Today’s edition of quick hits:
* The latest diplomatic breakthrough: “The Obama administration on Friday removed Cuba from a list of state sponsors of terrorism, a crucial step in normalizing ties between Washington and Havana and the latest progress in President Obama’s push to thaw relations between the United States and the island nation.”
* Evidence of stale, backwards thinking: “Former Gov. Jeb Bush continued to take a hard line against normalizing relations with Cuba on Friday, accusing the Obama administration of capitulating to an oppressive regime by removing it from a state-sponsored terrorism list.”
* An important court ruling: “An Idaho law that prohibits abortions of fetuses 20 or more weeks after fertilization is unconstitutional, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday. The ruling, from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, also struck down an Idaho law that required all second-trimester abortions to occur in a hospital.”
* It’s quite an organization: “Sepp Blatter secured a new four-year term on Friday as president of FIFA, the governing body of world soccer, in a vote taken two days after American prosecutors unveiled sweeping corruption charges against his subordinates.”
* Congress refuses to act on ISIS: “House leaders have tangled in recent days over whether Congress needs to give President Barack Obama explicit authorization to combat the Islamic State: House Speaker John Boehner called the president’s request for such authority ‘irresponsible’ and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Boehner has ‘refused’ to even debate the issue. But don’t expect that heated rhetoric on the House or Senate floor anytime soon, even as militants topple major cities in Iraq and Syria at a stunningly swift pace.”
* Don’t panic: “The economy contracted in the first quarter for the second straight year, a disappointing start that could foil the chance of the U.S. reaching 3% growth in 2015 for the first time in a decade. Gross domestic product – the value of everything a nation produces – shrank by 0.7% annual rate from January to March, the Commerce Department said Friday.”
* Still a misguided way to deal with the issue: “President Obama on Friday will sign a two-month extension of highway funding into law, the White House said. The measure prevents a sudden halt in infrastructure funding that was slated to begin May 31. But White House press secretary Josh Earnest criticized the stopgap bill as a punt and urged Congress to pass a long-term measure to fund road projects.”
* She’s right: “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) wouldn’t have the backing of the Pope to support his claim that advocating for same-sex marriage will turn into a full-on assault on the Catholic Church’s teachings.” Video of Pelosi’s interview is online here.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.