Today’s edition of quick hits:
* A striking development: “Germany’s relations with the United States plunged to a low point Thursday, with the government demanding the expulsion of the chief American intelligence official stationed here because, it said, Washington has refused to cooperate with German inquiries into United States intelligence activities.”
* Israel: “Palestinian deaths from Israel’s aerial attacks in Gaza rose sharply on Thursday, while militants there fired more than 100 rockets into Israel, reaching new targets spread across a vast swath of the country.”
* Afghanistan: “Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan on Thursday to help resolve the country’s disputed presidential election and encourage a smooth transition of power. Kerry plans to meet with both presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani as well as current President Hamid Karzai the State Department said.”
* CIA: “The battle between the Central Intelligence Agency and their overseers on the Senate Intelligence Committee that began four months ago will not lead to a criminal investigation.”
* Gun violence: “A 33-year-old man was being held Thursday on six counts of murder after the police said he shot four children and two adults inside a house in a Houston suburb as part of a domestic dispute.”
* The significance of OMB is generally under-appreciated: “The Senate on Thursday confirmed President Barack Obama’s housing chief as the new director of the White House budget office, completing a second-term Cabinet shuffle. In his new job, Shaun Donovan will be responsible for preparing Obama’s annual budget request and reviewing proposed agency regulations before they become final.”
* Insider trading: “The subpoena of a Republican House aide in a federal investigation of insider trading has unnerved some of his colleagues on the Hill – at least those who are paying attention.”
* Will his old running mate now “vehemently oppose” him? “Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), one of the president’s fiercest critics, says President Obama shouldn’t be impeached.”
* ENDA: “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday said that she still backs the current version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act despite multiple equality groups’ decision to pull support for the bill over its religious exemption.”
* Typical: “The bipartisan sportsmen’s bill championed by endangered Sen. Kay Hagan became another election year casualty today with a majority of the Senate refusing to end debate.”
* Fox Nation read a headline this morning that read, “Media Ignorance Is Becoming A Serious Problem.” Noted without comment.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.