Monday’s Mini-Report, 3.2.15

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* ISIS: “The Iraqi military, alongside thousands of Shiite militia fighters, began a large-scale offensive on Monday to retake the city of Tikrit from the Islamic State, a battle that could either become a pivotal fight in the campaign to reclaim north and west Iraq or deepen the country’s bloody sectarian divide.”
 
* Stunning news out of Moscow: “A prominent Russian opposition leader, Boris Y. Nemtsov, was shot dead in central Moscow late Friday night within sight of the Kremlin walls.”
 
* BBC published a list of “violent deaths” suffered by Vladimir Putin’s Russian opponents.
 
* LAPD: “An enhanced version of a video recording of L.A. police officers fatally shooting a homeless man on skid row Sunday appears to show the man’s hand reaching in the direction of an officer’s waistband. A Times review of the video shows the officer quickly pulling away at that moment. Then, three of his colleagues open fire on the man.”
 
* Tamir Rice: “In a response to a lawsuit filed by the family against the officers, the City of Cleveland last week blamed Rice and his family for his death. The injuries alleged by the child and his family ‘were directly and proximately caused by their own acts, not this Defendant,’ the city wrote.”
 
* Ferguson: “The Justice Department has nearly completed a highly critical report accusing the police in Ferguson, Mo., of making discriminatory traffic stops of African-Americans that created years of racial animosity leading up to an officer’s shooting of a black teenager last summer, law enforcement officials said.”
 
* A tough sell: “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to defuse tensions Monday ahead of his highly-anticipated address Tuesday before the U.S. Congress…. ‘My speech is not intended to show any disrespect for President Obama,’ he said.”
 
* Nebraska joins a growing club: “On Monday, U.S District Judge Joseph Bataillon – a President Bill Clinton appointee – struck down the Cornhusker State’s voter-approved amendment prohibiting gay and lesbian couples from marrying.
 
* Korea: “North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed ‘merciless’ retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational.”
 
* This could get tricky: “A provision tucked deep in the House rule book could provide a way out of the Homeland Security funding mess for Speaker John A. Boehner – without the Ohio Republican actually having to do anything.”
 
* With a big Supreme Court case looming, Attorney General Eric Holder makes a spirited case for marriage equality: “As the court considers that momentous question, the Department of Justice will make clear that our answer is an unequivocal ‘yes.’”
 
* Matthew Yglesias disqualifies himself from the political pep squad: “America’s constitutional democracy is going to collapse.”
 
* Things get a little worse for Bill O’Reilly, Part I: “Fox News issued a clarification on Friday on behalf of its star host Bill O’Reilly, saying that he said he’d ‘seen’ bombings in Northern Ireland because police showed him photos of them.”
 
* Things get a little worse for Bill O’Reilly, Part II: “CNN’s Reliable Sources airs new audio disproving O’Reilly’s JFK story.”
 
* Things get a little worse for Bill O’Reilly, Part III: “Bill O’Reilly’s own video from Falklands protest contradicts his ‘war zone’ claim.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Monday's Mini-Report, 3.2.15