Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Afghanistan: “Two attacks by Afghan police officers who were collaborating with the Taliban claimed the lives of 11 police officers in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, officials reported. News of the so-called insider attacks came as the authorities were still grappling with the assassination one day earlier of an American general by an Afghan soldier.”
* Gaza casualties: “Even as the war appears to draw to a close, the battle over casualty statistics rages on. No other number is as contentious as the ratio of civilians to combatants killed, widely viewed, including in Israel, as a measure of whether the commanders in the field acted proportionately to the threat posed by militants – or, in the eyes of Israel’s critics, committed war crimes.”
* Ebola: “Three leading experts on the Ebola virus said Wednesday that experimental drugs should be provided to Africa, and that if the deadly virus was rampant in Western countries it would be ‘highly likely’ that authorities would give people access to the medications.”
* This will probably hurt Russia more than Putin’s intended targets: “Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered one-year limitations on food and agricultural imports from countries that have issued sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine, a step that could clear supermarket shelves of French cheese, Australian beef and U.S. chicken in this import-heavy country.”
* Garden State: “[W]hen New Jersey prosecutors accused Vonte Skinner of attempted murder for shooting Lamont Peterson seven times over a debt, they took his rap lyrics seriously – so seriously that they introduced them as evidence at his trial, arguing that the words ‘provided insight into defendant’s alleged motive and intent.’ The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that the lyrics had prejudiced the jury.”
* Bergdahl: “A top Pentagon official began interviewing Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl on Wednesday morning at Fort Sam Houston in Texas, Bergdahl’s attorney, Eugene Fidell, confirmed to The Hill. Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl has been tasked with investigating the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl’s 2009 disappearance from his Army base in Afghanistan.”
* Inversions: “Walgreen Co. plans to fully acquire a British company in the coming months but will not relocate its headquarters abroad to avoid higher U.S. taxes, the company said Wednesday. The drug store chain said a significant factor in its decision was the ongoing government scrutiny of corporate tax ‘inversions’ in which companies change their headquarters to lower their tax bills.”
* GWB: “Former President George W. Bush made a rare return to the nation’s capital on Wednesday to rally world leaders behind a public health campaign to conquer killer diseases in Africa and to forecast what he called ‘the beginning of the end of AIDS.’”
* The Washington Post’s editorial board had an unusually harsh take on the Obama administration’s executive actions on immigration, especially in light of the fact that no one, including the paper’s editors, knows what those executive actions might be.
* Voting rights: “The Obama administration’s interventions last week in two major voting rights cases gave a big boost to efforts to challenge restrictive voting laws in two crucial swing states. But they did something else, too: They offered more evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder is determined to match his tough talk about the need to protect voting with action.”
* And Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has an explanation as to why he ran away when some Dream Act kids reached his table in Iowa this week: he just happened to have another interview scheduled, so he fled the table mid-bite.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.