Monday’s Mini-Report, 5.12.14

Updated
Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Nigeria: “The U.S. team that is in Nigeria assisting the government in its search for nearly 300 abducted schoolgirls is made up of nearly 30 people drawn from the State and Defense departments, as well as the FBI, the White House said Monday.”
 
* Ukraine: “Separatists in eastern Ukraine proclaimed the birth of two new “sovereign” republics Monday after claiming victory in controversial self-rule referendums, and one of the regions promptly asked to join Russia.”
 
* Afghanistan: “On the first day of their ‘spring offensive,’ the Taliban mounted attacks in three provinces that killed at least 11 people on Monday. In a fourth province, the families of two would-be suicide bombers turned them in to the police, helping to forestall what would have likely been another attack.”
 
* The first same-sex marriages in the old Confederacy: “Gay marriage arrived in the Bible Belt on Saturday, beginning with two women [in Arkansas] who had traveled overnight to ensure they’d be first in line.”
 
* MERS: “A second case of MERS, the Middle East respiratory virus circulating on the Arabian peninsula, has been found in the United States, federal and state health officials said Monday.”
 
* Missouri: “Missouri progressive activists are staging a nonstop, 72-hour ‘women’s filibuster’ on the steps of the Missouri State Capitol building today to protest an abortion bill that would force a woman to wait three days between two clinic visits before having an abortion.”
 
* Climate: “On Monday, NASA and U.C. Irvine released a joint report finding that a section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet ‘appears to be in an irreversible state of decline, with nothing to stop the glaciers in this area from melting into the sea,’ according to a statement on NASA’s website.”
 
* Infrastructure: “With time running out, the White House was preparing to press Congress next week to keep money flowing into a federal fund for road and bridge repairs, warning of economic harm, lost aid to states and idled construction workers unless lawmakers act.”
 
* Boehnerland keeps spreading: “Brendan Buck, press secretary for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), on Monday was named vice president of communications for America’s Health Insurance Plans. Monday is Buck’s last day in Boehner’s office.”
 
* Sterling seeks forgiveness: “Nearly two weeks since the NBA banned him for life, Donald Sterling is apologizing and asking for forgiveness in his first public interview after a leaked recording showed him making racist comments in a phone call with his reported girlfriend.”
 
* Another Secret Service controversy? “Top Secret Service officials ­ordered members of a special unit responsible for patrolling the White House perimeter to abandon their posts over at least two months in 2011 in order to protect a personal friend of the agency’s director, according to three people familiar with the operation.”
 
* It’d be easier to take notice of congressional Republicans calling for the resignations of prominent Obama administration officials if the GOP didn’t do this quite so frequently.
 
* Net neutrality: “FCC Chairmain Tom Wheeler is taking another stab at that whole ‘net neutrality’ thing, after over 100 tech companies blasted his recent proposal for new net neutrality rules as weak and biased towards wealthy companies that can pay extra to have their sites load more quickly on the web.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Monday's Mini-Report, 5.12.14

Updated