Friday’s Mini-Report, 4.29.16

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* This escalation is cause for alarm: “A Russian Su-27 jet flew dangerously close to a U.S. Air Force RC-135 aircraft over the Baltic Sea on Friday, military officials said. The Russian plane flew within 25 feet of the RC-135’s fuselage, conducting a barrel roll over the U.S. plane.”
 
* The U.S. Supreme Court “is declining to block enforcement of the recently enacted Texas voter identification law. Passed in 2011 and subject to court challenges ever since, the law requires a photo ID to vote but limits the permissible forms of identification. College ID’s, for example, are not accepted, but gun licenses are.”
 
* More on this story on tonight’s show: “Protesters are clashing with police outside a state GOP convention in Burlingame, California, where Donald Trump was expected to speak Friday. Several hundred protesters gathered outside a hotel near San Francisco while awaiting the Republican presidential front-runner.”
 
* Gun debate: “President Obama will use the power of his office to push for adoption of so-called smart gun technology that could eventually limit the use of a firearm to its owner, the White House announced Friday morning.”
 
* North Korea: “An American who has been held in North Korea since October was sentenced to 10 years of hard labor on Friday for spying and other offenses, Chinese and Japanese news agencies reported from Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.”
 
* A campaign worth watching: “With time ticking on what White House aides see as their last, slim chance to get Merrick Garland confirmed before the November election – the unlikely scenario he’ll get a hearing and a vote before the Senate breaks for the summer – allies will launch new operations and ads starting Saturday to pressure GOP senators during next week’s recess…. They’re calling it the 9-9-9 campaign: nine states, over nine days, to push for a court with nine justices.”
 
* Ban the box: “The White House on Friday will move to bar federal agencies from asking applicants for tens of thousands of government jobs about their criminal histories until the very end of the process.”
 
* Dear North Carolina: “Now the NCAA has made its commitment to nondiscrimination even more explicit by setting new requirements for cities that wish to host NCAA events, including the men’s and women’s Final Four basketball tournaments, which draw thousands of visitors. At its quarterly meeting, held earlier this week, the NCAA Board of Governors adopted a policy that will require potential hosts ‘to demonstrate how they will provide an environment that is safe, healthy, and free of discrimination, plus safeguards the dignity of everyone involved in the event.’”
 
* Israel: “President Obama has proposed granting Israel the largest package of military aid ever provided by the United States to another nation, but he and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remain deeply at odds over a figure for the assistance despite months of negotiations.”
 
* What a story: “Wayne Shelby Simmons, 62, of Annapolis, Maryland, a former Fox News commentator who has falsely claimed he spent 27 years working for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), pleaded guilty today to major fraud against the government, wire fraud, and a firearms offense.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 
 

Friday's Mini-Report, 4.29.16