Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Sometimes, word choice matters: “The United States is ‘at war’ with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), White House and Pentagon officials said Friday, marking a significant departure from the more cautious rhetoric President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry used earlier this week.”
* Tepid: “Many Arab governments grumbled quietly in 2011 as the United States left Iraq, fearful it might fall deeper into chaos or Iranian influence. Now, the United States is back and getting a less than enthusiastic welcome, with leading allies like Egypt, Jordan and Turkey all finding ways on Thursday to avoid specific commitments to President Obama’s expanded military campaign against Sunni extremists.”
* The important fate of Estonia’s Eston Kohver: “His bosses say Kohver was investigating a suspected smuggling ring with top-level Russian links. Russia claims he crossed into Moscow’s territory on Sept. 5 in an alleged covert operation. Kohver is now behind bars in Moscow’s high-security Lefortovo prison with possible espionage charges awaiting, the Associated Press reports.”
* Sanctions: “The United States and the European Union moved on Friday to shut down Western aid to Russian deepwater, Arctic offshore and shale oil exploration, broadening and deepening the range of sanctions imposed on Moscow in retaliation for its intervention in Ukraine despite the potential cost to Western firms like Exxon Mobil and BP.”
* ISIS causes scramble: “The rapid surge of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and its ability to draw fighters from across the globe, has set off alarm bells in capitals worldwide. Countries that rarely see eye to eye are now trying to blunt its recruitment drive, passing a raft of new rules that they hope will stop their citizens from joining extremist groups abroad.”
* Gut-wrenching: “At least 5,186 people have died in Central African Republic since fighting between Muslims and Christians started in December, according to an Associated Press tally gleaned from more than 50 of the hardest-hit communities and the capital, Bangui. That’s well more than double the death toll of about 2,000 cited by the United Nations back in April, when it approved a peacekeeping mission. The deaths have mounted steadily since, with no official record.”
* This won’t go away: “Sources close to Ray Rice told NBC News on Friday that Rice specifically detailed in a June interview with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that he had hit his fiancée in a casino elevator, contradicting Goodell’s account of the meeting.”
* Ebola: “President Barack Obama will travel to Florida and Georgia next week to receive updates on two global crises: the outbreak of Ebola and the rise of the militant group Islamic State. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Mr. Obama will be updated by officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta on the response to the Ebola outbreak, as well as a new respiratory illness reported in several states.”
* Drama in Toronto: “The Rob Ford era ended Friday as dramatically as it unfolded: Ford, the mayor whose scandals roiled city hall and captured global attention, withdrew from the race because of a tumour – and blessed the new candidacy of his brother and former campaign manager, Councillor Doug Ford.”
* That’s quite a deal: “Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed a package of bills on Thursday to provide $1.3 billion in tax breaks and other incentives for Tesla Motors , putting a bow on the deal for the electric car company to build a massive factory in the state.”
* Allegations worth watching: “Zalmay Khalilzad, who served as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations under President George W. Bush, is being investigated by American authorities for suspected money laundering, Austrian officials said Monday.”
* And if you’ve missed Rachel talking about it on the show, we’ve been updating an online whip count, listing the members of Congress who support a congressional debate and vote on authorizing force against ISIS targets. Have your representatives weighed in? If so, and their names aren’t on our list, email us at Rachel@msnbc.com.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.