Friday’s Mini-Report, 8.26.16

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Italy’s aftershocks: “The first funerals for victims of Italy’s disastrous earthquake were held Friday as rescuers continued to pick through rubble in hope of finding survivors. More than 900 aftershocks have followed Wednesday’s powerful temblor, sending up clouds of dust and cracking remaining buildings in stricken towns including Amatrice, Pescara del Tronto and Accumoli.”
 
* An underappreciated part of Obama’s legacy: “President Obama will use his power to designate national monuments on Friday to create the world’s largest protected marine area off the coast of Hawaii, the White House said. Obama will more than quadruple the size of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, to 582,578 square miles – more than 50 times larger than the land area of the Hawaiian Islands themselves.”
 
* For-profit schools: “The federal Department of Education imposed strict new rules on Thursday on one of the nation’s largest for-profit education companies, ITT Educational Services, barring it from enrolling new students who use federal financial aid and ordering it to pay $153 million to the department within 30 days to cover student refunds if its schools close down.”
 
* Dear Fed, don’t rush: “Janet L. Yellen, the Federal Reserve chairwoman, said on Friday that she saw a stronger case for raising the Fed’s benchmark interest rate, suggesting the central bank was likely to act in the coming months.”
 
* On a related note: “U.S. economic growth was a bit more sluggish than initially thought in the second quarter as businesses aggressively ran down stocks of unsold goods, offsetting a spurt in consumer spending.”
 
* Guantanamo: “Vice President Joseph Biden, Jr., said Thursday he still expects the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will close before the Obama administration leaves office in January. ‘That is my hope and expectation,’ Biden said during a press conference in Sweden.”
 
* Renewable energy: “Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) releases a set of reports each year devoted to tracking solar prices; they’ve just released the latest editions. Long story short: Prices are steadily falling, more or less on schedule.”
 
West Virginia: “[State] Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s office fired a spokesperson Thursday after it was revealed she had played a prominent role in a white supremacist video that was first posted online in 2012.”
 
* I feel like there’s a Rasputin joke just waiting to be told here: “Kyle Cook can’t decide whether he’s really unlucky or incredibly fortunate. Over the past four years, the 31-year-old Florida man has survived a lightning strike, a bite by a venomous spider and – most recently – an attack by a rattlesnake in his backyard in Lakeland, southwest of Orlando.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 
 
 

Friday's Mini-Report, 8.26.16