Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 3.11.15

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Tragedy off the coast of Florida: “Crews searched along the fog-shrouded Florida coast on Wednesday, but seven Marines and four soldiers were feared dead after an Army Black Hawk helicopter crashed during a nighttime training exercise.”
 
* Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson “resigned Wednesday, effective March 19, a source confirmed to msnbc’s Trymaine Lee. The resignation of the embattled police chief is the latest in a series of Ferguson officials who have stepped down in the wake of a scathing Department of Justice report condemning the city for repeated constitutional and civil rights violations against black residents by its police department and courts.”
 
* ISIS: “Militant fighters of the Islamic State mounted one of their fiercest assaults in months on Wednesday, setting off 21 car bombs in the city of Ramadi, even as the group lost ground in an Iraqi government offensive in Tikrit, security officials said.”
 
* Ukraine: “The Obama administration said Wednesday that it would provide another $75 million in nonlethal aid to Ukraine’s military. It also imposed sanctions against a handful of pro-Russian separatists and others blamed for fomenting the civil war that has torn apart Ukraine’s eastern regions.”
 
* Texas is “set to use one of its two remaining doses of an execution drug to kill a Mexican Mafia hitman on Tuesday evening. Manuel Vasquez, 46, was sentenced to die for the 1998 slaying of a woman who balked at paying a gang tax on drug sales. With just three hours to go before his scheduled lethal injection, he had no appeals pending.”
 
* Nearing monetary parity: “There’s a currency war going on, and the United States is losing. As of Wednesday, the euro had fallen to a 12-year low of $1.05, down from as much as $1.39 just last year. That’s a 30 percent drop in 11 months, to be exact, and there’s no reason to expect it to stop anytime soon. Now a strong dollar is good for anyone who’s planning a trip overseas, but it’s bad news for anyone who’s planning on selling stuff there.”
 
* The GOP partnership was a really bad idea: “A new poll released on Tuesday shows American support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has faded after his controversial congressional address on March 3. The latest Gallup survey shows Netanyahu with a 38 percent favorability rating, down 7 percentage points from a similar poll in February. And his unfavorability rating is higher, up 5 percentage points to 29 percent in the same time period.”
 
* It’s a very good thing the Recovery Act revolutionized the solar industry: “Demand for U.S. solar power increased 30 percent in 2014 as residential installations for the first time surpassed 1 gigawatt, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research.”
 
* It’s quite a Congress, isn’t it? “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pointed fingers Wednesday as anti-human-trafficking legislation stalled because of an abortion-related provision.”
 
* Picking up the pieces: “President Obama remains committed to ‘common-sense’ gun regulations, even though his administration backed off a proposal to ban a popular type of armor-piercing ammunition.  ’The president’s commitment to putting in place common-sense rules that will protect Second Amendment rights, but also prevent those who shouldn’t have firearms from getting them, is as strong as ever,’ White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Wednesday.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Wednesday's Mini-Report, 3.11.15