Monday’s Mini-Report, 8.17.15

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Unionization thwarted: “The National Labor Relations Board halted the unionization efforts of Northwestern’s football players in a unanimous decision Monday, dismissing the players’ petition and handing a major victory to the NCAA and universities trying to preserve the longstanding structure of college athletics.”
 
* Delicate diplomacy: “The United States said Sunday that it would withdraw two Patriot missile-defense batteries from southern Turkey this fall, a sign that the Pentagon believes the risk of Syrian Army missile attacks has eased since the Patriots were deployed in 2013. Officials said the antimissile systems would be needed elsewhere to defend against threats from Iran and North Korea.”
 
* A positive step: “As heroin overdoses and deaths soar in many parts of the nation, the White House plans to announce Monday an initiative that will for the first time pair public health and law enforcement in an effort to shift the emphasis from punishment to the treatment of addicts.”
 
* A discouraging step: “The Obama administration on Monday gave Shell the go-ahead to expand its multibillion-dollar attempt at Arctic offshore oil drilling, aggravating environmentalists just two weeks after the president basked in their praise for pushing an aggressive climate change plan.”
 
* Mississippi “is one of the final holdouts in the Deep South where the Confederate battle emblem flies over state grounds. Now, a growing list of authors, A-list celebrities, business leaders and sports legends want to see the symbol removed.”
 
* Diversity throughout the criminal-justice system matters: “As police shootings of unarmed black men across the country have spurred distrust of law enforcement by many African-Americans, the new findings on jury selection bring fresh attention to a question that has long haunted the American justice system: Are criminal juries warped by racism and bias?”
 
* Working conditions: “Amazon’s chief executive Jeff Bezos has written to staff defending his company’s human resources policy, following a New York Times article claiming a cruel and back-stabbing environment for white-collar workers at the online retailing giant.”
 
* Good news out of Ohio: “Despite higher-than-expected enrollment of Ohioans newly eligible for Medicaid, overall costs of the tax-funded health-insurance program in the most-recent fiscal year were nearly $2 billion below original estimates.”
 
* A fascinating agricultural fight: “The farm-by-farm fight between China and the United States to dominate the global food supply.”
 
* Saying goodbye to a legend: “Julian Bond, a civil rights activist and longtime board chairman of the NAACP, died Saturday night, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. He was 75. Bond died in Fort Walton Beach, Florida after a brief illness, the SPLC said in a statement released Sunday morning. The Nashville native was considered a symbol and icon of the 1960s civil rights movement.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Monday's Mini-Report, 8.17.15