Tuesday’s Mini-Report, 11.18.14

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Israel: “Two Palestinians stormed a Jerusalem synagogue, opening fire and using knives and axes to attack Jews praying inside, officials said Tuesday. Four rabbis were killed – including three dual U.S.-Israeli nationals – and six other people wounded.”
 
* Afghanistan: “A suicide attack targeted a base for foreign contract workers in Kabul on Tuesday morning, killing at least two security guards, the authorities said. The attack involved a truck laden with gravel and explosives, which detonated near the gate of the base in the northeastern part of the capital around 6:30 a.m…. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.”
 
* Not good: “Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) has declared a state of emergency and activated the state national guard in anticipation of a grand jury decision in the shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson. But when asked Monday night if he was ultimately responsible for the coming response to any protests that might follow the decision, Nixon emphatically and loquaciously demurred.”
 
* Look for a Keystone vote in the Senate in the early evening, perhaps even within the next half-hour. With Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) opposed, proponents are struggling to get to 60.
 
* Third time’s the charm?: “A lawyer has agreed to take on House Speaker John Boehner’s lawsuit against President Barack Obama, though such a case has yet to be filed at all. George Washington University legal scholar Jonathan Turley agreed to represent Boehner and House Republicans in their possible future legal action against the president, NBC News’ Mark Murray reported Tuesday afternoon. Turley is a frequent commentator on MSNBC and other news networks.”
 
* Ebola: “The international effort to stamp out Ebola in West Africa is gaining ground, but the war is far from over. ‘We are nowhere near out of the woods yet,’ President Obama told reporters Tuesday at the White House as he met with national security and public health advisers, including Ebola response coordinator Ron Klain.”
 
* Another vote to watch: “The Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday night on whether to consider legislation to end a once-secret National Security Agency program that systematically collects records of Americans’ phone calls in bulk. But opposition to the bill has been mounting, and there remains no guarantee that it will receive the 60 votes it needs to move forward.”
 
* A review worth watching: “The Obama administration confirmed on Tuesday that it was reviewing its policy on securing the release of United States citizens taken hostage abroad, but that the ban on paying ransom had not changed.”
 
* Uber: “The senior vice president of Uber recently suggested that the private car service should hire a team of researchers to reveal damaging personal information about their critics in the media, Buzzfeed reported Monday.”
 
* One of the uncontroversial nominees waited over 400 days for a confirmation vote: “A top priority for Senate Democrats in their last remaining weeks in the majority is to work through the backlog of White House nominees. Working toward that goal, the Senate cleared by voice vote four career diplomats for their U.S. ambassador assignments on Monday night.”
 
* Climate: “ ‘If India goes deeper and deeper into coal, we’re all doomed,’ said Veerabhadran Ramanathan, director of the Center for Atmospheric Sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and one of the world’s top climate scientists. ‘And no place will suffer more than India.’”
 
* The good news: Justice Sam Alito has seen some of Dahlia Lithwick’s work. The bad news: I don’t think he understood the point she was trying to make.
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Tuesday's Mini-Report, 11.18.14