Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Stunning violence in Australia: “A gunman was killed and two hostages are dead after police stormed a chocolate shop in Sydney on Monday, ending a 16-hour siege by a self-professed sheik.”
* Heartening: “Twitter users are offering solidarity with Australian Muslims facing potential backlash after a suspected Islamist held hostages in a Sydney cafe. The standoff eventually ended around 2 a.m. Sydney time after police stormed the store.”
* Deadly gun violence in Pennsylvania: “A gunman, suspected in the deaths of six people and wounding of another in three towns across Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Monday morning, is on the loose. Police are actively searching for him and residents of one town are being asked to stay indoors, the Montgomery County district attorney said.”
* Newtown: “Ten families touched by the Newtown massacre filed a wrongful death lawsuit Monday against companies that made, distributed and sold the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle that Adam Lanza used to kill 20 children and six staffers at Sandy Hook Elementary two years ago. The suit argues that the gun is a military assault weapon that never should have been on the general market.”
* ISIS: “President Obama on Monday said that after several months of fighting, the United States and its partners had halted the momentum of Islamic extremists in Iraq and Syria, making clear to them that Americans will not back down and in the end, ‘we will get you.’”
* The Affordable Care Act’s open-enrollment period won’t end for months, but those hoping to have coverage start on Jan. 1 will have to sign up by tonight.
* The Supreme Court this morning “denied the state of Arizona’s request to hear an abortion case. The immediate impact is that Arizona won’t be able to enforce the law, which restricts how doctors can administer abortion pills.”
* Saturday’s massive protests matter: “It was perhaps the largest, most organized national day of protests and civil disobedience in the months-long movement that was born in Ferguson, Missouri and has spread to major cities across the country.”
* Somalia: “Rebels from the Islamist al Shabaab group attacked a military base in southern Somalia early on Monday, killing at least 10 soldiers and burning two military vehicles, officials said.”
* Russia: “For months, Russia’s ruble has been falling in line with a decline in oil. But now, the selloff has stepped up a gear amid a broad rout in emerging-market currencies.”
* Climate: “Negotiators from around the globe reached a climate change agreement early Sunday that would, for the first time in history, commit every nation to reducing its rate of greenhouse gas emissions – yet would still fall far short of what is needed to stave off the dangerous and costly early impact of global warming.”
* Related news: “Combining both land and ocean temperatures, January-November was the warmest on record.”
* James Risen: “Attorney General Eric Holder has decided against forcing a reporter for The New York Times to reveal the identity of a confidential source, according to a senior Justice Department official.”
* Vermont: “A folk artist who became a folk hero to some after picking a fight with fast-food giant Chick-fil-A over use of the phrase ‘eat more kale’ – similar to their trademarked ‘eat mor chikin’ – has won his legal battle.”
* About 120 people were involved in treating Dr. Craig Spencer at Bellevue Hospital. There’s something strikingly beautiful about seeing individual pictures of each of them in one place (thanks to my colleague Laura Conaway for the heads-up).
* Web-only programming at shift by MSNBC launched today and it’s off to a very cool start. If you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to take a look around.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.