Today’s edition of quick hits:
* ISIS: “The militant group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has released a video reportedly showing the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.”
* Somalia: “The U.S. military launched an airstrike in Somalia on Monday targeting the leader of the al Qaeda-affiliated group behind the Kenya mall massacre. U.S. officials told NBC News that a military drone launched Hellfire missiles at at least two vehicles in a remote area of southern Somalia. Sources said Ahmed Abdi Godane, the top leader of al Shabab, was the attack’s target.”
* NATO: “In a move that comes amid Cold War fears and references to World War II, NATO allies this week are expected to back the use of a rapid-reaction force that can swoop into hot spots in Eastern Europe. At a moment’s notice, 4,000 troops would be deployed within 48 hours into these troubled territories – a military maneuver supported by the former Soviet states feeling threatened by Russia.”
* The Kremlin isn’t denying it: “President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia reportedly told a European official that he could ‘take Kiev in two weeks’ if he wanted to, adding a new dimension to the tensions building in Ukraine as Russian forces become more involved in the fighting there.”
* Ebola: “Another American missionary doctor working in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola, an aid group said Tuesday. SIM USA said the doctor, who was not named, was treating obstetric patients at ELWA hospital in Monrovia and had not treated Ebola patients in the hospital’s isolation unit, which is separate from the main hospital.”
* North Korea “granted two United States news organizations interviews with three incarcerated Americans on Monday, with each prisoner apologizing for violating its laws and beseeching Washington to send a high-level emissary to negotiate their release.”
* Ferguson, Missouri: “Police officers here began wearing body cameras on Saturday as marchers took to the streets in the most recent protest of a shooting three weeks earlier.”
* Halliburton: “Oilfield services provider Halliburton Co. said Tuesday that it had settled the majority of lawsuits filed against it for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Halliburton settled the claims for its role in the largest oil spill in United States waters for about $1.1 billion. The money will mostly go to fishermen and property owners affected by the spill.”
* Charlie Savage on Guantanamo: “More than 12 years after the Bush administration sent the first prisoners here, tensions are mounting over whether Mr. Obama can close the prison before leaving office, according to interviews with two dozen administration, congressional and military officials. A split is emerging between State Department officials, who appear eager to move toward Mr. Obama’s goal, and some Pentagon officials, who say they share that ambition but seem warier than their counterparts about releasing low-level detainees.”
* A lot of the things Republican lawmakers said about the VA scandal weren’t true. It’s a shame the falsehoods generated quite a bit of attention, while the truth is largely overlooked.
* A good take by Ezra on poli-sci: “Perhaps the single best thing that’s happened to political journalism in the time I’ve been doing it is the rise of political science.”
* And congratulations to Dave on his new gig: “Bloomberg has hired Dave Weigel, a senior political reporter at Slate, for its new politics venture, which is being helmed by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. The forthcoming Bloomberg Politics brand, which will feature political coverage on the Web, mobile, TV, radio and in print, is slated to launch on Oct. 6.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.