Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Crisis in Iraq: “Iraq’s top Shiite cleric exhorted all able-bodied Iraqis to take up arms Friday to combat the marauding Sunni extremist militants who have seized broad stretches of the country this week and are threatening the wobbly Shiite-led central government in Baghdad. President Obama said it was up to the Iraqis themselves to contain the crisis.”
* White House reacts: “President Obama said Friday that he would make a decision ‘in the days ahead’ about whether to use American military power to help the besieged Iraqi government stave off collapse at the hands of Islamist insurgents, but he ruled out using ground forces.”
* Capitol Hill: “Raúl R. Labrador is a candidate for majority leader. Labrador announced his decision in a news release Friday afternoon. The Idaho Republican faces an uphill battle to defeat Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, who is seen as the overwhelming favorite for the position.”
* Bergdahl: “Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl ‘looked good’ after arriving back in the United States and is working daily with health professionals after being held by the Taliban for five years in Afghanistan, military officials said Friday.”
* Russia: “The State Department confirmed on Friday that Russia has sent tanks and other heavy weapons to separatists in Ukraine. A convoy of three T-64 tanks, several BM-21 ‘Grad’ multiple rocket launchers and other military vehicles crossed the border near the Ukrainian town of Snizhne, State Department officials said. Reports and images of the weapons’ presence circulated on Thursday, but there were conflicting claims about where they had come from.”
* Execution: “Convicted murderer Clayton Lockett’s botched execution went horribly awry because the Oklahoma execution team charged with taking his life failed to properly place an IV in Lockett’s groin, according to an independent new autopsy report released this morning.”
* Immigration: “In an attempt to stem a crush of Central American children illegally crossing the United States alone into south Texas, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced Thursday that he was in contact with ambassadors in Latin America to discuss how to more quickly return those children to their home countries.”
* Iran: “The Iranian government this week published its first detailed study of how long it estimates it would take its scientists and engineers to assemble a nuclear weapon, saying that with its current infrastructure, ‘the required time span is in years.’”
* And conspiracy theories notwithstanding, it’s really not a surprise – or a big deal – the CBO is no longer scoring the total cost of the Affordable Care Act.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.