Today’s edition of quick hits.
* Deadly violence in Baghdad: Iraq sank deeper into political chaos on Monday after the influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr announced he was retiring from politics and at least 12 of his supporters were shot and killed by government security forces while protesting in the capital, Baghdad.
* Deadly flooding in Pakistan: “Pakistan is facing its heaviest rains in 30 years, the prime minister said Monday, unleashing a calamity that will ravage the country’s fragile economy, hit at its food supply and dent exports.... The death toll climbed Monday to 1,061 people. Almost 1 million homes have been destroyed or damaged in torrential monsoon rains since mid-June, with the southern province of Sindh hit hardest.”
* A water crisis in Jackson: “Gov. Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency Tuesday, saying an ongoing water crisis in Mississippi’s largest city threatens ‘critical needs’ and has no end in sight. While Jackson residents are accustomed to water challenges, this current shortage of safe running water is particularly dangerous, he said.”
* The war in Ukraine: “A surge in fighting on the southern front line and a Ukrainian claim of new attacks on Russian positions fed speculation Tuesday that a long-expected counteroffensive has started to try to turn the tide of the war.”
* DOJ: “Justice Department political appointees cannot participate in campaign-related activities in any capacity, Attorney General Merrick Garland said Tuesday, describing the change as necessary ‘to maintain public trust and ensure that politics — both in fact and appearance — does not compromise or affect the integrity of our work.’”
* Speaking of the legal profession, I hope Kise was paid up front: “Chris Kise, Florida’s former solicitor general who served on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ transition team, inked a contract to represent Donald Trump in the criminal case that resulted in the FBI search of the former president’s home in Mar-a-Lago, according to two sources with knowledge of the discussions.”
* A key player in Trump World: “A top Secret Service official who served in a political position in the Trump White House left the agency Monday for a job in the private sector. Tony Ornato, who was an assistant director at the Secret Service, said his departure was planned more than a year ago, before explosive congressional testimony this summer about former President Donald Trump’s actions on Jan. 6.”
* Matt Chandler joins a very long list of evangelical pastors with problems in their personal lives: “The pastor of a prominent evangelical megachurch near Dallas abruptly announced an indefinite leave of absence on Sunday, effective immediately, because of an online relationship he had with a woman who is not his wife.”
See you tomorrow.