Friday’s Mini-Report, 12.18.15

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Clemency: “President Obama commuted the sentences of 95 drug offenders Friday, more than double the number of commutations he granted earlier this year in July, in an effort to reduce prison crowding and give relief to drug offenders who were harshly sentenced in the nation’s war on drugs.”
 
* Shkreli: “Martin Shkreli, the disgraced CEO of drugmaker Turing Pharmaceuticals, resigned Friday from the company he founded, following his arrest on unrelated securities fraud charges.”
 
* Surprising indifference: “Sen. Marco Rubio missed Friday’s Senate vote approving a massive $1.8 trillion end-of-the-year spending bill and tax package – a day after he suggested that he could try to slow the legislation down. “
 
* A long road ahead: “U.N. Security Council members have unanimously approved a U.N. resolution endorsing a peace process for Syria including a cease-fire and talks between the Damascus government and the opposition.”
 
* Stronger-than-expected demand: “The Obama administration announced Friday that 6 million people have signed up for ObamaCare health coverage – calling the total a sign of a surge in growth in this year’s sign-up period. “
 
* Virginia: “In yet another example of how anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. may be reaching a fever pitch, a central Virginia school district was forced to shut its doors on Friday after a lesson on Arabic calligraphy inspired an angry backlash.”
 
* A familiar problem: “Unaccompanied minors are crossing the U.S. Southwest border in growing numbers again, sparking concerns that the new influx of children could eventually approach the levels that last year prompted the Obama administration to declare a humanitarian crisis.”
 
* Coalition of the surprised: “Officials in Pakistan said Wednesday that they had not been consulted by anyone in Saudi Arabia before their nation was described as a founding member of a new, 34-country ‘Islamic military alliance’ to fight terrorism announced late Monday night by the Saudi defense minister.”
 
* Speaking of the Middle East: “Israel and Turkey have reached a preliminary agreement to begin restoring full diplomatic relations after years of deep freeze, Israeli officials said on Thursday.”
 
* A new day: “New Orleans’ leaders on Thursday made a sweeping move to break with the city’s Confederate past when the City Council voted to remove prominent Confederate monuments along some of its busiest streets. The council’s 6-1 vote allows the city to remove four monuments, including a towering statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that has stood at the center of a traffic circle for 131 years.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 
 

Friday's Mini-Report, 12.18.15