Tuesday’s Mini-Report, 1.19.16

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Iraq: “To celebrate Ramadan, Islamic State militants in Iraq reportedly hosted a Quran memorization competition last June in Mosul. The stakes were high: The three winners would be awarded sex slaves. It was just one of dozens of accounts of life under the Islamic State published Tuesday in a harrowing United Nations report, which found that at least 18,802 civilians were killed in Iraq between January 2014 and October 2015.”
 
* China: “China’s economy grew at its slowest rate in 25 years last year, according to official statistics released Tuesday. The Communist-led country saw its economy expand 6.9% overall in 2015 and 6.8% the last quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics said.”
 
* A wild ride: “U.S. stocks finished mostly higher on Tuesday, as the S&P 500 and Dow industrials managed to hold on to minor gains amid a renewed rout in oil prices that took the wind out of an early rally.”
 
* The Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon: “[T]he lack of confrontation by federal officials has not only prevented it from becoming the next Waco or Ruby Ridge but transformed it into a peculiar and mundane sideshow.”
 
* Wait, are we still talking about this? “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is pressuring Democrats ahead of a procedural vote Wednesday on legislation freezing the acceptance of refugees from Syria and Iraq.”
 
* On this, he’s correct: “Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday blasted the Republican field for their rhetoric on destroying the Islamic State.” He specifically told MSNBC, “First of all they, they don’t know what they’re talking about.”
 
* I actually get up early enough to take advantage of this: “In the mood for a little predawn astronomy? You’re in luck: For the next 30 days or so you’ll be able to see with the naked eye five of the brightest planets in our solar system, all at once, every morning.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 
 

Tuesday's Mini-Report, 1.19.16