Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Climate: “President Barack Obama has announced the U.S. will formally join a sweeping global emissions-cutting accord reached last year, boosting efforts to bring the plan into effect by the end of 2016. The Paris Agreement could well be remembered as ‘the moment we finally decided to save our planet,’ Obama said on Saturday in advance of the Group of 20 summit.”
* Laos: “Acknowledging the scars of a secret war, Barack Obama on Tuesday said the United States has a ‘moral obligation’ to help Laos heal and vowed to reinvigorate relations with a country with rising strategic importance to the US.”
* Afghanistan: “Twin bombings near the Afghan Defense Ministry killed at least 24 people on Monday, including two security force generals, in an attack claimed by the Taliban.”
* Syria: “A string of explosions across Syria, most of them targeting government checkpoints, killed at least 40 people on Monday as talks between the United States and Russia on a cease-fire in the war failed.”
* Someone wants attention again: “North Korea fired three ballistic missiles off its east coast Monday, South Korea’s military said, in a show of force timed to the G-20 economic summit in China. North Korea regularly engages in missile and rocket tests, especially when international attention is turned to Northeast Asia.”
* Chicago has already seen more murders this year than all of last year: “Thirteen people were shot to death in Chicago over the Labor Day weekend as the city logged its 500th homicide of the year according to data collected by the Tribune.”
* Russia: “U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are investigating what they see as a broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in U.S. political institutions, intelligence and congressional officials said.”
* Earthquake: “A 5.6-magnitude earthquake rattled Oklahoma on Saturday, damaging buildings and tying for the strongest temblor ever recorded in the state, which has experienced a rash of earthquake activity in the past decade that U.S. seismologists have tied to the underground disposal of wastewater from oil and gas drilling.”
* Filipino voters may not have chosen wisely: “Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte expressed regret Tuesday over his crude remark while referring to President Barack Obama – a rare display of contrition by a politician whose wide arc of profanities has unabashedly targeted world figures including the pope.”
* ITT closes its doors: “The for-profit ITT Educational Services Inc., whose campuses enroll about 40,000 students, will close down in response to heightened scrutiny from the federal government, the company announced Tuesday morning.”
* It was a busy day at Fox News, which agreed to a settlement with Gretchen Carlson, only to announce soon after that Greta Van Susteren has abruptly left the network.
* The death of a far-right icon: “Cultural conservative activist and icon Phyllis Schlafly died Monday at her home in St. Louis, according to a spokesman for the Eagle Forum political group she founded. She was 92.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.