IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Thursday's Mini-Report, 12.26.19

Today's edition of quick hits.

Today's edition of quick hits:

* Afghanistan: "An American Special Forces soldier was killed in Afghanistan on Monday, according to military officials, bringing to 20 the number of troops who have died during combat operations this year. The soldier's death is a grim reminder that more Americans have died fighting the Taliban and other insurgent groups in 2019 than in any other year since 2014."

* India's elections: "Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist party has lost a key state legislature election, a setback for the party as it faces massive anti-government protests against a contentious new citizenship law."

* A story worth watching: "The president of Belarus warned Russia on Tuesday against a forced merger of the two ex-Soviet neighbors, saying such a move by Moscow could trigger a war."

* Not surprising: "Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he isn't running for Senate next year.... But that hasn't prevented a barely concealed competition from breaking out within the administration over who might replace him as the nation's top diplomat. President Trump has fueled the fire by sounding out lawmakers and officials as he considers his options."

* I'll look forward to hearing more about this: "Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper is weighing proposals for a major reduction -- or even a complete pullout -- of American forces from West Africa as the first phase of reviewing global deployments that could reshuffle thousands of troops around the world, according to officials familiar with internal deliberations."

* Expect others to seek equal treatment: "The $1.4 trillion spending bill passed by Congress last week quietly achieves what a parade of select committees and coordinating councils could not: rescue a dying pension fund that is the lifeblood of nearly 100,000 retired coal miners."

* How Trump's HHS operates: "If you are one of the 3 million Americans who bought health insurance on an Affordable Care Act state exchange, you may be surprised to open up the mail this summer and find two separate monthly bills. Under a new rule finalized by the Department of Health and Human Services in December, insurers are now required to issue a separate invoice for the amount of your premium that they attribute to abortion services."

See you tomorrow.