Friday’s Mini-Report, 2.12.16

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* The latest school shooting: “The double shooting at a Glendale, Arizona, high school Friday morning involved two 15-year-old sophomores who both died of single gunshot wounds, authorities said. The incident at Independence High School was not an active shooter situation once police cleared the scene and found the teens dead, Glendale Police Officer Tracey Breeden said at a news conference.”
 
* Syria: “World powers began work Friday on the details of a temporary ceasefire in war-ravaged Syria, but rebels and aid groups on the ground were skeptical the “ambitious” deal could be implemented.”
 
* Flint: “The Obama administration plans to extend Medicaid coverage to pregnant women and children affected by the Flint, Michigan water crisis, senior officials told House Democrats on Friday.”
 
* Protecting more natural treasures: “President Obama designated three new national monuments in the California desert Thursday, expanding federal protection to 1.8 million acres of landscapes that have retained their natural beauty despite decades of heavy mining, cattle ranching and off-roading.”
 
* Encouraging economic data: “U.S. consumers boosted their spending during the year’s first month, and finished 2015 on a stronger note than first thought, the latest sign of low unemployment and cheap gasoline outweighing concerns about market turmoil.”
 
* Related news: “The U.S. government posted a $55 billion budget surplus in January, up from an $18 billion deficit in the same month a year ago, the Treasury Department said on Wednesday. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a $45 billion surplus for last month. Treasury officials said the surplus was boosted by the highest receipts on record for the month of January.”
 
* A minor miracle: “The Senate on Friday confirmed a handful of ambassadors and State Department officials, including the American ambassadors to Sweden and Norway – a move that came after Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, lifted his months-long hold on the nominations which were in place because of his objection to the Iran nuclear deal.”
 
* Oklahoma: “Gov. Mary Fallin’s general counsel stepped down Thursday – the third resignation since a grand jury began investigating the state’s execution practices. The announcement comes a week before the grand jury is expected to release its findings.”
 
* Oh my: “Maine Gov. Paul LePage is being accused of racial insensitivity over a joke about a Chinese investor’s name. The man’s last name is Chiu – pronounced ‘choo.’ When LePage mentioned him at a Lewiston business breakfast on Thursday, the Republican governor pronounced it with an emphatic fake sneeze.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 
 

Friday's Mini-Report, 2.12.16