Tuesday’s Mini-Report, 1.26.16

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Syria: “Multiple bombings struck a government-run checkpoint in the central Syrian city of Homs on Tuesday, killing at least 20 people and wounding over a hundred amid intense political jockeying ahead of U.N.-backed peace talks scheduled to begin in Geneva on Friday.”
 
* In related news: “The United Nations invited representatives of the Syrian government and members of opposition groups on Tuesday to political talks in Geneva this week, as its top humanitarian official gave the warring parties a concrete list of demands: Let in food and medicine, stop bombing schools and hospitals.”
 
* Afghanistan: “An Afghan policeman turned his weapon on fellow officers as they were sleeping in their quarters near a checkpoint in the country’s south, killing 10, a provincial spokesman said Tuesday.”
 
* A humane decision: ‘President Obama on Monday announced a ban on solitary confinement for juvenile offenders in the federal prison system, saying the practice is overused and has the potential for devastating psychological consequences.”
 
* Um, what? “Call it a cover up: Nude statues were hidden in Rome in an apparent attempt not to offend the visiting president of socially-conservative Iran. President Hassan Rouhani was in Italy on Tuesday as part of a European tour aimed at drumming up investment in Iran following years of international sanctions.”
 
* A case worth watching: “The bitter dispute about North Carolina’s elections laws returned to a federal courtroom here on Monday as the state’s voter identification requirement went on trial.”
 
* Told you so: “Markets sure seem to think that the Federal Reserve has made a big mistake. It hasn’t just been stocks selling off 10 percent to start the year. It has also been bonds saying that they don’t think the Fed will come close to hitting its target of 2 percent annual inflation anytime in the next 10 years.”
 
* Tennessee: “Republican members of the Tennessee House of Representatives want the House GOP caucus to create a special committee to investigate the handling of sexual harassment at the state legislature…. The call for an investigation, and need to elect a new whip, comes on the heels of Tennessean investigations into the General Assembly’s sexual harassment policy and three women who said Rep. Jeremy Durham, R-Franklin, sent them inappropriate text messages. Durham resigned his post as whip on Sunday.”
 
* Dana Milbank argued persuasively that the Flint disaster “is not a failure of government generally. It’s the failure of a specific governing philosophy: [Gov. Rick] Snyder’s belief that government works better if run more like a business.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 
 

Tuesday's Mini-Report, 1.26.16