Wednesday’s Mini-Report

Updated
 

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Syria: “The U.N. Security Council is to hold an emergency session Wednesday over reports from Syria’s opposition that hundreds of civilians – including many women and children – have been killed in chemical weapons attacks. Activists and rebel fighters accused Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces of firing chemical-tipped weapons into rebel-held areas near the capital, Damascus, in the early hours.”

* Egypt: “Former hardline Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was ordered released from prison on Wednesday by a Cairo court and could be free within days, a symbol of how the unfolding crisis in the country seems to have erased the promise for democratic gains promised by the Arab Spring.”

* The NSA has “built a surveillance network that covers more Americans’ Internet communications than officials have publicly disclosed, current and former officials say. The system has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic in the hunt for foreign intelligence, including a wide array of communications by foreigners and Americans.”

* School shooting: “The suspect in a Georgia elementary school shooting who fired six rounds in a front office before surrendering to police had nearly 500 rounds of ammunition with him, authorities said Wednesday.”

* Drug policy: “White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday that although targeting individual marijuana users wasn’t the best use of government resources, President Barack Obama does not ‘at this point’ support a change in federal policy.”

* The progress is slow, but the disability claims backlog for U.S. veterans has improved. In fact, the Department of Veterans Affairs reported this week “that the claims backlog of 490,000 claims pending more than 125 days is down by almost 20 percent from its highest point more than four months ago.”

* 18: “A San Diego businesswoman told CNN Wednesday that Mayor Bob Filner put his hands on her buttocks at a meeting. Diane York, the 18th woman to allege that Filner improperly touched her, told CNN that Filner touched her backside during a photo opportunity after the meeting three months ago.”

* Hmm: “Fox News communications executive Brian Lewis served as Roger Ailes’ guardian for 17 years, battling bad publicity with infamous zeal and unwavering loyalty. Then, on July 25, he was fired and escorted out of the building.”

* New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd didn’t need another controversy, but after badly misquoting the wife of a New York City mayoral candidate, and then blaming her error on a “noisy” coffee shop, she has another unfortunate mishap on her record.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Wednesday's Mini-Report

Updated