Friday’s Mini-Report


Today’s edition of quick hits:

* No one said the talks in Geneva would be easy: “Russian-American negotiations on Syrian disarmament got off to a rocky start with terse welcoming remarks as the parties arrived in Switzerland.”

* Syrian officials “are at least talking the talk about giving up their chemical weapons.”

* Colorado flooding: “The governor of Colorado on Friday ordered the National Guard into a town outside Boulder in hopes of evacuating hundreds of people feared stranded by record floods that were ravaging the state for a third day. Gov. John Hickenlooper said it had to be ‘the largest storm that I can imagine in the state’s history.’”

* New Jersey: “It took thousands of gallons of water from street hydrants, swimming pools and even Barnegat Bay to put out the great Seaside boardwalk fire, and still portions of the ruined amusement area continued to burn today.”

* Afghanistan: “An attack in the western city of Herat that killed seven people and wounded 20 on Friday morning underscored the continued fragility of the security situation in the country, even in pockets of Afghanistan long considered peaceful.”

* NSA: “The secret court that oversees the National Security Agency surveillance programs ruled on Friday that court opinions regarding the agency’s use of the Patriot Act must be released. The ruling is potentially a major victory for the ACLU, which had sued for the release of the opinions.”

* California: “A bill that would boost California’s minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016 won approval by the state Legislature on Thursday and was sent to Gov. Jerry Brown, who said he would sign it.”

* More on this next week: “Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) on Friday sent a letter to the Senate Ethics Committee requesting an investigation of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) for ‘attempted bribery.’”

* Have I mentioned today that the sequester is needlessly hurting the country? Because it is. “The Air Force will no longer be giving free flu shots to civilian employees this year, due to the federal budget cuts known as sequestration.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Friday's Mini-Report