Tuesday’s Mini-Report, 5.24.16

Updated
Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Syria: “U.S.-allied forces in Syria launched a large-scale offensive on the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa on Tuesday, the group said. The Syrian Democratic Forces, an umbrella group including Kurdish and Arab fighters, said on the social network that it launched a three-pronged attack on the extremists’ de facto capital.”

* South Carolina: “Nearly a year since gunfire interrupted a Bible study at Emanuel AME Church, federal prosecutors said Tuesday that they will seek the death penalty against Dylann Roof, the 22-year-old suspect in the attack that killed nine people.”

* VA: “Veteran Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald refused to apologize Tuesday for comparing the long wait for medical care at his agency’s facilities to lines at Disneyland.” He added, “If I was misunderstood, if I said the wrong thing, I’m glad that I have the opportunity to correct it,” he said. “I’m only focused on one thing, and that’s better caring for veterans. That’s my job, that’s why I’m here.”
 
* Asia-Pacific: “President Obama urged Vietnam on human rights matters Tuesday while hailing its warming relations with the United States, calling the evolution from bitter wartime foes to growing partners a lesson for a world besieged by modern conflicts.”
 
* Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) “says he knows nothing about a federal investigation of contributions to his 2013 campaign for governor.”
 
* This may not seem like much, but it’s a life-changing shift in the island nation: “Cuba announced Tuesday that it will legalize small- and medium-sized private businesses in a move that could significantly expand private enterprise in one of the world’s last communist countries.”
 
* Responding to the simmering controversy, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has now told reporters, “All I can say is, I never told anybody to give money to Donald J. Trump. I’ve told people if I had money to give, I’d give it to the House and Senate candidates. It is important to unite our party, our House and our Senate candidates. If you want to help Mr. Trump, God bless you.”
 
* This fight isn’t over: “House Democrats will try again this week to pass legislation promoting equal rights for [LGBT] people after being thwarted in a dramatic vote last week. The office of Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who sponsored the anti-discrimination provision, confirmed Tuesday that the New York Democrat will offer his amendment again as part of this week’s debate on an energy and water appropriations bill.”
 
* Switzerland considers an experiment: “The country will vote June 5 on whether the government should introduce an unconditional basic income to replace various welfare benefits. Although the initiators of the plan haven’t stipulated how large the payout should be, they’ve suggested the sum of 2,500 francs ($2,500) for an adult and a quarter of that for a child.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 
 
 

Tuesday's Mini-Report, 5.24.16

Updated