Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Crisis in Israel: “Rocket fire from both the Gaza Strip and Lebanon struck Israel Friday morning as the Israeli military continued its air assault on the coastal enclave, where officials said the death toll rose to 98.”
* Japan: “A minor tsunami hit Miyagi prefecture in Japan early Saturday after a strong 6.8-magnitude quake jolted the country’s northeastern Pacific coast, prompting advisories for regions including around the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.”
* Ukraine: “Rebels attacked a Ukrainian military camp in eastern Ukraine on Friday, killing as many as 30 soldiers and border guards, the Ukrainian authorities said.”
* Afghanistan: “Secretary of State John Kerry began a series of meetings in Kabul on Friday in hopes of finding a way out of a presidential election crisis that has threatened to split the Afghan government and prompted Western officials to warn that Afghanistan risked losing billions of dollars in aid on which it depends.”
* There’s still no GOP alternative: “President Obama’s request of $3.7 billion in emergency funding for the border is too high, the House chairman with purview over spending said Friday. ‘No, that’s too much,’ Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said when asked whether the House would pass the spending bill outlined by the administration.”
* Time for the CDC to get its act together: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday said it has closed two laboratories and halted some shipments of dangerous disease samples after discovering new safety breaches, including one that involved the dangerous avian flu.”
* Deficit: “The White House predicted Friday that the federal budget deficit will dip below $600 billion this year for the first time since the Great Recession hit in 2007.”
* Mississippi: “[S]tate Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) said Friday that his campaign and his supporters have found ‘over 8,300 questionable ballots cast’ in the runoff election for U.S. Senate, which Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) won.”
* Ari Berman reports from North Carolina, where the future of the Voting Rights Act is on the line: “Eleven witnesses – a mixture of civil rights activists, legislators and election experts – testified against the law, known as House Bill 589, over the course of four days.”
* An important setback: “A child in Mississippi who was thought to have been cured of H.I.V. with aggressive drug treatment immediately after birth is now showing signs of infection with the virus, federal health officials announced Thursday – a serious setback to hopes for a cure for AIDS.”
* Neat trick: “Step One: Fox News contributors call for President Obama’s impeachment. Step Two: Fox News reports on ‘some prominent outside conservatives’ calling for President Obama to be impeached.”
* The unlikely trio of Sheldon Adelson, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates – billionaires, all – wrote a joint op-ed today, chastising Congress for having failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform. They neglected entirely to note that there’s one party in one chamber responsible for the failure – they’re called House Republicans – which made the op-ed of limited utility.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.