Monday's Mini-Report, 12.19.16

Today's edition of quick hits:* Berlin: "A truck plowed through a Christmas market in Germany's capital on Monday evening, killing at least nine and injuring 50, a spokesman for the Berlin police said.... The driver attempted to flee but was apprehended by police, they added."* The consequences of this may be far-reaching: "Russia's ambassador to Turkey was fatally shot Monday at an art exhibition by a gunman shouting 'God is great!' who continued ranting as the diplomat lay dying on the floor and onlookers ducked for cover. Andrey Karlov was delivering a speech at a museum in the capital city of Ankara when a man dressed in a suit and tie suddenly appeared and opened fire."* Yemen: "A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a military camp in the southern Yemeni city of Aden on Sunday morning, killing at least 52 soldiers, a security official said. The Islamic State group's Yemen-based affiliate claimed responsibility."* Turkey: "A car bombing in Turkey on Saturday killed 13 soldiers who were leaving their base on weekend leave, less than a week after twin bomb blasts killed 44 people outside a soccer stadium in Istanbul."* Obama has an impressive number of commutations: "President Barack Obama has pardoned 78 people and shortened the sentences of 153 others convicted of federal crimes, the greatest number of individual clemencies in a single day by any president, the White House said Monday."* New safeguards: "The Obama administration finalized a rule Monday morning that aims to protect thousands of miles of streams by forcing coal mining companies 'to avoid mining practices that permanently pollute streams, destroy drinking water sources ... and threaten forests,' officials said in a statement."* North Carolina: "Gov. Pat McCrory says he will call lawmakers back to Raleigh this week so the General Assembly can repeal HB2, a bill that has garnered national opprobrium for how it deals with LGBT rights, particularly the use of bathrooms by transgender individuals."* Another billionaire: "President-elect Donald Trump announced Monday that he would nominate billionaire Vincent Viola to be Secretary of the Army."* Flint: "The closure of Congress' year-long Flint water investigation has  drawn very different reactions from both sides of the issue."* Not a bad idea: "Nine Senate Democrats, led by Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, called Friday for an investigation into a questionnaire sent by the Trump transition team to the Energy Department, asking for names of 'employees or contractors' who attended United Nations climate change meetings under President Obama."* The committee's done, and so is the civil suit: "The House Select Committee on Benghazi has settled a lawsuit brought by a former staffer who alleged that he was fired in part because he was unwilling to focus solely on the State Department and Hillary Clinton in order to understand the attacks, attorneys for the staffer said."* Metaphor alert: "The mayor's chief of staff in Mobile, Alabama, is apologizing for his role in having a large tree cut down at a city park so it could be used as a prop during President-elect Donald Trump's recent 'thank you' rally."Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.