Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Whether or not his word choice will make Republicans and the Beltway media happy is unclear: “President Barack Obama vowed Friday to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the militants of ISIS – an organization that he said was too dangerous to be simply contained.”
* Ukraine: “Government forces and the Russian-backed separatist rebels fighting in southeastern Ukraine will observe a cease-fire starting Friday, negotiators from all sides announced at a news conference in Minsk, Belarus.”
* NATO leaders “approved plans on Friday for a 4,000-person rapid reaction force to be based in Eastern Europe, and meant to reassure members of the alliance unnerved by events in Ukraine, where Russia has seized and annexed the Crimean peninsula and backed separatist rebels in the east.”
* Depending on the circumstances, this could be monumentally important: “The apparent abduction and detention of an Estonian security officer raised tensions between Estonia and Russia just two days after President Barack Obama came to the country and vowed to defend it as a NATO member.”
* This was probably less dramatic than it sounds: “A plane chartered by an American-led military coalition that was flying through Iranian airspace landed unexpectedly in Iran on Friday, but the Obama administration said it was a bureaucratic issue that should be settled soon and was not a larger political incident between two countries with a history of hostility.”
* As dishonesty goes, this seems pretty brazen: “Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson lied when he said he had received “many” specific requests for the videotape that allegedly shows Michael Brown robbing a convenience store, according to a new report.”
* Some priorities are worth investing in: “The W.H.O., the United Nations agency assigned in its constitution to direct international health efforts, tackle epidemics and help in emergencies, has been badly weakened by budget cuts in recent years, hobbling its ability to respond in parts of the world that need it most.”
* More on this on tonight’s show: “Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton, was facing subpoenas for emails and financial transactions before he resigned last Friday from the helm of Senate Republican leader’s reelection effort.”
* Did you catch President Obama’s speech in Estonia this week? I watched it last night and it’s well worth your time. I don’t always agree with David Frum, but I thought it was interesting he called the remarks “the most important speech about European security … of the post-Cold War era.”
* Nice work if you can get it: “After a five-week summer recess that President Obama mocked as a ‘vacation,’ the House and Senate might only be in session for a handful of legislative days before lawmakers head home to campaign for the midterm elections.”
* Immigration: “President Barack Obama said on Friday he will soon announce how he will address U.S. immigration reform, but sidestepped questions about whether he would wait until after November’s midterm elections to take action.”
* And if you 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.