Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Ottawa: “The gunman who terrorized Ottawa with a deadly ambush on a military guard and a shooting inside Parliament acted alone, the Canadian police said on Thursday, but there were new indications that he had hinted of his intentions and may have had collaborators.”
* Kevin Vickers: “In Canada, they call the job of sergeant-at-arms ‘ceremonial.’ But as the Calgary Sun said this morning, anyone who thought it was an ‘archaic novelty now understands the man holding the sceptre has a deadly serious job.’”
* ISIS: “Dizzy, vomiting and struggling to breathe, 11 Iraqi police officers were rushed to a government hospital 50 miles north of the capital last month. The diagnosis: poisoning by chlorine gas. The perpetrators, according to the officers: Islamic State extremists.”
* More ISIS: “The American military campaign against the Islamic State has begun to cut into the Sunni militant group’s substantial oil revenues, the top counterterrorism official at the Treasury Department said on Thursday, but starving its cash flow will be a slow process.”
* Nigeria: The Islamist militant movement Boko Haram has once again kidnapped dozens of girls and young women in northeast Nigeria, U.S. counterterrorism officials told NBC News on Thursday. To great skepticism, the Nigerian government announced a truce last week with Boko Haram…. [O]fficials said the abduction Saturday of as many as 60 more girls and young women was believed to have been a direct response to the government’s announcement.”
* Kim Jong-un is puzzling everyone again: “A series of gestures by the North Korean leader, most dramatically the release this week of an imprisoned American tourist, Jeffrey E. Fowle, has raised hopes that after two and a half years of bellicose rhetoric, punctuated by periodic missile tests, Mr. Kim is groping for some kind of rapprochement with the United States and its allies.”
* Good for him: “Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen will contribute ‘at least’ $100 million to fight the spread of Ebola, he announced Thursday. In a tweet, Allen revealed the new donation amount and urged others to make their own contributions – big or small.”
* South Carolina: “Bobby Harrell, speaker of the S.C. House since 2005, pleaded guilty to six counts of use of campaign funds for personal expenses on Thursday morning and has agreed to resign immediately from his House seat. In a plea hearing at the Richland County courthouse, Harrell was given six one-year prison sentences but all were suspended by circuit court Judge Casey Manning after Harrell, 58, agreed to the following conditions in a written plea agreement:”
* More on this on tonight’s show: “Early voting starts Thursday in North Carolina, even as the state has pushed to move early voting sites farther away from college campuses.”
* Welcome candor from Labor Secretary Tom Perez: “The U.S. federal wage floor ranks third-lowest – as a percentage of median wage – among the 34 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a status that Perez said was embarrassing. ‘I mean, we suck,’ Perez said. ‘We really do.’”
* Maps are readily available: “Africa is really big. It’s bigger than not only the United States but all of North America. Yet judging by the reactions of some Americans, it would seem that Africa were nothing but a small country, and any travel there means you likely will get Ebola.”
* This isn’t a joke: “Seniors at Broken Bow High School in Nebraska have been granted their God-given right to pose with guns for their upcoming senior portraits, just as long as the photos are taken off campus and done ‘tastefully.’”
* And we’re still working on our new Whip Count project. We’re keeping a running tally of members of Congress who want to return to session – cutting their vacation short – in order to vote on authorizing military intervention against ISIS. I hope you’ll take a look and keep us posted.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.