Thursday’s Mini-Report, 3.17.16

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* ISIS: “Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that ISIS has been committing genocide against religious minorities in the Middle East – just the second time the executive branch has used the term in relation to an ongoing conflict.”
 
* Syria: “Syrian Kurds unilaterally declared the creation of a federal region in northeastern Syria on Thursday, raising fears of an accelerating disintegration of Syria along ethnic and sectarian lines and complicating efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis.”
 
* Political scandal in Brazil: “The judge who is heading the sprawling investigation into corruption at Brazil’s state oil company on Wednesday released recordings of phone taps of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, including a conversation with his successor, President Dilma Rousseff.”
 
* Rachel will have more on the contentious Flint hearing on tonight’s show: “The ranking Democrat on the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee led off hearings Thursday with an unsparing attack on Gov. Rick Snyder and his administration.”
 
* House GOP reiterates and formalizes its anti-immigration-reform attitudes: “In a highly unusual step to weigh-in on a case pending before the Supreme Court, House Republicans on Thursday voted to state for the official record that Congress stands in firm opposition to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.”
 
* Tragic shooting: “A suburban Washington, D.C., police officer who died in an unprovoked shootout Sunday was deliberately shot by another officer who did not know him and perceived him to be a threat, police said Wednesday.”
 
* What a circus: “The House Benghazi Committee on Wednesday night erupted in a partisan spat after Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C) sharply restricted the ability of Democrats to access witness transcripts and accused the minority party of planning to release them prematurely – a threat Gowdy says would cripple his probe.”
 
* Missile defense: “Against the advice of its own panel of outside experts, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency is forgoing tests meant to ensure that a critical component of the nation’s homeland missile defense system will work as intended.”
 
* Finally: “SeaWorld announced Thursday it will end its killer whale breeding programs and take a ‘new direction’ amid changing social attitudes. The company said the 24 orcas it currently has in three parks would be SeaWorld’s last generation, a long awaited move following intense criticism from animal-rights campaigners over keeping the whales in captivity.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 
 

Thursday's Mini-Report, 3.17.16