Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Midwestern storms: “People across the Midwest picked through the remains of their homes Monday after a storm system swept across six states, spawned more than 80 reported tornadoes and killed at least eight people. Authorities in Illinois went door to door to search for people trapped in houses.”
* As of this afternoon, there were seven reported deaths, with many more injuries.
* Philippines: “As the Philippines begins to clean up after the worst typhoon in memory, it is faced with a huge problem of feeding and housing its displaced population. The government says that about 4 million people have been displaced, with some 350,000 living in about 1,500 evacuation centers.”
* Keep an eye on this one: “President Barack Obama will personally woo senators on Iran Tuesday as he looks to buy time for his diplomatic efforts. During a delicate stage in the talks with that country, the administration is trying to head off efforts to amend the Defense authorization bill on the Senate floor this week with new sanctions language.”
* Afghanistan: “Despite recent optimism about talks over a future American military presence here, two senior Afghan officials said on Sunday that the negotiations were at a profound impasse, days before an Afghan grand council is scheduled to meet to seek popular support for a deal.”
* NSA: “The Supreme Court is in no hurry to step into the fray when it comes to U.S. surveillance law. Monday, the high court rejected a request to hear a direct challenge to the U.S. government’s bulk collection of communications data collection based on information leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in June.”
* I can’t believe this story got worse: “Toronto Mayor Rob Ford had to apologize yet again on Monday – for knocking over a City Council member and giving her a fat lip as he rushed to help his brother during an ‘altercation.’” He soon after apologized.
* Virginia: “Private attorneys representing the office of Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and other government officials grappling with federal and state investigations of McDonnell’s interactions with a wealthy political benefactor have now charged taxpayers more than $575,000.”
* The reign of socialism: “Investors failed to push the Dow to a record close on Monday after the index had pushed through the 16,000 level earlier in the session.”
* And a woman named Susan Whigham wrote an interesting letter to the editor, published by the Orlando Sentinel. She’s apparently one of those poor souls in the individual market who received a cancelation notice, which led Whigham to explain, “You see, we’ve been forced to purchase our own health insurance for several years. The deductible was enormous; the premium was often more expensive than our monthly take-home pay, particularly during a bout of joblessness. We were forced to dip into our savings. The risk of going without insurance was a gamble we could not afford to take. So, thanks to what detractors call Obamacare, we had no choice but to go with a better plan that costs less money. Thank you, Mr. President. God bless.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.