Friday’s Mini-Report

Updated
 

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Big announcement: “U.S. troops in Afghanistan will move into a support role starting this spring, President Barack Obama announced at a joint news conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Friday. ‘This war will come to a responsible end,’ Obama said.”

* Medal of Honor: “An Army sergeant who ignored his battle wounds to take out the enemy, rescue the injured and retrieve the dead during an ambush by 300 fighters in Afghanistan will receive the Medal of Honor, the White House announced Friday.”

* President Obama will deliver the State of the Union on Feb. 12, right between his inauguration and the deadline for a debt-ceiling increase.

* ‘Epidemic’ levels: “Deaths in the current flu season officially crossed the line into ‘epidemic’ territory Friday, federal health officials said, adding that, on the bright side, there were also early signs that the caseloads could be peaking.”

* Mali: “As Islamist fighters scored new gains in northern Mali, French ground forces intervened Friday to help the sagging Malian army, opening a new front in the confrontation between the West and al-Qaeda-allied guerrillas.”

* Climate crisis: “A federal advisory panel released a massive draft report Friday saying climate change is already damaging the nation’s infrastructure and poses a risk to human health as well as the natural resources supporting Americans’ way of life.”

* Improved economic news: “There were 3.3 unemployed workers for every posted job opening in November, the lowest ratio in more than four years.”

* Smart: “The Japanese government approved emergency stimulus spending of more than $100 billion on Friday, part of an aggressive push by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to kick-start growth in Japan’s long-moribund economy.”

* Is the Affordable Care Act responsible for some private insurers’ premium hikes? Of course not.

* More than a decade later, Fox News’ Eric Bolling still doesn’t understand that Iraq wasn’t involved with the 9/11 attacks. That’s just astounding, even for him.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Friday's Mini-Report

Updated