Thursday’s Mini-Report, 12.15.16

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Aleppo: “Around 1,000 people were evacuated from the remaining rebel-held districts of the Syrian city of Aleppo on Thursday, part of a process that could become one of the greatest victories of the war for President Bashar al-Assad his allies and a major blow to his foes.”

* I expected the jury deliberations to be quicker: “Self-declared white supremacist Dylann Roof was found guilty Thursday of killing nine black worshipers in a South Carolina church. It took a 12-person panel a little over two hours to convict Roof on all 33 counts.”

* If you’re not following the political crisis unfolding in North Carolina, it’s time to start: “Gov.-elect Roy Cooper blasted Republican lawmakers Thursday for trying to push through legislation stripping him of some powers before he takes office, threatening to sue the General Assembly if he deems any of the new proposals to be unconstitutional.”

* Putin is a trustworthy source, right? “The Kremlin on Thursday disputed an exclusive NBC News report that U.S. intelligence has documented Vladimir Putin’s personal involvement in a Russian intelligence operation to interfere in the U.S. presidential election. Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the AP the report was ‘laughable nonsense.’”

* China: “In a veiled warning to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, China’s ambassador to the United States said on Wednesday that Beijing would never bargain with Washington over issues involving its national sovereignty or territorial integrity.” (Trying to use Taiwan as leverage is a bad idea.)

* A story worth watching: “Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suggested in a Thursday interview that his vote to confirm Rex Tillerson as President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of state will depend on the ExxonMobil CEO’s position on imposing new sanctions on Russia.”

* Wisconsin: “A former police officer in Milwaukee was charged with homicide Thursday for fatally shooting a man in August, an incident that sparked days of violent unrest on the city’s streets.”

* If Putin really is worth $85 billion, he’s the richest person on the planet.

Middle East: “The Obama administration has deepened its rift with its Gulf allies over the ongoing conflict in Yemen, blocking a transfer of precision munitions to Saudi Arabia because of concerns about civilian casualties that administration officials attribute to poor targeting.”

* That’s a lot of people: “Yahoo, already reeling from its September disclosure that 500 million user accounts had been hacked in 2014, disclosed Wednesday that a different attack in 2013 compromised more than 1 billion accounts.”

* Reproductive rights: “A study published by JAMA Psychiatry this week provides new, compelling evidence that abortion regret is extremely rare…. The study’s finding that women who obtained abortions had similar mental health outcomes than women who were denied abortions isn’t surprising. Most prior research on the question of whether abortion has mental health effects has found that the vast majority of women do not regret their abortions. Anti-abortion lawmakers simply ignore this research, and nine states require women to receive counseling on the ostensible psychological toll of abortion before they have the procedure.”

* I always enjoy stories like these: “Anne Bunting liked to tell friends that President Barack Obama saved her life. Last month, the Houston native decided to pen a letter telling him so, explaining how his signature health care law had allowed her to get a life-saving heart transplant in 2014…. That, she thought, would be that. Then last Friday she got a reply.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.


Thursday's Mini-Report, 12.15.16