Today’s edition of quick hits.
* The latest from Japan: “Former Japanese leader Shinzo Abe died Friday after being shot at a campaign event, an attack that shocked a country where gun violence is virtually nonexistent. Abe, 67, was a towering political presence even after he stepped down as Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, and he was campaigning ahead of elections scheduled for Sunday.”
* On a related note: “Police on Friday raided the home of the man suspected of using an improvised firearm to assassinate former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and said they seized multiple weapons that also appeared to be homemade.”
* Don’t put your masks away: “The pandemic is a relentless race against Mother Nature. Waves of infection took millions of lives, and only highly effective vaccines prevented even more deaths. Now, the coronavirus is speeding up once again, mutating, evading immunity and still on the march. The arrival of subvariant BA.5 should be a reminder that the finish line in this race is nowhere to be seen.”
* Closely watched testimony: “Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone arrived Friday on Capitol Hill for a private interview with the Jan. 6 committee about his role in trying to prevent then-President Donald Trump from challenging the 2020 presidential election and joining the violent mob that laid siege to the Capitol.”
* At the border: “U.S. Border Patrol agents on horseback engaged in “unnecessary use of force” against non-threatening Haitian immigrants but didn’t whip any with their reins “intentionally or otherwise,” according to a federal investigation of chaotic scenes along the Texas-Mexico border last fall that sparked widespread condemnation.”
* Remember this one? “An appeals court on Thursday rejected a $95 million defamation lawsuit against comedian Sacha Baron Cohen filed by former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who said he was tricked into a television appearance that lampooned sexual misconduct accusations against him.”
* In Texas: “The Department of Justice is investigating alleged civil rights violations under Operation Lone Star, a multibillion-dollar border initiative announced last year by Gov. Greg Abbott, according to state records obtained by ProPublica and The Texas Tribune.”
Have a safe weekend.