Friday’s Mini-Report, 7.31.15

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Syria: “Syrian rebels, recently trained by the U.S. military, came under heavy fire Friday in northern Syria and for the first time called in U.S. airstrikes to repel the enemy. U.S. military officials tell NBC News the Free Syrian forces were attacked Friday morning by about 50 al Nusra fighters. Under siege, the Syrian moderates issued a desperate plea to the U.S. military.”
 
* West Bank firebombing: “A Palestinian toddler was burned to death and his 4-year-old brother and parents were critically injured early Friday morning in an arson attack on their home in the West Bank. Witnesses and officials attributed the attack to Jewish extremists because of Hebrew graffiti sprayed nearby. ‘Revenge!’ was written on one wall, next to a Star of David.”
 
* Also in Israel: “Six people were stabbed at Jerusalem’s annual Gay Pride Parade on Thursday. The suspected attacker was identified as Yishai Schlissel, the same man behind the attack on the 2005 parade, recently released from prison.”
 
* Ebola: “Merck & Co.’s vaccine for Ebola is “highly effective,” according to an interim analysis from a panel of experts who recommended that a late-stage trial should continue. The vaccine was 100 percent effective when it was tested on more than 4,000 people who were in close contact with Ebola patients in the African nation of Guinea, the World Health Organization said, citing a study published today in the Lancet medical journal.”
 
* South Carolina: “A federal judge entered not guilty pleas Friday on charges against Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old white man accused of killing nine African-American parishioners at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church in Charleston, South Carolina, last month.”
 
* Ohio: “A grand jury has decided to not indict additional Cincinnati police officers involved in the investigation into the death of an unarmed black man who was shot in the head during a routine traffic stop earlier this month, Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters announced Friday.”
 
* ISIS: “After billions of dollars spent and more than 10,000 extremist fighters killed, the Islamic State group is fundamentally no weaker than it was when the U.S.-led bombing campaign began a year ago, American intelligence agencies have concluded.”
 
* DOJ: “Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Friday that the agency is starting a pilot program that will give a limited number of eligible incarcerated students the opportunity to receive federal funding for obtaining a bachelor’s or professional degree.”
 
* Iraq: “NATO allies agreed Friday on a package of measures to help strengthen Iraqi security and defense forces, including in the fields of military training, demining and countering improvised explosive devices.”
 
* IAEA: “The U.N. nuclear watchdog chief will meet with the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on Wednesday in Washington to discuss his agency’s monitoring role in Iran following Tehran’s deal with world powers on curbing its atomic activity.”
 
* Iran deal: “It was a side of President Barack Obama many of the 20 House Democrats who gathered in the White House’s Blue Room Wednesday night hadn’t seen before: engaged, direct, even a little bit personal…. ‘This is the most intense I’ve ever seen him,’ Vermont Rep. Peter Welch, who supports the deal, said.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Friday's Mini-Report, 7.31.15