Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Syria: “Russia began carrying out strategic airstrikes in Syria on Wednesday, warning the U.S. to steer clear of the country’s airspace as its warplanes joined in the fight against ISIS. But the U.S. State Department said Moscow’s request would be ignored, adding that American jets would continue to fly missions as part of a separate air campaign to root out the militants.”
* School shooting: “The principal of a South Dakota high school was shot and lightly wounded Wednesday in a shooting at the school, but authorities said a suspect was in custody and no students were reported hurt.”
* The Senate voted 78 to 20 today to approve a stop-gap spending bill that keeps the government funded through early December. About an hour ago, House passed the identical bill, 277 to 151, preventing a government shutdown until December.
* Georgia execution: “Even a plea from Pope Francis could not save Kelly Renee Gissendaner. The Georgia woman whose case drew a call for mercy from the pontiff was executed at 12:21 a.m. Wednesday after a flurry of last-minute appeals failed. She sang ‘Amazing Grace’ before dying, according to witnesses.”
* Oklahoma execution: “Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin halted the execution of Richard Glossip at the last-minute on Wednesday to investigate questions about lethal injection protocols. The announcement came about an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to stop the execution of Glossip, whose case drew a call for mercy from Pope Francis.”
* Afghanistan: “The test facing the Afghan government now is not just whether it can quickly mount a counterattack and retake Kunduz, the northern city that fell to the Taliban on Monday, but whether it can prevent a nearby provincial capital from falling as well.”
* East coast, take note: “Hurricane Joaquin rapidly intensified overnight and is now a Category 1 tracking west toward the Bahamas. Though there continues to be a high amount of uncertainty in the forecast, Hurricane Joaquin could track toward the East Coast this weekend, which is now in the cone of the National Hurricane Center forecast.”
* I love a good discharge petition: “A Republican House member will move Wednesday to employ a rarely used legislative maneuver in a bid to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.) said he is starting the process Wednesday afternoon and that he has informed outgoing Speaker John Boehner of his plans.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.