Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Israel: “The military and political confrontation between Hamas and Israel showed no signs of abating Wednesday, with Gaza militants launching more rockets into Israeli territory and the military responding with further airstrikes. The Health Ministry in Gaza said the death toll there stood at 53 since Saturday and 45 since Monday.”
* President Obama will reportedly deliver a statement from Dallas in about an hour on the border crisis. Something to look out for.
* A new Glenn Greenwald NSA scoop based on materials from Edward Snowden: “An online news site reported Wednesday that U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies monitored the e-mails of several prominent Muslim American activists and attorneys, prompting cries of protest from civil liberties advocates and strong pushback from the government.”
* Fed: “The Federal Reserve intends to wrap up an unprecedented effort to stimulate the economy in October, drawing the curtain on one of the most controversial periods in the bank’s 100-year history. Minutes released Wednesday from the bank’s June meeting showed officials plan to cease their massive bond purchases after a policy meeting in October.”
* That doesn’t sound good: “When President Obama placed a call to Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany last Thursday, he had a busy agenda: to consult with a close ally and to mobilize wavering Europeans to put more pressure on Russia to end its covert incursions in Ukraine. What Mr. Obama did not know was that a day earlier, a young German intelligence operative had been arrested and had admitted that he had been passing secrets to the Central Intelligence Agency.”
* Sexual assaults in higher ed: “Colleges and universities are not doing enough to fight campus sexual assault, and the results of a survey organized by Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri could provide the evidence needed to spur policy changes at schools and in Congress.”
* Julian Castro was confirmed today to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, following a 71-26 vote. More than half of all Senate Republicans opposed the nomination, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear.
* Sanders’ opinion matters a lot here: “Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) voiced his support Wednesday for the Obama administration’s pick to lead the troubled Veterans Affairs Department, hinting at a smooth confirmation process. Sanders labeled his hourlong Tuesday sit-down with former Procter & Gamble executive Robert McDonald ‘a really good meeting.’”
* I think Graham’s right about this: “Republicans will take the political fall if they don’t provide emergency funds to address the immigrant crisis at the southern border, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) warned Wednesday.”
* Michael Cohen makes a compelling case: “It’s been a pretty good couple of weeks for American foreign policy. No, seriously.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.