Monday’s Mini-Report, 11.30.15

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Colorado: “The man accused of killing three people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic made his first court appearance Monday, where he was told that he could face the death penalty. Robert Lewis Dear, 57, wore a protective vest and cast his eyes downward as he spoke to the judge via closed circuit TV, while victim’s relatives watched from the El Paso County courtroom.”
 
* Maryland: “As many as 80 potential jurors filed into a Baltimore courtroom Monday morning as the first trial in the death of Freddie Gray got underway. Jury selection for Officer William Porter’s trial began Monday. When asked by Judge Barry Williams, every juror called said they knew about the Freddie Gray case, were aware of the curfew imposed following the protests and knew about the $6.4 million settlement between the city and Gray’s family.”
 
* Pittsburgh: “It began as an ordinary cab ride. But by the time it was over, the Pittsburgh taxi driver – a 38-year-old Muslim man from Morocco – had a bullet wound in his upper back and was lucky to be alive, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.”
 
* Research initiatives like these matter: “President Obama and Microsoft founder Bill Gates are expected to stand with counterparts from more than 20 countries on Monday in announcing the unprecedented efforts, which are aimed at spurring rapid advances in research and development for clean energy, U.S. officials confirmed Sunday.”
 
* Boko Haram: “West Africa’s Boko Haram Islamist militant group is expanding and there is only a small window of opportunity to stop it, the top U.N. aid official in Cameroon said on Monday.”
 
* University of Chicago: “A suspect has been arrested after a top-ranked university had to cancel classes due to a threat of gun violence against its campus community. Jabari Dean, 21, was arrested for allegedly threatening to murder University of Chicago students and staff, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois announced Monday.”
 
* Shutdown Watch: “House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Monday shrugged off the possibility of a government shutdown over funding for Planned Parenthood, saying Republicans are more focused on preventing terrorism in the wake of the Paris attacks.”
 
* When a crime wave isn’t a crime wave: “It is true that in many cities, murders in 2015 are on pace to surpass 2014 totals…. While that is troubling, it is not evidence that America has fallen back into a lawless pit of chaos and death. A more meaningful way of looking at data is comparing it with unmistakable longer-term trends: The rate of violent crime, including murder, has been going down for a quarter-century, and is at its lowest in decades. On average, it is half of what it was in 1990, and in some places even lower.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 
 

Monday's Mini-Report, 11.30.15