Today’s edition of quick hits:
* A flaw in the Iraq plan: “Defense Secretary Ash Carter told members of Congress on Wednesday that the U.S. is having a tough time finding credible and capable allies to fight in both Iraq and Syria.”
* Poland: “Warships. Tanks. Helicopters. Rapid reaction forces. Thousands of NATO troops are on the move this month in Poland and the Baltic states, practicing sea landings, air lifts and assaults. The massive maneuvers on NATO’s eastern flank that began in early June include the first-ever training by the new, rapid reaction ‘spearhead’ force, and are NATO’s biggest defense boost since the Cold War.”
* A valiant effort: “The House voted resoundingly Wednesday to keep troops stationed abroad fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) despite the absence of a formal congressional authorization for military action against the group. In the first vote of its kind since the Obama administration began airstrikes ten months ago, the House defeated a resolution requiring the president to remove troops within the next six months. The vote was 139-288.”
* FCC: “The Federal Communications Commission slapped AT&T with a $100 million fine Wednesday, accusing the country’s second-largest cellular carrier of improperly slowing down Internet speeds for customers who had signed up for ‘unlimited’ data plans.”
* A trail gone cold: “Hundreds of law enforcement officers have combed thousands of acres. Investigators have looked at more than 1,300 tips. Police and helicopters have swarmed toward what looked like promising leads. And yet, more than a week and a half after killers Richard Matt and David Sweat sawed and shimmied their way out of Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York, there has still been no confirmed sighting of the fugitives.”
* South Carolina: ”Hillary Clinton called the police shooting death of Walter Scott a ‘terrible tragedy’ Wednesday at a meeting with rural leaders in Orangeburg, just ahead of forum here in the city where Scott was killed in April.”
* Russia: “In a sprawling park 30 miles outside Moscow, President Vladimir V. Putin welcomed the country’s first high-tech military exposition on Tuesday, announcing in his opening remarks that Russia would add 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to its nuclear stockpile this year.” The problem, of course, is that Russia can’t actually afford that.
* Seems fair: “At least two clever Texans sent Gov. Greg Abbott (R) pieces of foil “for your hat” after he ordered the Texas State Guard to “monitor” the U.S. military’s training exercise known as Jade Helm 15, Gawker reported on Tuesday.”
* Symbolic diplomacy: “The State Department will abandon decades of tradition this fall at the annual U.N. General Assembly by setting up shop in a hotel other than New York’s iconic Waldorf-Astoria, which was purchased last year by a Chinese company.”
* What a clever idea: “Phone carriers and local emergency rooms rejoice. Students at Utah Valley University have a new perk: a texting and walking lane.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
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Wednesday's Mini-Report, 6.17.15