Friday’s Mini-Report, 5.13.16

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* This is a major development in the debate over capital punishment: “The pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced on Friday that it has imposed sweeping controls on the distribution of its products to ensure that none are used in lethal injections, a step that closes off the last remaining open-market source of drugs used in executions.”
 
* If there’s a good explanation for this, I’m eager to hear it: “The House will soon consider the National Defense Authorization Act, an annual piece of legislation that sets policy for the military. If the bill becomes law in its current form, the United States will break faith with the Afghans who served with U.S. troops and diplomats.”
 
* The Obama administration sent a letter today “to every public school district in America warning them they should allow transgender students to use bathrooms consistent with their chosen gender identity, or risk losing federal funding.”
 
* Change no one should believe in: “The new Brazilian president’s first pick for science minister was a creationist. He chose a soybean tycoon who has deforested large tracts of the Amazon rain forest to be his agriculture minister. And he is the first leader in decades to have no women in his cabinet at all.”
 
* A case we’ve been watching: “A federal judge Friday put the brakes on releasing the names of the suspected Bridgegate conspirators. Judge Susan Wigenton delayed the release until Tuesday after lawyers for a “John Doe” filed a last-minute motion to stop it from being revealed.”
 
* The U.S. Navy has “fired the commander of the 10 American sailors who entered Iranian territorial waters in the Persian Gulf and were captured and held by Iran for about 15 hours. In a statement Thursday, the Navy said it had lost confidence in Cmdr. Eric Rasch, who was the executive officer of the squadron that included the 10 sailors at the time of the January incident.”
 
* Another ugly oil spill: “Almost 90,000 gallons of crude oil gushed from a Shell oil facility into the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast on Thursday, leaving a 13- by 2-mile sheen of oil on the waves, federal authorities said.”
 
* Arizona: “It’s official: A federal judge has found Sheriff Joe Arpaio in civil contempt of federal court. A federal judge ruled that the Maricopa County lawman and three of his top aides violated a federal court order meant to curtail racial profiling in his agency, according to a ruling issued Friday.”
 
* That’s quite a bit less money than the administration says is necessary: “The Senate on Thursday reached a bipartisan deal that would provide $1.1 billion in funding to fight the Zika virus, breaking a months-long standoff over how much spending is needed to address the growing public health threat.”
 
* Stay classy, congressman: “Former House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.) is refusing to apologize for using the racial slur ‘Japs’ during an interview on MSNBC on Friday morning, saying people are ‘too politically correct.’”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 
 
 

Friday's Mini-Report, 5.13.16