Thursday’s Mini-Report, 8.7.14

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Iraq: “President Obama is considering airstrikes or airdrops of food and medicine to address a humanitarian crisis among as many as 40,000 members of religious minorities in Iraq, who have been dying of heat and thirst on a mountaintop where they took shelter after death threats from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, administration officials said on Thursday.”
 
* Related news out of Iraq: “Sunni Muslim extremists punctured Kurdish defenses in a major offensive in northern Iraq on Thursday, seizing control of the country’s largest Christian town and sending thousands of civilians fleeing in panic.”
 
* Hawaii: “Hurricane Iselle continued to weaken but is still on track to slam into Hawaii island Thursday with damaging winds, torrential rain and coastal flooding…. Julio strengthened into a category 2 hurricane Thursday as it approached the Central Pacific and is following a similar path as Iselle, although its track is a little more northerly.”
 
* A surprise trip to Afghanistan: “The Obama administration kept up pressure on the squabbling political rivals vying to be Afghanistan’s next leader, dispatching Secretary of State John F. Kerry to Kabul on Thursday as an audit of disputed presidential election results ground on.”
 
* Gaza: “A three-day ceasefire in Gaza that has brought relief to millions entered its final stretch on Thursday with Israel ready to extend the calm but Hamas hedging its bets.”
 
* CDC: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday said it is confident the United States would not experience an Ebola outbreak.”
 
* Greene returns home: “The body of Army Maj. Gen. Harold Greene, the highest-ranking American officer to die in the Afghanistan War, was retuned to the U.S. on Thursday. The two-star general was shot and killed Tuesday by an Afghan soldier at the country’s National Military Academy in Kabul.”
 
* Related news: “The gunman who killed a U.S. Army major general and wounded several others at a military university in Afghanistan was identified by officials Wednesday as an Afghan soldier in his 20s who was carrying a NATO-issued assault rifle.”
 
* VA: “President Obama on Thursday signed a $16.3 billion bill to overhaul the troubled Veterans Affairs Department, saying the country had a “sacred duty” to protect its military service members.”
 
* Michigan murder case: “A jury found Theodore Wafer, the Michigan man who shot and killed unarmed black teen Renisha McBride, guilty Thursday of all charges in her death. Wafer, 55, was found guilty of second-degree murder, homicide, and one count of felony firearm.”
 
* A $16-billion settlement: “After months of lowball offers and heels dug in, it took only 24 hours for Bank of America to suddenly cave in to the government, agreeing to the largest single federal settlement in the history of corporate America.”
 
* A story to keep an eye on: “A senior health department official under Republican scrutiny for the flawed rollout of HealthCare.gov likely deleted some emails now sought by congressional investigators, msnbc has learned.”
 
* Another setback for the GOP’s minority-outreach efforts: “A Virginia Republican faced two options after posting anti-Muslim remarks on Facebook: Quit social media or step down from his public office. Virginia GOP Treasurer Bob FitzSimmonds chose to resign from office.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Thursday's Mini-Report, 8.7.14