Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Libya: “The U.S. military launched an airstrike in Libya on Sunday targeting a senior al Qaeda militant leader purportedly behind the deadly attack on an Algerian gas plant that left 38 foreigners dead. The Libyan government said in a statement that the airstrike killed Mokhtar Belmokhtar. However, U.S. officials said they could not immediately confirm the militant leader’s death.”
* Dallas: “The man suspected of riddling Dallas police headquarters with bullets was mentally ill, according to his family, who once told authorities they were worried he would go on a shooting spree. The suspect, who identified himself as James Boulware to police, was killed by a sniper inside his armored van in a dramatic standoff with police hours after the ambush on their headquarters early Saturday.”
* Arkansas: “Security forces at Little Rock Air Force Base on Monday subdued an alleged gunman who approached the gate and fired a weapon, said Lt. Col. Christopher Karns, an Air Force spokesman in Washington. The incident is under investigation, he said.”
* New York: “Joyce Mitchell, the prison worker accused of helping two inmates breakout of a maximum-security lockup in upstate New York, appeared briefly in court Monday in shackles.”
* Syria: “A coalition of Kurdish militias and Arab rebels stormed into a strategic Syrian town on the Turkey border on Monday, seizing most of it from Islamic State fighters who had long used the area to smuggle supplies and fighters into their self-declared caliphate, according to Kurdish militia leaders and activists.”
* North Carolina: “The Supreme Court has declined to hear the case of a North Carolina abortion law, meaning that abortion patients in that state won’t be forced to view an ultrasound beforehand and doctors won’t be required to describe it to them.”
* Washington: “Rachel Dolezal, the Spokane NAACP chapter president who has come under fire for allegedly lying about her race, announced on Monday that she is stepping down from her high-profile post.”
* The more I think about this, the less sense it makes: “While discussing the dysfunction at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on Friday, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) began to describe how the Islamic State would function if the terrorist organization were led by the VA’s leaders.”
* A changing media landscape: “For the first time in six years, National Public Radio, better known as NPR, is on track to break even financially thanks in part to the rising popularity of podcasts.”
* Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), reflecting on former Speaker Dennis Hastert’s (R-Ill.) criminal scandal, said late last week, “The only victim here is Denny Hastert.” I’m afraid he wasn’t kidding.
* Presidential “bullying” of the Supreme Court is perfectly acceptable: “To state what should be obvious, the idea that Obama is engaged in some kind of illegitimate ‘bullying’ by criticizing the latest anti-ObamaCare attack cooked up by the law’s most fanatical opponents is asinine. Obama is not suggesting that he would refuse to comply with an unfavorable ruling. He is not following FDR and arguing that Congress should retaliate by adding additional seats to the court. He has no leverage to force the court to do anything. He’s expressing his views about a case. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.”
* Rise and shine: “The Philae spacecraft has been in touch with Earth from a comet for the second time since waking up, though it delivered less data than on its first contact. Sylvain Lodiot, spacecraft operations manager for Philae’s mother ship Rosetta, said Monday that Philae sent back five packets of data on Sunday night – a day after it broke seven months of silence.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.