Tuesday’s Mini-Report, 2.16.16

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Iraq: “After being held captive for a month, three Americans who were kidnapped in the Iraqi capital have been freed. Saad al-Hadithi, a spokesman for the prime minister’s office, confirmed that the three had been released but said he had no further details. The State Department said it welcomed the release and thanked Iraqi authorities for their assistance.”
 
* I’m a little unclear about the use of the word “probably” in this quote: “Israeli authorities briefly detained two Washington Post journalists Tuesday, an incident the government initially said was ‘probably the result of an unfortunate misunderstanding.’”
 
* Foreign policy change I can believe in: “Top U.S. officials will travel to Havana on Tuesday to sign an aviation pact that restores scheduled airline service between the United States and Cuba for the first time in more than 50 years, the U.S. Transportation Department said.”
 
* Related news: “The Obama administration has approved the first American factory in Cuba in more than half a century, allowing a two-man company from Alabama to build a plant assembling as many as 1,000 small tractors a year for sale to private farmers in Cuba.”
 
* I get the feeling President Obama thinks about China a lot: “President Obama welcomed the leaders of 10 Southeast Asian nations Monday for a two-day summit that marks an unprecedented bid to deepen U.S. ties to a distant region that barely registers in the consciousness of most Americans.”
 
* An interesting idea I haven’t heard much about: “For the world’s biggest crooks, it’s all about the Benjamins. That’s why Lawrence Summers, a former economic adviser to President Barack Obama, wants wealthy nations to stop issuing big bills – namely the 500-euro note and the $100 bill.”
 
* Supreme Court: “Justice Antonin Scalia’s body will lie in repose on Friday in the Great Hall of the Supreme Court building. This honor was last given to Chief Justice William Rehnquist in 2005.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 
 

Tuesday's Mini-Report, 2.16.16