Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Iraq: “A prominent female Iraqi human rights lawyer and campaigner has been publicly executed days after posting anti-ISIS messages on her Facebook page, the U.N. said Thursday. Samira Salih al-Nuaimi was killed by a masked firing squad in a public square in the city of Mosul, an act described as ‘horrifying’ by the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.”
* More ISIS: “FBI Director James Comey said Thursday he believes the bureau knows the identity of the masked executioner in ISIS propaganda videos. He declined to say who it is or where the man is from…. He also said the FBI is working hard to identify two people in ISIS videos who appear to have American or Canadian accents.”
* Terror threat: “A wide range of U.S. intelligence sources told NBC News that there is no evidence of any current threat against the subways, after Iraq’s prime minister told reporters that ISIS is plotting an imminent attack.”
* Ebola: ‘Seeking to speed the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, President Obama delivered a blunt warning on Thursday at a high-level United Nations meeting devoted to the health crisis: the world was doing too little and moving too slowly.”
* A welcome tone: “The runner-up in Afghanistan’s bitterly disputed presidential election, Abdullah Abdullah, struck a conciliatory note toward President-elect Ashraf Ghani in a speech on Thursday in which he confirmed that he would join the government as its chief executive officer.”
* Yemen: “The US State Department on Thursday ordered some of its diplomats and other government workers at the US embassy in Yemen to leave the country because of deteriorating security amid unrest and sectarian clashes that have left Shia rebels in control of the capital.”
* This took a while: “Police Chief Thomas Jackson apologized to the family of Michael Brown and to protesters in a video released today. In the video released by a public relations firm representing the city of Ferguson, Jackson apologized directly to Brown’s family and to protesters who felt the police mishandled the protests that followed the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of the unarmed 18-year-old by Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson.”
* Good move: “President Obama will use his legal authority Thursday to create the world’s largest fully protected marine reserve in the central Pacific Ocean, demonstrating his increased willingness to advance a conservation agenda without the need for congressional approval.”
* Progress: “Attorney General Eric Holder announced Tuesday that for the first time since 1980, the federal inmate population has fallen, rather than risen. At the end of the 2014 fiscal year next week, the federal prison population will show a drop to about 215, 000 inmates – about 4,800 fewer than a year ago. The attorney general called the change a major breakthrough for advocates who have sought to shorten strict sentences for non-violent offenders.”
* More progress: “Enough young Latinos got health insurance under new Obamacare provisions to lower the uninsured rate by 20 points, researchers reported Thursday. Last year, 43 percent of Latinos aged 19 to 34 went without health insurance; by spring of this year that number fell to 23 percent, the Commonwealth Fund found.”
* With official confirmation that Eric Holder is stepping down, only two members of President Obama’s cabinet have been there since the beginning: Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
* The video on this is breathtaking: “Earlier this month, a white South Carolina Highway Patrol officer shot an unarmed black man during a traffic stop at a gas station in the city of Columbia. While the incident at the time was enough to catch the attention of local investigators, it exploded into the wider consciousness on Wednesday when dash cam video of the shooting became public and the officer was charged with aggravated assault.”
* I always appreciate the subtlety of right-wing rhetoric: “Fox News host Andrea Tantaros said Thursday during a discussion about Attorney General Eric Holder’s reported resignation that he ran the Department of Justice ‘much like the Black Panthers would.’”
* Fox News’ Eric Bolling yesterday referred to the first female pilot from the United Arab Emirates to bomb ISIS targets as “boobs on the ground.” This actually happened.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.