opposition, defense officials confirmed Thursday night. The training is expected to begin in early spring, and the trainers will work out of sites in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, said Cmdr. Elissa Smith, a Defense Department spokeswoman.”
 
* Nigeria: “Boko Haram, the Nigerian Islamist terror group, has rounded up hundreds of women and children and imprisoned them in a school following what appears to be its deadliest attack, survivors and a local official said.”
 
* More on this on Monday: “Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Friday barred local and state police from using federal law to seize cash, cars and other property without evidence that a crime occurred. Holder’s action represents the most sweeping check on police power to confiscate personal property since the seizures began three decades ago as part of the war on drugs.”
 
* Special relationship: “President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron together pledged to form a united front against the growing threat from homegrown Islamic militants by sharing intelligence, backing each other in military operations and working on ways to counter extremist messages that have radicalized young Muslims.”
 
* France: “Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday capped off a morning full of high-level meetings and wreath-laying to commemorate France’s struggle against terrorism by welcoming James Taylor at Paris’s ornate City Hall. After strumming a few bars of ‘La Marseillaise,’ the national anthem of France, Mr. Taylor lowered his head and played ‘You’ve Got a Friend,’ singing the final words in French.”
 
* The latest veto threat: “President Obama said Friday that he would veto bipartisan legislation calling for new sanctions on Iran, and he urged Congress to ‘hold off’ on any vote while negotiations continue on Tehran’s nuclear program for the next several months.”
 
* Executions: “Oklahoma and Florida executed two prisoners Thursday night after the U.S. Supreme Court narrowly gave the go-ahead, despite concerns about the mixture of lethal drugs used for the injections.”
 
* Marilyn Tavenner: “A senior government official with almost unparalleled authority over the U.S. health care system is stepping down, ending a tenure that included one highly publicized, highly consequential failure on Obamacare as well as significant, if less heralded, successes.”
 
* A good point from which to compromise: “President Barack Obama will ask Congress for as much as $68 billion more than current budget limits in fiscal 2016, according to two people familiar with the administration’s proposal.”
 
* A phrase like “precipice of a major extinction event” tends to gets attention: “A team of scientists, in a groundbreaking analysis of data from hundreds of sources, has concluded that humans are on the verge of causing unprecedented damage to the oceans and the animals living in them.”
 
* Guns: “Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan on Thursday vetoed gun legislation that was supported by the National Rifle Association and approved by wide margins in the state’s Legislature, dominated in both chambers by Mr. Snyder’s fellow Republicans.”
 
* Conservative media does it again: “A Daily Caller smear is falling apart after the conservative outlet relied on the word of a Holocaust denier and con artist to accuse President Bill Clinton of having “once praised” him in a letter of commendation.”
 
* A fascinating change of course: “Republicans in Congress are doing a 180 on net neutrality as the Federal Communications Commission prepares to issue new rules within weeks.”
 
* Related news: “In a surprise move, Sprint is breaking with the rest of the wireless industry, telling regulators that it would not oppose strict net neutrality rules.”
 
* The town in which I was born and raised: “A South Florida family is outraged at North Miami Beach Police after mug shots of African American men were used as targets at a shooting range for police training.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Friday's Mini-Report, 1.16.15