Thursday’s Mini-Report, 3.21.19

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* New Zealand takes swift action: “New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced plans to ban nearly all military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles on Thursday, six days after a gunman killed 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch.”

* I have a hunch he hasn’t thought this through: “President Donald Trump said Thursday that it’s time for the United States to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights, an announcement that signals a shift in U.S. policy and comes ahead of the Israeli prime minister’s planned visit next week to the White House.”

* Houston: “National Guard troops have been called in and residents were told to stay inside after elevated levels of benzene were detected early Thursday near a Houston-area petrochemicals storage facility that caught fire this week.”

* I hope you saw Rachel’s coverage of this last night: “Two mystery litigants citing privacy concerns are making a last-ditch bid to keep secret some details in a lawsuit stemming from wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein’s history of paying underage girls for sex. Just prior to a court-imposed deadline Tuesday, two anonymous individuals surfaced to object to the unsealing of a key lower-court ruling in the case, as well as various submissions by the parties.”

* I didn’t realize how significant this problem is: “[I]n her first three months in Congress, aides say, enough people have threatened to murder [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)] that Capitol Police trained her staff to perform risk assessments of her visitors.”

* I wonder what he’ll say: “Former President Barack Obama will meet with House Democratic freshmen on Monday, according to an invitation obtained by POLITICO. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is hosting the reception, which will occur Monday evening after House votes, to ‘celebrate the freshman class of the 116th Congress.’ The event is only for members and limited to the 60-plus freshman class.”

* A notable milestone: “While it is not his birthday, [former President Jimmy Carter] becomes the oldest living former president in United States history [tomorrow]. At the age of 94 years and 172 days, he passes George H.W. Bush, who was 94 years, 171 days when he died last November.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Thursday's Mini-Report, 3.21.19