Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Netanyahu “Israel’s prime minister on Monday signaled no quick end to the three-week-old Gaza war, telling Israelis that they must prepare themselves for more fighting in order to crush what he described as the double threat of rockets and ‘death tunnels’ into Israel dug by Hamas and its associates.”
* Nightmare in Guinea: “Health workers here say they are now battling two enemies: the unprecedented Ebola epidemic, which has killed more than 660 people in four countries since it was first detected in March, and fear, which has produced growing hostility toward outside help. On Friday alone, health authorities in Guinea confirmed 14 new cases of the disease. Workers and officials, blamed by panicked populations for spreading the virus, have been threatened with knives, stones and machetes, their vehicles sometimes surrounded by hostile mobs.”
* Someone wants attention: North Korea, apparently jealous that global attention has shifted elsewhere for the last few weeks, has issued yet another threat against the United States…. ‘If the US imperialists threaten our sovereignty and survival,’ military chief Hwang Pyong So said at a nationally televised speech, ‘our troops will fire our nuclear-armed rockets at the White House and the Pentagon – the sources of all evil.’”
* This is just sad: “House Republican appropriators are scaling down an emergency funding bill to address the surge of child immigrants crossing the border.”
* Related news: “The number of unaccompanied minors illegally crossing Texas’ southern border with Mexico has dipped dramatically over the past month, though reasons for the decrease remain elusive.”
* Afghanistan: “Taliban fighters are scoring early gains in several strategic areas near the capital this summer, inflicting heavy casualties and casting new doubt on the ability of Afghan forces to contain the insurgency as the United States moves to complete its withdrawal of combat troops, according to Afghan officials and local elders.”
* VA agreement announced: “The bipartisan deal, which Sanders and Miller unveiled at a press conference Monday, will include both long- and short-term fixes aimed at making [the] VA ‘more accountable and to help the department recruit more doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals,’ according to a release from Sanders and Miller. The bill will also make it easier and faster to fire or demote VA employees, although there will be a 21 day window to review appeals.”
* But Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) doesn’t want VA facilities in Tulsa to be too nice for veterans. “They’re building a Taj Mahal when they should be building a medical clinic,” Coburn said. Classy.
* Following last week’s fiasco, Rep. Curt Clawson (R-Fla.) said, “I made a mistake in speaking before being fully briefed and I apologize. I’m a quick study, but in this case I shot an air ball.”
* The wonk gap lives: “A few months ago the buzz was that the Heritage Foundation was getting serious after a series of blatant errors and ludicrously biased ‘research.’ The supposed evidence for this turn was the hiring of Stephen Moore from the Wall Street Journal to become chief economist. I was, shall we say, unimpressed. Ahem: ‘Conservative Media’s Favorite Economist Caught Distorting Facts About Taxes And Job Creation.’”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
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Monday's Mini-Report, 7.28.14