Thursday's Mini-Report, 12.22.16

Today's edition of quick hits:* Aleppo: "The Syrian city of Aleppo returned to government control Thursday after the last remaining opposition fighters and civilians evacuated, ending a four-year rebel hold over parts of the country."* Scrapping the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System: "The Obama administration has eliminated a dormant Bush-era program that could have been used by Donald Trump to implement his promised Muslim registry, the Department of Homeland Security said Thursday."* What a debacle: "North Carolina lawmakers on Wednesday failed to reach a deal to scrap House Bill 2 (HB2), the so-called 'bathroom bill' that bans transgender people from using public restrooms that don't match the gender on their birth certificate."* I'm glad this has been straightened out: "Former House Speaker and Donald Trump ally Newt Gingrich is walking back his claim that the president-elect will not prioritize his campaign promise to 'drain the swamp' in Washington, a charge that came after Trump selected a series of wealthy donors and business executives for his White House team."* It's hard to know for sure, but the denial matters: "A spokesman for President-elect Donald Trump's transition team denied Thursday that Trump's incoming national security adviser ever met with the leader of a far-right Austrian political party at Trump Tower, as the politician had claimed." (Whether the denial is accurate or not remains an open question.)* Peter Navarro: "President-elect Donald Trump is shaking up how the White House handles trade deals, appointing an anti-China trade economist with close ties to his campaign to lead a new advisory council."* He may not want to admit it, but Trump is inheriting a healthy economy: "The U.S. economy grew faster than initially thought in the third quarter, notching its best performance in two years, amid solid consumer spending and a jump in soybean exports."* I've long considered the "We The People" online petition program to be a fantastic and well-executed idea. Here's hoping the next administration doesn't destroy it.Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.