Friday’s Mini-Report, 1.23.15

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* A new Saudi Arabian king: “The ISIS and al Qaeda-fighting credentials of Saudi Arabia’s new king and his two successors signal how seriously the kingdom takes the threat from Muslim extremist groups wreaking havoc in the region.”
 
* The Supreme Court “announced Friday that it will review the lethal injection protocol used in many executions around the country, after allowing an Oklahoma inmate last week to be put to death using the drugs. The court’s four liberals would have granted Charles Frederick Warner a stay but were overruled.”
 
* Montana: “Montana state officials on Friday said tap water in the town of Glendive is now safe to drink, six days after more than 40,000 gallons of oil spilled into the nearby Yellowstone River.”
 
* These are odd times for geopolitics in the Middle East: “Iraq’s prime minister said on Friday the West had increased support to his country to help it fight Islamic State, and Iran was also providing crucial backing.”
 
* Diplomacy is complex, too: “The first round of high-level talks between United States and Cuba wrapped up this week, with diplomats acknowledging both common ground and ‘deep disagreements’ in mending relations between the two countries.”
 
* Ebola: “The number of people falling victim to the Ebola virus in West Africa has fallen to the lowest level in months, the World Health Organization said on Friday, but dwindling funds and a looming rainy season threaten to hamper efforts to control the disease.”
 
* New Jersey: “Protesters around the country are once again speaking out against racial disparities in police use of force in response to a video that shows two Bridgeton, New Jersey, officers shooting and killing a black man as he held his hands up. A dashboard camera recorded the encounter, including the moments police pulled over a car and shot and killed the passenger, 36-year-old Jerame Reid.”
 
* If you mast last night’s segment, this is quite a case: “The commander of the United States naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has been relieved of his duties because of a loss of confidence in his ability to command, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday. The commander, Capt. John Nettleton, had led Naval Station Guantánamo Bay since 2012.”
 
* The new Republican majority of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee thought it’d be a good idea to hold a hearing yesterday to attack the Affordable Care Act. As Alec MacGillis reported, it appears Democrats on the committee were the ones having all the fun.
 
* Conservative media insisted this week that when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went to Canada recently, she traveled with 65 Secret Service officials. As is too often the case, conservative media reports things that aren’t true.
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Friday's Mini-Report, 1.23.15