Thursday’s Mini-Report, 7.9.15

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* A done deal in South Carolina: “South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill Thursday to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds. The flag is set to come down Friday morning.”
 
* That’s a massive breach: “The U.S. Office of Personnel Management announced on Thursday that sensitive information including Social Security numbers for 21.5 million people was among the data lost in a breach of its background investigation database.”
 
* Stay tuned: “Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Thursday that the United States and its negotiating partners ‘will not rush, and we will not be rushed’ into finalizing a nuclear deal with Iran, but warned they will abandon talks soon if Iran doesn’t make the ‘tough decisions’ needed for an agreement.”
 
* I’d like to hear a lot more about this: “Some of the dozen arrests made by federal agents in the last four weeks helped to thwart potential terror attacks during the Fourth of July holiday, FBI Director James Comey said Thursday. ‘I do believe our work disrupted efforts to kill people, likely in connection with July 4,’ Comey told reporters at FBI headquarters in Washington.”
 
* Eurozone: “As Greece engaged in a last-minute scramble on Thursday to formulate a bailout proposal that could determine whether it remains in the euro, France, its most sympathetic ally among Europe’s big powers, stepped in to give a helping hand.”
 
* Afghanistan: “The Afghan government confirmed Thursday that it held its first direct talks with the Taliban earlier this week, a symbolic sign of progress for those trying to end the country’s 15-year insurgency.”
 
* The sort of speculation that makes me anxious: “Russia’s aggressive behavior and its nuclear arsenal make it the single greatest national security threat faced by the United States, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. said Thursday at a Senate hearing on his nomination as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”
 
* Identifying yesterday’s problem: “The New York Stock Exchange said its nearly four-hour trading halt on Wednesday resulted from a technical problem that stemmed from new software rolled out the previous evening.”
 
* The latest in a series of breakthroughs: “Federal marriage benefits are now officially available to same-sex couples nationwide, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Thursday.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Thursday's Mini-Report, 7.9.15