Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Iraq: “Secretary of State John F. Kerry urged Kurdish leaders Tuesday to remain part of Iraq, as fighters from local Sunni tribes wrested control of at least part of Iraq’s largest oil refinery after battling for days with government troops over the key facility.”
* Related news: “The first teams of up to 300 US military advisers have begun their mission in Baghdad to assist the Iraqi army in its fight against Sunni extremists, the Pentagon said Tuesday.”
* No-fly list: “A federal judge in Oregon says the process surrounding the federal government’s ‘no-fly list’ is unconstitutional. Specifically, U.S. District Judge Anna Brown said the process doesn’t give Americans on the list an effective way to challenge their inclusion.”
* Ebola: “The deadly Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has hit “unprecedented” proportions, according to relief workers on the ground. ‘The epidemic is out of control,’ Dr. Bart Janssens, director of operations for Doctors Without Borders, said in a statement.” The World Health Organization has put the death toll at 350 people.
* Trouble for the Ex-Im Bank: “Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) declined Tuesday to endorse reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, an entity that many large corporations consider critical for doing business abroad, saying that he would consult with GOP colleagues in the coming weeks before deciding how the House should proceed.”
* The latest mass-shooting: “Two gunmen sprayed a Liberty City apartment complex [in South Florida] with dozens of rounds of gunfire from automatic weapons early Tuesday morning, killing two people and seriously injuring seven others, in one of the worst mass shootings in Miami in decades.”
* It’s generally not a good idea for lawmakers to apologize to witnesses during a hearing, but sometimes, it’s necessary: “Rep. Elijiah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, on Monday evening tore into Republicans for the way they questioned IRS Commissioner John Koskinen during a hearing and apologized for their behavior.”
* Unlocking: “Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have reached a bipartisan deal on legislation that would allow people to ‘unlock’ their cellphones when changing providers. The bill, which will be considered on Thursday, would allow users to take their mobile device from one wireless network to another, and is backed by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).”
* UK hacking scandal: “In another dramatic turn in a case that has transfixed Britain, Rebekah Brooks, the former head of Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper holdings in Britain, was acquitted on Tuesday of phone hacking and other charges. Andy Coulson, a former tabloid editor and onetime head of communications for Prime Minister David Cameron, was found guilty on at least one count.”
* What a bizarre story: “The chief of staff to Ohio GOP Rep. Steve Stivers has resigned after a former porn actress posted an explicit photo of the aide online. Adam Kuhn, a longtime Stivers aide, resigned on Tuesday. Kuhn is single, while the actress is married.”
* Oh my: “The heart-wrenching story of a disfigured 3-year-old child being asked to leave a Jackson KFC because her appearance was scaring other customers was a made-up story that resulted in the family bilking the public and professionals for more than $135,000 in cash, as well as gifts and free surgeries, sources with deep knowledge of the investigation said exclusively to the Laurel Leader-Call.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.