Friday’s Mini-Report, 7.18.14

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Malaysia Airlines Flight 17: “At least one American citizen died in the Malaysia Airlines flight that was shot down in eastern Ukraine, President Obama said Friday at the White House. Obama called the crash an “outrage of unspeakable proportions” and expressed sympathy for the Netherlands, where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 originated on Thursday.”
 
* Related news: “The president confirmed that a surface-to-air missile launched from an area controlled by Russian-backed separatists downed the plane in Ukraine. The airliner was flying at about 33,000 feet when it last made contact with radar Thursday. Obama added that the U.S. is still gathering evidence on who ordered the attack on the flight and why. ‘The shot was taken within territory that is controlled by the Russian separatists,’ Obama said.”
 
* Among the victims: “A number of AIDS researchers and prevention advocates, including pioneering expert Dr. Joep Lange, presumably perished on board Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which crashed Thursday in eastern Ukraine having been shot down by a missile. The activists were en route to Melbourne, Australia, for the 20th International AIDS Conference, due to begin on Sunday.”
 
* Gaza: “Even as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday that he had ordered Israel’s military to ‘prepare for the possibility of widening, significantly,’ its ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, troops operated mainly near Gaza’s borders in what Israeli officials emphasized was a modest mission targeting tunnels into their territory.”
 
* A poor start: “The United States is ‘very concerned’ that international investigators were only given 75 minutes to survey the wreckage of the Malaysian Airlines jet shot down over rebel-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine, the State Department said Friday.”
 
* EU: “German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday it was too soon to move on tougher sanctions against Russia after the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.”
 
* LGBT: “President Barack Obama on Monday will sign an executive order banning workplace discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender workers of federal contractors and the federal government.”
 
* Marriage equality: “The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday affirmed a second decision striking down a state’s gay marriage ban – this time in Oklahoma. The decision was expected after the court issued a similar ruling last month finding a gay marriage ban in Utah also violated the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection and Due Process clauses. The decision Friday was stayed to give time for appeal, possibly to the Supreme Court, as Utah has done.”
 
* That’s not a bad pitch, though it faces long odds: “President Obama called for a ‘sense of patriotism’ to overcome legislative deadlock on Thursday, as he criticized Republicans for rejecting his spending priorities and challenging his attempts to circumvent Congress with executive actions.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Friday's Mini-Report, 7.18.14