Monday’s Mini-Report, 5.5.14

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Nigeria: “Islamist militant group Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the abduction of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls during a raid last month, the French news agency AFP reported on Monday. AFP said it had obtained a video from Boko Haram showing the group’s leader Abubakar Shekau saying: ‘I abducted your girls.’ ‘I will sell them in the market,’ Shekau added.”
 
* Ukraine: “Pro-Russian militiamen battled Ukrainian government forces Monday in the eastern city of Slovyansk, killing at least four troops and shooting down a military helicopter, the government said. The fierce fighting in Slovyansk, a separatist stronghold, broke out as the Ukrainian government moved to regain control in the eastern part of the country and the key port of Odessa, dispatching a special police unit to that city.”
 
* Related news: “The White House on Monday said it was “extremely concerned” by deteriorating conditions in southern Ukraine as officials in Kiev announced plans to mobilize troops to combat pro-Russian separatists threatening to seize control of the southern city of Odessa.”
 
* South Sudan: “Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday renewed his appeal to Riek Machar, the rebel leader in South Sudan, to participate in talks to end the brutal fighting there and warned that the United States was prepared to impose sanctions if he refused.”
 
* Oregon and its exchange: “The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into problems that plagued Oregon’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act, after the state was forced to scrap its problematic health insurance exchange that was never fully functional, according to people familiar with the investigation.”
 
* Massachusetts and its exchange: “Massachusetts is preparing to abandon its troubled ObamaCare enrollment website, a system so problematic that the state was forced to enroll tens of thousands of people in temporary insurance plans through Medicaid.”
 
* Polio: “For the first time ever, the World Health Organization on Monday declared the spread of polio an international public health emergency that could grow in the next few months and unravel the nearly three-decade effort to eradicate the crippling disease.”
 
* Really? “Lexis Nexis deleted the transcript from a 60 Minutes piece on the terror attack in Benghazi, Libya at the request of CBS News.”
 
* Climate: “A group supporting the political views of retired billionaire investor Tom Steyer bought a full-page color advertisement Friday in The Wichita Eagle – the Koch brothers’ hometown newspaper – inviting the brothers to a public debate on climate change. The brothers, Charles and David, don’t plan to take him up on it. ‘We are not experts on climate change,’ wrote Koch spokeswoman Melissa Cohlmia in an e-mail Friday afternoon. “
 
* And I found Thomas Friedman’s column yesterday quite compelling: “There has been a festival of commentary of late bemoaning the pusillanimous foreign policy of President Obama. If only we had a president who rode horses shirtless, wrestled a tiger or took a bite out of a neighboring country, we’d all feel much safer. Your Honor, I rise in – partial – defense of Mr. Obama.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Monday's Mini-Report, 5.5.14