Today’s edition of quick hits:
* This seems monstrous: “Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Monday that fear of domestic violence is not legal grounds for asylum in a closely watched immigration case that could have a broad effect on the asylum process, women who have endured extreme violence and the independence of immigration judges.”
* Somalia: “An American Special Operations forces soldier was killed and four others were wounded on Friday in an attack in southwestern Somalia against fighters for the Islamic extremist group the Shabab, three Defense Department officials said. The casualties were the first to have been publicized in Africa since an ambush in Niger in October.”
* Donald Trump’s meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un is poised to get underway in Singapore, but note that there is no U.S. ambassador to Singapore, and the White House hasn’t even nominated anyone for the post.
* In Trump’s White House, concern about leaks has led to unusual tactics: “At least one senior aide is dropping inaccurate stories into the West Wing rumor mill to identify people who speak to reporters.”
* Everyday corruption, Part I: “A prominent GOP donor and President Donald Trump supporter helped EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt choose the head of the influential scientific body charged with reviewing EPA’s regulations, according to newly released documents. Doug Deason, a Dallas businessman, submitted a list of names of candidates for Pruitt’s Science Advisory Board in August that had been supplied by the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation, on whose board he serves.”
* Everyday corruption, Part II: “Education Secretary Betsy DeVos earlier this year reinstated an accreditor of for-profit colleges despite findings by her agency’s career staff that the organization failed to meet federal standards, an internal document shows.”
* A new, worse Internet: “Monday marks the official end of the federal government’s net neutrality rules, the Obama-era regulations that said Internet providers can’t block or slow down websites or prioritize their content over others’. It’s a turning point for Internet policy and the Web as a whole, as broadband providers will enjoy additional freedom to seek new ways of making money in a rapidly changing market.”
* Mangiante Papadopoulos, George Papadopoulos’ wife, told a Chicago television station last week, “I have more ties to Russia than he does.” Asked about her Russian ties, she quickly added, “No, I was joking.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.