Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Counter-terrorism: “Al Qaeda confirmed Tuesday that its No. 2 official — a former aide to Osama Bin Laden who rose to lead the terror group’s powerful Yemen affiliate — was killed in a U.S. airstrike. Rumors about Nasir al-Wuhayshi’s death first circulated on social media and in the Yemeni press.”
* The mission to date: “The Department of Defense has identified six American service members who have died supporting the operation to eliminate the Islamic State militant group. It confirmed the death of the following American recently: Daniel, Monterrious T., Pfc., Army; 19, of Griffin, Ga., Fourth Infantry Division.”
* Water matters: “Twenty-one of the world’s 37 largest aquifers – in locations from India and China to the United States and France – have passed their sustainability tipping points, meaning more water is being removed than replaced from these vital underground reservoirs. Thirteen of 37 aquifers fell at rates that put them into the most troubled category.
* TAA vote postponed: “After successful Democratic efforts to block the president’s trade package, Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) spoke by phone and consulted their respective top lieutenants as they tried to find a path to success, according to senior aides. Their first call was to abandon plans for a second vote Tuesday on a piece of legislation that must also pass for the entire package to advance to Obama’s desk.”
* It’s been days since the last sports scandal: “The FBI and Justice Department are investigating members of the front office of the St. Louis Cardinals to determine whether the organization hacked the computer network of the Houston Astros in order to steal player personnel information.”
* FDA: “The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday gave the food industry three years to eliminate artery-clogging, artificial trans fats from the food supply, a long-awaited step that capped years of effort by consumer advocates and is expected to save thousands of lives a year.”
* Coffman really shouldn’t have gone this far: “A VA spokeswoman chided U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman on Monday for statements the Aurora Republican made recently in which he imagined the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs running the terrorist group ISIS.”
* Energy: “The White House is touting $4 billion in commitments from the private sector to invest in clean energy technologies as it convenes a Clean Energy Investment Summit Tuesday. And the Obama administration is announcing new executive actions it hopes will make it easier for the private sector to invest in solar, wind and fuel cell technologies. The Treasury Department is releasing new guidance allowing charitable foundations to invest in for-profit companies doing clean energy research as a ‘mission-related investment.’”
* And the strangeness of Mark Halperin’s grading system is becoming its own story this year, though not necessarily in a good way.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
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Tuesday's Mini-Report, 6.16.15