Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 5.13.15

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* The latest from Philadelphia: “The Amtrak train that jumped the tracks late Tuesday evening was likely traveling faster than 100 miles per hour when it approached a bend in the rail where the limit is half that speed, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) confirmed on Wednesday.”
 
* Yesterday, fast-track was in deep trouble. Today, it’s progressing: “Less than 24 hours after Senate Democrats blocked President Obama’s free trade push, leaders in both parties agreed Wednesday on a path toward granting the president accelerated authority to complete a major accord ringing the Pacific Ocean.”
 
* Syria: “International inspectors have found traces of banned toxic chemicals in at least three military locations in Syria, four diplomats and officials said, less than two years after President Bashar al-Assad agreed to dismantle the country’s chemical arsenal.”
 
* ISIS: “The deputy leader of ISIS has been killed in an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition, Iraq’s government announced Wednesday. A video posted on the Ministry of Defense’s official website showed what was purported to be the attack that killed Abu Alaa al-Afri while he was holding a meeting at a mosque in Iraq’s northern Tal Afar province.”
 
* It’s hard to know what to believe when it comes to news out of North Korea: “North Korea’s equivalent of a defense minister has been executed by antiaircraft gun for insubordination and treason – including for sleeping during a meeting in which Kim Jong Un was speaking, South Korea’s intelligence agency said Wednesday.”
 
* Port of Seattle: “Shell Oil says its offshore oil rigs will arrive shortly on Seattle’s waterfront to prepare for drilling in Alaska, despite a Port of Seattle resolution Tuesday asking it to delay while the Port challenges a city ruling aimed at keeping the rigs out.”
 
* Uh oh: “More than two out of five American honeybee colonies died in the past year, and surprisingly the worst die-off was in the summer, according to a federal survey.”
 
* Guns: “House Majority Whip Steve Scalise … has introduced legislation that would make it easier for licensed gun dealers to sell guns to out-of-state buyers. But a leading gun control advocate says the legislation ‘would make it even more difficult for federal and state law enforcement to identify individuals who are already prohibited from purchasing firearms.’”
 
* Ugh: “Fox’s Martha MacCallum repeated the age old conservative adage that anti-poverty programs failed, despite evidence demonstrating that government programs aimed at reducing poverty have worked.”
 
* I think this sounds about right: “Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) says it’s silly to think that President Obama’s criticism of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is sexist. ‘It’s silliness, the president and Elizabeth Warren are friends,’ McCaskill said Wednesday on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe.’”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Wednesday's Mini-Report, 5.13.15