Friday’s Mini-Report

Updated
 

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* The Connecticut state police held a briefing late this afternoon, with updated information on the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

* Why are mass shootings becoming more common? There are competing explanations.

* Mother Jones published a worthwhile guide to mass shootings in America.

* Timing: “Hours after the terrible shooting in a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school, the Michigan House Republicans demanded that Governor Rick Snyder (R) sign a bill that would make it easier for people to receive a gun permit and open up ‘gun free zones,’ including schools.”

* Middle East: ” Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta signed an official deployment order on Friday to send 400 American military personnel and two Patriot air defense batteries to Turkey as its tensions intensify with neighboring Syria, where government forces have increasingly resorted to aerial attacks, including the use of ballistic missiles, to fight a spreading insurgency.”

* A report three years in the making: “The Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday voted to approve its long-awaited report on the use of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ under former President George W. Bush.”

* A big shake-up in Israeli politics: “Facing indictment for breach of trust and fraud, Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, resigned his post Friday afternoon amid mounting political pressure, upending the campaign landscape five weeks before national elections.”

* Cleaner air: “The Environmental Protection Agency tightened the nation’s soot standards by 20 percent Friday, a move that will force communities across the country to improve air quality by the end of the decade while making it harder for some industries to expand operations without strict pollution controls.”

* The one thing GOP lawmakers want to spend more taxpayer money on: “House Republicans have quietly raised the value of a contract with a private law firm that is handling the chamber’s Supreme Court defense of a 1996 federal law that defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman.”

* Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says raising the Medicare eligibility age is “off the table” in the fiscal talks.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Friday's Mini-Report

Updated