Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Quite a pairing: “The Nigerian militant group Boko Haram has pledged official allegiance to ISIS, according to an audio statement released online Saturday. In the audio, a man claiming to be Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau appears to address ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, and also calls on Muslims throughout the world to declare a similar loyalty.”
* Speaking of ISIS: “The Islamic State appears to be starting to fray from within, as dissent, defections and setbacks on the battlefield sap the group’s strength and erode its aura of invincibility among those living under its despotic rule.”
* Russia: “Two Chechens, one a police officer who fought Islamic insurgents and the second a security guard, were charged in a Moscow court on Sunday in connection with the killing of Boris Y. Nemtsov, a leading Kremlin critic, while three other suspects were jailed pending further investigation.”
* Oklahoma: “Following the publication of a video allegedly showing members of a University of Oklahoma fraternity chanting racist slogans, the school’s president said there is zero tolerance for students who use racially charged language.”
* South Korea: “The knife attack last week on the American ambassador to South Korea, Mark W. Lippert, set off an outpouring of good wishes here for both the envoy and Seoul’s alliance with Washington. But the response, led largely by conservative South Koreans, has now provoked a backlash.”
* Venezuela: “President Barack Obama signed an executive order declaring a national emergency with respect to Venezuela and imposing sanctions on seven officials there in response to the country’s deteriorating human rights climate, the White House said Monday.”
* A veto override in West Virginia: “West Virginia legislators prohibited women from having abortions after 20 weeks on Friday, as the state Senate enacted the law over Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto.”
* Greece: “Despite the European accord last month to extend a financial lifeline to Greece, Athens is rapidly running out of cash. So it is scrambling to find new, even radical ways to fill the shortfall – including a proposal to recruit citizens and tourists to spy on suspected tax evaders.”
* This guy’s having a rough year: “Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., took at least 10 of his House staffers on a $10,053 taxpayer-funded trip to New York last September, where most of them had few official duties, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.”
* Ohio: “In an unusual move, the Associated Press has clarified a story about Gov. John Kasich – more than four months after the story appeared.” To brush up on the details, our report from October holds up nicely.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.