Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 9.28.16

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* The latest school shooting: “Two children and a female teacher were injured in a shooting at a South Carolina primary school Wednesday, police said. The suspected attacker, a teenager, is in custody, said V. Taylor Jones, deputy chief of the Anderson County Emergency Services Division.”

* Iraq: “U.S Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said the U.S. has agreed to send an additional 600 troops to Iraq, in anticipation of the major upcoming operation to retake the Islamic State-held city of Mosul.”

* The odds of a government shutdown are approaching zero: “The Senate voted Wednesday afternoon to approve a critical government funding measure – a move which could help Congress narrowly avoid a shutdown before the general elections. The vote was 72-26.”

* I’m not sure Congress fully thought this one through: “Congress has voted to override the president’s veto for the first time in his administration over a controversial piece of legislation that would allow the families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for any role in the plot.”

* On a related note, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said the bill, generally known as “JASTA,” could have serious negative foreign policy implications for the United States. Corker voted for it anyway.

* Donald Trump may be interested to know it wasn’t a 400-pound American: “U.S. officials are increasingly confident that the hacker Guccifer 2.0 is part of a network of individuals and groups kept at arm’s length by Russia to mask its involvement in cyberintrusions such as the theft of thousands of Democratic Party documents, according to people familiar with the matter.”

* Syria: “The effects of Russia’s bombing campaign in the Syrian city of Aleppo – destroying hospitals and schools, choking off basic supplies, and killing aid workers and hundreds of civilians over just days – raise a question: What could possibly motivate such brutality?”

* On a related note: Secretary of State John Kerry today “warned that the United States would stop talking to Russia about ending Syria’s civil war unless it ends an onslaught in the city of Aleppo by Russian and Syrian government forces.”

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf will “forfeit $41 million for the bank’s burgeoning sales scandal, marking one of the biggest rebukes to the head of a major U.S. financial institution.”

* In related news: “California, the nation’s largest issuer of municipal bonds, is barring Wells Fargo & Co. from underwriting state debt and handling its banking transactions after the company admitted to opening potentially millions of bogus customer accounts.”

* This article was accompanied by a brutal chart you should check out: “Fentanyl is supercharging the longstanding problem of drugs in small towns. Police, forensic labs and prosecutors are struggling to identify and safely intercept new narcotics that can sicken or kill anyone who handles them, and to combat trafficking networks that sometimes extend many hours away. Death rates from overdoses are now higher in rural areas than in big cities, reversing a historical trend.”

* There’s a policy lesson to be learned here: “Teen births hit a new low in 2015 – and have fallen by nearly half over the past seven years. New federal data shows there were 22.3 births for every 1,000 girls ages 15 to 19. That’s a 47 percent decline from the teen birthrate in 2009 – and a 64 percent decline from the teen birthrate in 1991.”

* Oh my: “A Breitbart News column attacking Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum is being criticized for, in the words of one critic, going ‘full anti-Semite.’”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Wednesday's Mini-Report, 9.28.16