Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Risky: “The Obama administration gave conditional approval on Monday for Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc. to start drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean this summer.”
* Deadly storm: “The death toll climbed to five on Monday after a devastating storm system rolled through Texas and Arkansas, spawning at least one tornado in a city east of Dallas where homes were reduced to splinters.”
* Snub? “Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday that its new monarch, King Salman, would not be attending meetings at the White House with President Obama or a summit gathering at Camp David this week, in an apparent signal of its continued displeasure with the administration over United States relations with Iran, its rising regional adversary.”
* Good move: “Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo ordered emergency measures on Sunday to combat the wage theft and health hazards faced by the thousands of people who work in New York State’s nail salon industry.”
* Some insurers were looking for shortcuts around the law: “Insurance companies must accept all forms of federally approved methods of birth control for women free of charge or co-payments, the Obama administration announced Monday in a series of guidelines on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.”
* Ebola breakthrough: “After 10,564 cases of Ebola and 4,176 deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday declared Liberia free of the disease. Liberia had been one of three West African countries, including Guinea and Sierra Leone, that served collectively as ground zero for the 15-month Ebola epidemic. The nation is now the first of the three to be declared Ebola-free.”
* Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said over the weekend that he blames President Obama for the recent unrest in Baltimore because, well, he’s Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).
* These numbers just keep getting worse: “Many people in the United States doubt that the Supreme Court can rule fairly in the latest litigation jeopardizing President Barack Obama’s health care law. The Associated Press-GfK poll finds only 1 person in 10 is highly confident that the justices will rely on objective interpretations of the law rather than their personal opinions.”
* I am genuinely confused by Mark Halperin’s approach to analyzing presidential candidates.
* Good for him: “After refusing for years to take a public stance on the issue, Democratic Gov. Jack Markell on Thursday said he supports an effort to repeal Delaware’s death penalty.”
* Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) faced awkward questions when we learned about his romantic relationship with an airline industry lobbyist. Now Shuster, the chairman of the House Transportation Committee, is facing another round of questions after he pushed through a provision worth millions to the U.S. Virgin Islands, where he owns a timeshare.
* Easily one of the nation’s strangest stories: “The founder of an alternative school in Georgia issued an apology Saturday after videos circulated on social media showed her making a racially charged remark during the school’s graduation ceremony.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.