Today’s edition of quick hits:
* In the wake of today’s court ruling on NSA surveillance, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the administration is evaluating the “entire” intelligence system. Depending on appeals, however, the ultimate outcome may not be in their hands.
* Iraq: “Dozens of people were killed in a string of attacks across Iraq on Monday, including a group of Shiites who were pulled out of a bus and shot dead on the roadside while they were traveling to the capital to begin an annual religious pilgrimage, the police said.”
* Syria: “Syrian antigovernment activist groups on Monday reported what appeared to be a major escalation of the military’s prolonged siege of Aleppo, with video and witness accounts of a helicopter gunship attack in which crews dropped explosive barrels filled with TNT and shrapnel on more than 13 rebel-held neighborhoods.”
* In Kiev, “thousands of protesters” remain on the streets “around the clock.”
* An important Pentagon staff shake-up: “Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is replacing the general in charge of preventing sexual abuse in the military in the wake of new allegations, first reported by NBC News, that the general interfered with an internal investigation into horrific patient abuses at a U.S.-funded hospital in Afghanistan.”
* Expect a budget vote in the Senate by the end of the week: “A bipartisan budget agreement already passed overwhelmingly by the House now appears to have sufficient support to survive a key procedural test vote in the U.S. Senate later this week.”
* Seems like a smart move from the FDA: “The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday put in place a major new policy to phase out the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in cows, pigs and chickens raised for meat, a practice that experts say has endangered human health by fueling the growing epidemic of antibiotic resistance.”
* It hasn’t exactly been a banner year for CBS and “60 Minutes.” Last night’s report on the NSA has been widely panned for good reason.
* American Bridge apologized today after a tracker recorded political speakers at a memorial service in New Hampshire. The group said there’d been a “miscommunication” and vowed it would not happen again.
* In the progressive wonkosphere, there’s been a spirited debate in recent days over whether income inequality is the defining economic challenge of our time. Krugman weighs in this morning with a compelling column on the subject.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.