Thursday’s Mini-Report, 7.30.15

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Ohio: “The University of Cincinnati officer indicted for murder in the fatal shooting of an unarmed motorist pleaded not guilty Thursday morning and is being held on $1 million bond. Ray Tensing, 25, appeared briefly in Cincinnati court shackled and wearing a prison jumpsuit.”
 
* Discouraging news out of Syria: “The commander of a group of Syrian fighters trained by the United States has been kidnapped by Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, his group said in a statement Thursday.”
 
* Georgia: “Atlanta police said surveillance footage shows two men placing Confederate flags at two of Atlanta’s most notable landmarks early Thursday: Ebenezer Baptist Church and Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site Visitor Center. As investigators worked to identify the men and their motive, church and civic leaders decried the act as terrorism, vowing not to be threatened.”
 
* At this point, the Senate bill defunding Planned Parenthood is likely to get a vote next week, but it doesn’t appear to have the support needed to pass.
 
* The Iran bill picked up another notable supporter today, with Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) endorsing the international nuclear agreement.
 
* On a related note “[House Minority Leader Pelosi] on Thursday hailed Obama for keeping the global negotiators at the table, characterizing the deal as ‘a diplomatic masterpiece.’ She said House Democrats are lining up behind the deal in numbers sufficient to uphold a veto of the expected Republican effort to sink the deal.”
 
* Highway bill: “The Senate passed its long-term highway bill Thursday, though their work on federal infrastructure funding isn’t over. Senators voted 65-34 to approve the six-year bill, which funds federal highway and infrastructure projects for three years.”
 
* California: “Water use fell by 27% in June, passing the conservation target set by Gov. Jerry Brown during the drought, regulators said Thursday. Data released by the State Water Resources Control Board shows 265 out of 411 local agencies hit or nearly reached savings targets.”
 
* This seems like a reasonable position to take: “Shipping giant FedEx no longer is willing to transport packages containing research specimens of potential bioterror pathogens in the wake of high-profile safety mistakes by an Army lab that unknowingly shipped live anthrax for years, according to a letter the company sent to federal regulators and obtained by USA TODAY.”
 
* When Mitch McConnell was Senate Minority Leader, he was constantly outraged by Democrats engaging in a procedural tactic known as “filling the tree.” Now that Mitch McConnell is Senate Majority Leader, he has a very different perspective.
 
* And there’s some evidence that Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) isn’t making Democratic friends on Capitol Hill. Imagine that.
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Thursday's Mini-Report, 7.30.15