Friday’s Mini-Report

Updated

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Lebanon: “Car bombs exploded with catastrophic force outside two Sunni mosques in this northern Lebanon city on Friday as many worshipers were leaving prayers, killing dozens of people and wounding hundreds. The bombings were a major escalation of sectarian violence in Lebanon, a country deeply unsettled by the conflict in neighboring Syria, and reinforced fears that the Middle East could be plunging into unbridled Sunni vs. Shiite warfare.”

* NSA: “National Security Agency officials deliberately overstepped their legal authority multiple times in the past decade, the agency acknowledged on Friday.”

* Fort Hood: “Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist who admitted to the 2009 shooting rampage at the military base here, was convicted Friday of 13 counts of premeditated murder – and could become the first American soldier to be put to death in half a century.”

* Sgt. Robert Bales, the U.S. soldier who carried out a massacre of Afghan villlagers last year, “has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.” In Bales’ attack last March, 16 Afghan civilians were gunned down in their family compounds. Most of the victims were women and children.

* Syria: “President Barack Obama said reports of a possible chemical weapons attack in Syria this week signal ‘a big event of grave concern’ and said he has shortened the time frame for the U.S. to decide whether it will act to halt the bloodshed in the country.”

* The right is trying to exploit Christopher Lane’s murder for ugly racial and political ends. Adam Serwer explains why this is a mistake.

* San Diego: “Mayor Bob Filner has signed a letter of resignation, pending City Council approval of a proposal reached during mediation between his lawyers and the city attorney over a sexual harassment lawsuit against the mayor, city officials said Friday.”

* Treasury Secretary Jack Lew wants to help Congress understand the basics of the debt ceiling: “It is important to note that the debt limit has nothing to do with new spending0 It has to do with spending that Congress has already approved and bills that have already been incurred. Failing to raise the debt limit would not make these bills go away. It would, though, have disastrous effects for our nation.”

* Good call: “President Obama phoned a Georgia elementary school bookkeeper who talked a 20-year-old armed with an AK-47 assault rifle into surrendering, according to the White House.”

* Fifty years after the March.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Friday's Mini-Report

Updated