Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 8.13.14

Updated
Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Iraq: “A senior White House official said on Wednesday that the United States would consider using American ground troops to assist Iraqis in rescuing Yazidi refugees if recommended by military advisers assessing the situation.”
 
* An extension: “The head of the Palestinian delegation negotiating a truce with Israel says Hamas has agreed to extend a cease-fire for another five days.”
 
* Ukraine: “Confusion enveloped an enormous Russian aid convoy as it apparently halted Wednesday at a military base in the southern Russian city of Voronezh, temporarily suspending its march toward southeastern Ukraine.”
 
* Afghanistan: “A powerful Afghan governor and former militia leader, who had threatened mass protests in the wake of the disputed presidential runoff in June, warned Wednesday of a “civil uprising” if the ongoing ballot recount proves biased and his candidate, Abdullah Abdullah, is not named the winner.”
 
* Questions abound: “President Obama won’t make any major announcements on immigration reform during his secretive mid-vacation trip back to Washington next week, the White House said Wednesday.”
 
* Does Obama need congressional authorization? Part I: “Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said Tuesday that open-ended military actions, like President Obama’s airstrikes in Iraq, should require congressional approval and that a bill he’s proposed would ensure that is the case.”
 
* Does Obama need congressional authorization? Part II: “Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) on Wednesday said President Obama does not need approval from Congress for the limited U.S. airstrikes taking place in Iraq. ‘Well, I don’t think congressional approval is needed for the type of targeted airstrikes the president’s conducting right now,’ he said on MSNBC.”
 
* A tragic loss: “According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 15 journalists have died in the course of their work covering Israel and the Palestinian territories since 1992. On Wednesday, that number was tragically augmented when Italian Associated Press video journalist Simone Camilli and his freelance translator, Ali Shehda Abu Afash, were killed in an explosion at an ordinance dump in the Gaza Strip.”
 
* Virginia: “A federal appeals court refused Wednesday to delay its ruling striking down Virginia’s gay marriage ban, which means that same-sex couples could begin marrying in the state as early as next week. The state would also need to start recognizing marriages from out of state by next Wednesday, assuming the U.S. Supreme Court does not intervene.”
 
* Massachusetts: “In a move likely to raise his profile and popularity further within the Democratic Party, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed bipartisan gun-safety legislation Wednesday that grants police chiefs the authority to prevent certain individuals from obtaining firearms licenses.”
 
* This really was unfortunate: “Maureen Dowd’s long descent into anti-Clinton self-parody hit a new low last night when she managed to transition from discussing the death of Robin Williams to an attack on Hillary Clinton.”
 
* And this really was offensive: “Commentators reacted swiftly to condemn remarks conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh made Tuesday during a segment in which Limbaugh suggested actor Robin Williams’ ‘leftist worldview’ played a part in his apparent suicide.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Wednesday's Mini-Report, 8.13.14

Updated