Today’s edition of quick hits.
* The latest on today’s earthquake in California: “A 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked Northern California early Tuesday, killing at least two people and leaving thousands in the dark as officials warned that another major jolt could still be on its way. The quake hit at a depth of 10 miles just after 2:30 a.m. PT near Eureka in Humboldt County, the U.S. Geological Survey said.”
* Coming home: “The Taliban on Tuesday released two Americans who were detained in Afghanistan, according to State Department spokesperson Ned Price. The move was not a prisoner swap, he said, but rather ‘a goodwill gesture.’ The two U.S. citizens were flown from Kabul to Doha, Qatar, a senior State Department official told NBC News. The Qatari government was helpful in securing their release, the official said.”
* And speaking of Afghanistan: “The Afghan government on Tuesday barred women from attending private and public universities, officials said, in the latest severe blow to women’s rights under a Taliban administration that has all but reinstituted the hard-line rule the group maintained during its first stretch in power during the 1990s.”
* An investigation worth watching: “The U.S. Education Department’s civil rights enforcement arm has launched an investigation into a North Texas school district whose superintendent was secretly recorded ordering librarians to remove LGBTQ-themed library books.”
* I can hardly remember the last time Wells Fargo was in the news for a flattering reason: “Wells Fargo’s yearslong mistreatment of its customers has resulted in another record-breaking fine and a warning that more restrictions on its ability to do business could soon follow. On Tuesday, the bank agreed to pay $1.7 billion in penalties and another $2 billion in damages to settle claims that it engaged in an array of banking violations over the last decade that harmed millions of consumers, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said.”
* This ruling, for what it’s worth, was issued by a judge appointed by George W. Bush: “A federal judge has blocked a California gun law that emulated a controversial Texas abortion measure — and which was intended to provoke a court fight. The injunction from Judge Roger Benitez sets California’s law, which enables private citizens to sue manufacturers of illegal guns, on a potential path to the U.S. Supreme Court. That could set up a test of both laws — an outcome that California Gov. Gavin Newsom has sought.”
* Sobering, indeed: U.S. Capitol Police recorded more than 9,000 threats against members of Congress this past year, Chief of Police Thomas Manger said Monday during a Senate Rules Committee hearing. ... Threats against federal lawmakers have surged about 400% in the past six years, Manger said, calling it ‘a sobering number.’”
See you tomorrow.