Today’s edition of quick hits:
* The first procedural vote on ENDA is set for later this evening in the Senate.
* Supreme Court: “The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear Oklahoma’s appeal seeking to reinstate a law restricting medical abortions, it announced Monday, reversing course. Separately, the Texas abortion clinics threatened by the state’s new admitting privileges requirement have asked the Supreme Court to step in and block that law, which the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday could immediately go into effect.”
* Diplomatic challenge #1: “Secretary of State John Kerry met with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on Monday in an effort to ease deepening tensions with the Saudis, longstanding allies over American policy in the Middle East.”
* Diplomatic challenge #2: “In the highest-level American visit since the Egyptian military removed Mohamed Morsi from power, Secretary of State John Kerry arrived here on Sunday to prod Egypt to move ahead with democratic reforms and to try to improve the United States’ strained relations with Cairo.”
* Diplomatic challenge #3: “President Obama assured visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Friday that the United States wants to be a strong partner in bringing about a stable and inclusive Iraq amid a rapid spike in sectarian violence that threatens security across the country.”
* Saying “everybody does it” isn’t a substantive defense, but it’s nevertheless true that everybody does it: “Brazil’s government acknowledged on Monday that its top intelligence agency had spied on diplomatic targets from countries including the United States, Iran and Russia, putting Brazilian authorities in the uncomfortable position of defending their own surveillance practices after repeatedly criticizing American spying operations.”
* Gun violence in Connecticut: “Police are investigating the possibility that a man wearing a Halloween costume triggered a campus alert and lockdown at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain Monday afternoon. Three people of interest were taken into custody at CCSU, after a massive three-hour police search for a man who was reportedly carrying a gun.”
* Affecting 7 million consumers: “Millions of people could qualify for federal subsidies that will pay the entire monthly cost of some health care plans being offered in the online marketplaces set up under President Obama’s health care law, a surprising figure that has not garnered much attention, in part because the zero-premium plans come with serious trade-offs.”
* Baby steps: “During the first few weeks of Healthcare.gov’s launch, people waited an average of eight seconds for each page to load. As of yesterday, they’re waiting less than one second, the Obama administration reported Friday.”
* Climate crisis: “Climate change will pose sharp risks to the world’s food supply in coming decades, potentially undermining crop production and driving up prices at a time when the demand for food is expected to soar, scientists have found.”
* Wow: “Hundreds of works of art by Picasso, Matisse and other masters of the 20th century – seized by the Nazis, lost for decades and now worth more than $1 billion – were reportedly found among piles of rotting groceries in a German apartment.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.