Monday’s Mini-Report, 2.9.15

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Iraq: “Attacks in Baghdad killed at least 22 people and wounded dozens on Monday, just days after the government lifted a nighttime curfew that had been in place in the Iraqi capital for over a decade.”
 
* Ukraine: “President Obama said Monday that he is considering providing Ukraine with lethal weapons to defend the country against Russian aggression if diplomatic options fail.”
 
* Afghanistan: “A former Taliban commander who recently defected to ISIS has been killed in southern Afghanistan, local intelligence officials said Monday – the first time authorities have publicly acknowledged the extremist group’s presence in the country.”
 
* Remember when measles was eradicated in the U.S? “The measles outbreak spread to three more states and Washington D.C. last week, affecting 19 additional people, according to an update posted Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
 
* Related news: “An outbreak of mumps that started at an Idaho university and infected 21 people across the state has now spread to neighboring Washington state, health officials said on Monday.”
 
* Deadly gun violence, Part I: “A gunman killed at least four people and himself at a home west of Atlanta on Saturday, authorities said. At least one of the dead is a child, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said.”
 
* Deadly gun violence, Part II: “Three people were hospitalized Sunday with gunshot wounds after a 17-year-old male opened fire on a man at a Pittsburgh-area mall, police said, striking his intended target as well as two bystanders.”
 
* An important message: “President Obama made a surprise appearance at the Grammys on Sunday night – in the form of a powerful PSA for the White House’s sexual violence awareness campaign, ‘It’s On Us.’ In the ad, President Obama tells viewers that nearly one in five American women will be raped, and nearly one in four will experience some form of domestic violence.”
 
* Oregon scandal: “Gov. John Kitzhaber has asked Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to conduct a ‘full and independent factual review’ of issues surrounding his office’s handling of Cylvia Hayes’ contracts.”
 
* On a related note, Rosenblum recently went on record late last week describing the allegations surrounding Kitzhaber and Hayes as “very serious – and troubling.” Democrats in the legislature are starting to distance themselves from the governor.
 
* I really liked Vox.com’s multi-media interview with President Obama, which is well worth your time. Ezra and Matt covered quite a bit of ground, but pay particular attention to the president’s comments on filibuster reforms and a constitutional amendment on campaign finance.
 
* Good advice from Lawrence Summers: “Now’s not the time to raise interest rates.”
 
* Former Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) is right to be concerned about what’s happening on Capitol Hill:  ”[I]n my 20 years as a House committee chairman, I never issued a subpoena without the support of the ranking Republican or a majority vote of the committee.” The Republican majority is changing the rules.
 
* Stepping aside, for now: “NBC Nightly News anchor and managing editor Brian Williams on Saturday said that he will take a break from anchoring the broadcast for “the next several days.” His announcement comes after he clarified this week that he incorrectly remembered details in a 2003 reporting mission to Iraq.”
 
* This guy: “A Virginia lawmaker jailed after a sex scandal involving a teenager has pleaded not guilty to four new felony charges. Del. Joseph Morrissey’s jury trial on perjury and felony charges is scheduled to start April 28.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Monday's Mini-Report, 2.9.15