Today’s edition of quick hits:
* There’s a reason this guy isn’t well liked: “Ted Cruz is standing in the way of a bipartisan Senate bill to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in aid for Flint, Mich., and other communities that need to upgrade their drinking water infrastructure.” It’s reportedly a “soft hold” – which may be lifted before long – intended to give Cruz more time to review the details.
* I wonder how long this chat will last: “President Obama will convene a long-anticipated meeting at the White House next Tuesday with top Republican senators to discuss the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) will both attend.”
* Asia-Pacific: “The United States and China have agreed to stiffen international financial sanctions against North Korea in a major shift for Beijing, which has long been unwilling to further isolate its intransigent ally.”
* The showdown continues: “Apple filed a motion Thursday opposing a federal order that would force the company to help the Justice Department access an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino attackers, the latest step in a legal battle that could stretch out for months.”
* DEA: “Prosecutors in a Los Angeles suburb say they have dramatically scaled back a vast and legally questionable eavesdropping operation, built by federal drug agents, that once accounted for nearly a fifth of all U.S. wiretaps.”
* No-brainer: “President Obama signed into law Wednesday a provision banning the import of goods made by child and forced labor. ‘It’s not only right; it’s the moral thing to do,’ said Representative Kind, D-Wisc., who introduced the bill to the house last February. The bill was part of much broader customs legislation.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.