Tuesday’s Mini-Report, 5.31.16

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Iraq: “Local ground forces backed by U.S.-led military aircraft launched an operation Monday to storm the ISIS stronghold of Fallujah, officials told NBC News. The advance marks the latest in a series of attempts to dislodge ISIS militants who have controlled Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad, for more than two years.”
 
* The State Department today “warned Americans traveling to Europe about risk of terror attacks over the summer…. It pointed to two events in particular – the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day in late July in Poland and the European Soccer Championship, which France will host from June 10-July 10 – as potential targets.”
 
* Economy: “Consumer spending surged in April by the largest amount in more than six years, led by a big jump in purchases of autos and other durable goods.”
 
* Verizon “reached a series of tentative agreements with unions representing nearly 40,000 striking workers over the holiday weekend, retreating on some of the major points of contention, including pension cuts and greater flexibility to outsource work.”
 
* The wrong choice: “Rodrigo Duterte became the 16th president of the Philippines on Monday when a joint session of Congress declared him winner of a May 9 election, succeeding Benigno Aquino who steps down next month after six years in office.”
 
* Great Barrier Reef: “The worst bleaching event ever seen on the Great Barrier Reef has killed more than a third of corals across wide swaths of the region, scientists announced on Sunday. Those numbers continue a streak of horrifically bad news for the largest living structure on the planet. Just a month ago, researchers said 93 percent of the reef had been affected by the mass bleaching event.”
 
* UNC: “Faced with lawsuits for complying with North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law, the University of North Carolina system indicated on Friday it won’t enforce House Bill 2.”
 
* The Kansas Supreme Court ruled on Friday “that the state Legislature had failed to equitably fund public schools, once again giving the state until June 30 to fix its financing system or face a court-ordered shutdown of schools.”
 
* If you missed it last week, President Obama’s speech in Hiroshima was excellent and probably deserved more domestic recognition (beyond Republicans and pundits pondering whether it met some vague and pointless “apology” threshold).
 
* Holder’s still capable of raising eyebrows: “Eric H. Holder Jr., the former United States attorney general, said that Edward J. Snowden had performed a ‘public service’ by starting a national conversation when he leaked documents in 2013 that revealed classified information about National Security Agency programs.”
 
* Progress: “The share of Americans who described themselves as people struggling to afford food has declined to a record low in a long-running Gallup poll.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 
 
 

Tuesday's Mini-Report, 5.31.16