Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 5.11.16

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Iraq: “A car bomb ripped through a commercial area in Baghdad on Wednesday, killing at least 63 people in an attack that was swiftly claimed by ISIS. Two other bombings in the Iraqi capital later killed 28 others, authorities said. The initial blast occurred in a crowded outdoor market in the predominantly Shiite district of Sadr City and also wounded 85 people.”
 
* Texas: “A 2013 fertilizer plant blast in Texas that killed 15 people and leveled hundreds of homes was caused by a ‘criminal act,’ federal officials said Wednesday. The findings were revealed in a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigation into the origin of the deadly fire and explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. on April 17, 2013, in the rural town of West.”
 
* Brazil: “After a chaotic couple of days, Brazil’s Senate votes Wednesday on whether to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, who is charged with using state funds to fill budget gaps.”
 
* Tom Cotton loses this round: “The Senate on Wednesday rejected a Republican amendment that had renewed tensions over the Iran nuclear deal and threatened to derail chamber leaders’ efforts to pass spending bills this year.”
 
* In geo-political terms, there are few places on the planet as interesting as these waters: “A U.S. warship sailed within 12 miles of one China’s largest artificial islands Tuesday, part of a continuing effort by the Pentagon to demonstrate that the United States remains undeterred by the rapid Chinese military buildup in the South China Sea.”
 
* Zika: “Brazilian researchers studying the Zika virus say they’ve found evidence it may have evolved into a new form that’s more likely to damage brain cells and cause birth defects.”
 
* That’s a lot of money: “U.S. multinational companies are saving $100 billion a year by shifting their profits overseas to lower their tax bills, according to a study released Tuesday that found that corporate tax-dodging is a bigger problem than previously estimated.”
 
* West Point: “The United States Military Academy at West Point announced on Tuesday that it would not punish 16 cadets who posed for a photograph last week with raised fists, saying the gesture was intended to show ‘unity’ and ‘pride,’ and did not violate Army regulations that prohibit engaging in partisan political activities while in uniform.”
 
* Good for Google: “Google announced Wednesday that it will ban all payday loan ads from its site, bowing to concerns by advocates who say the lending practice exploits the poor and vulnerable by offering them immediate cash that must be paid back under sky-high interest rates.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 
 
 

Wednesday's Mini-Report, 5.11.16