Thursday’s Mini-Report

Updated
 

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Apparently, abandoning democracy for an “emergency manager” didn’t help: “Detroit, saddled with more than $18 billion in debt, became the biggest U.S. city in history to file for bankruptcy on Thursday.”

* President Obama is on the offensive in support of the Affordable Care Act:

* EPA: “The Senate has confirmed Gina McCarthy as the next leader of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The vote was 59-40.”

* Syria: “Not long ago, rebels on the outskirts of Damascus were peppering the city with mortar rounds, government soldiers were defecting in droves and reports circulated of new territory pried from the grip of President Bashar al-Assad. As his losses grew, Mr. Assad unleashed fighter jets and SCUD missiles, intensifying fears that mounting desperation would push him to lash out with chemical weapons. That momentum has now been reversed.”

* The misery of austerity: “The Greek government approved a new round of public worker layoffs required by the country’s ongoing bailout, affecting 25,000 employees. Unemployment in the country is nearly 27 percent, according to the most recent figures, with the youth unemployment rate more than double that.”

* More on this tomorrow: “The latest hearing on the Internal Revenue Services’ targeting of conservative groups got ugly on Thursday, with House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa accusing Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of acting like a ‘little boy.’”

* Abu Sufyan al-Azdi: “The Yemen-based branch of al-Qaida confirmed on Wednesday that the group’s No. 2 figure, a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner, was killed in a U.S. drone strike.”

* DOMA: “House Republican leaders announced in a court filing Thursday that they will not be defending remaining statutes similar to the Defense of Marriage Act that ban recognition of same-sex couples’ marriages.”

* NSA: “The Obama administration faced a growing Congressional backlash against the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance operations on Wednesday, as lawmakers from both parties called for the vast collection of private data on millions of Americans to be scaled back.”

* Another breakthrough: “Stonewall UK has confirmed that Queen Elizabeth has granted royal assent to the marriage equality bill, concluding its process and officially making it law. This makes the UK the 16th country to pass marriage equality, and same-sex couples will be able to begin marrying in England and Wales by next summer.”

* And the drama surrounding Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) is hard to follow, but nevertheless ongoing.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Thursday's Mini-Report

Updated