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Monday's Mini-Report, 3.16.15

Today's edition of quick hits.
Today's edition of quick hits:
* A desperation move, an important shift in posture, or both? "With less than a day until Israel's election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Monday that there will be no Palestinian state if he is re-elected tomorrow."
* Iran takes advantage of the Republicans' gift: "Iranian diplomats twice confronted their American counterparts about an open letter from Republican senators who warned that any nuclear deal could expire the day President Barack Obama leaves office, a senior U.S. official said Monday."
* Pakistan: "Suicide bombers attacked two Christian churches during Sunday services in the Pakistani city of Lahore, killing at least 12 people and wounding dozens in the latest attack on religious minorities in the country. The attacks occurred in quick succession outside Catholic and Protestant churches in Youhanabad, one of Pakistan's biggest Christian neighborhoods."
* Ferguson: "An arrest has been made in connection with the shooting of two police officers in Ferguson, Missouri, officials said Sunday afternoon.... St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch said during a news conference Sunday that [Jeffrey Williamsa] admitted to firing the shots that hit the two police officers, but the suspect claimed to have been in an argument with someone else, and said he wasn't specifically targeting the officers. "
* Gun violence in Chicago: "Five people were killed and at least 15 other people were wounded since early Sunday afternoon during separate shootings across the city, authorities said."
* White House to Congress: "In an effort to reassert control over the domestic political debate surrounding sensitive negotiations on Iran's nuclear program, the White House penned a letter Saturday night warning senators to hold back on legislation that would detract from the president's ability to effect and approve a final agreement with Iran."
* California: "Given the historic low temperatures and snowfalls that pummeled the eastern U.S. this winter, it might be easy to overlook how devastating California's winter was as well.... As difficult as it may be to face, the simple fact is that California is running out of water — and the problem started before our current drought."
* CIA: "The C.I.A.'s contribution to [al] Qaeda's bottom line, though, was no well-laid trap. It was just another in a long list of examples of how the United States, largely because of poor oversight and loose financial controls, has sometimes inadvertently financed the very militants it is fighting."
* Another pressing deadline for congressional Republicans: "CHIP funding is scheduled to expire on Sept. 30. Congressional action is required to extend it. If your guess is that the Republican Congressional majority is plotting to cut the program back--if it extends funding at all--you guessed right."
* TPP: "It's hard to find a voice on the left willing to speak up for the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal. Unions are freezing donations to Democrats in protest of it. Elizabeth Warren is fighting it. Robert Reich is campaigning against it, as is Joseph Stiglitz. Paul Krugman is a soft no, and he wonders: 'Why, exactly, should the Obama administration spend any political capital — alienating labor, disillusioning progressive activists — over such a deal?'"
* This could be serious or it could be routine: "Investigators from the Office of Congressional Ethics have begun reaching out to Rep. Aaron Schock's political orbit, a possible first sign of an official investigation of the Illinois Republican. OCE is seeking to speak to people who have either worked for Schock or interacted with him."
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.