Thursday’s Mini-Report, 8.18.16

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Louisiana: “The forecast for Louisiana is for more rain – and more pain. With the state still swamped by historic flooding that has killed at least 13 people and displaced tens of thousands more, the National Weather Service warned Thursday that heavy rains could produce floods and flash flooding in parts of the state.”
 
* Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said “he’s not concerned that President Barack Obama has not yet visited Louisiana to see the flood crisis first hand. ‘I’m not complaining in any way about our federal partnership,’ Edwards said during a news conference on Thursday.”
 
* Turkey: “A string of bombings, blamed on Kurdish rebels and targeting Turkey’s security forces, killed at least 14 people and wounded more than 220 others, officials said Thursday.”
 
* California fire: “[F]or all the devastation that the Blue Cut fire has wreaked, officials have had difficulty determining the damages left by explosive flames that quickly overtook more than 31,000 acres. Damage assessors have been hindered from surveying the destruction due to erratic fire behavior and intense flames that broke through retardants dropped by air crews.”
 
* West Virginia: “The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that police in Huntington, W.Va., responded to 26 heroin overdose cases in a span of four hours on Monday evening. To get a sense of the scale of the outbreak, consider this: Huntington is a small city with a population of about 49,000 people, according to the Census Bureau. An overdose outbreak of similar magnitude in New York City (population 8.4 million) would affect more than 4,400 people.”
 
* Syria: “The United States and Russia will try again to stop Syria’s civil war and forge a new counterterrorism partnership when their top diplomats meet next week in Geneva, U.S. officials said Thursday.”
 
* I guess this was probably inevitable: “Corrections Corp. of America and GEO Group Inc., two real estate investment trusts that operate prisons for the federal government and other clients, plunged after the U.S. Justice Department announced plans to stop using private correctional facilities.”
 
* Chicago’s police superintendent “has recommended that seven officers be fired for lying in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald in October 2014. McDonald’s death was captured in a video that contradicted the accounts of officers.”
 
* Hard to even fathom: “Starting later this month, Uber will allow customers in downtown Pittsburgh to summon self-driving cars from their phones, crossing an important milestone that no automotive or technology company has yet achieved.”
 
* Ethics controversy: “A congressional ethics panel said there is ‘substantial reason to believe’ Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), broke House rules by paying his departed chief of staff a three-month severance package in 2015.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 
 
 

Thursday's Mini-Report, 8.18.16