Today's edition of quick hits:
* The latest from Ottawa: "A Canadian soldier guarding the National War Memorial in Ottawa was shot and killed Wednesday, and a burst of gunfire minutes later terrorized Parliament and sent lawmakers scrambling for safety. A gunman was confirmed dead, but confusion gripped Canada's capital for hours after the attack began."
* It's not a travel ban, but it's smarter: "The Centers for Disease Control just announced new measures designed to stop international visitors from spreading Ebola in the U.S. Under the new system, anybody who has been recently to Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone will be subject to what CDC officials call 'active monitoring' -- which will involve, among other things, mandatory temperature checks for 21 days after arrival in the U.S."
* Ferguson: "The official autopsy on Michael Brown, obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, shows the Ferguson, Missouri teenager was shot in the hand at close range. The accompanying toxicology report reveals the 18-year-old had a trace of marijuana in his system, according to the local newspaper."
* Guilty: "Four former Blackwater guards have been found guilty of killing 14 people and injuring 17 more in a 2007 shooting in Baghdad's Nisour Square. One guard, Nicholas Slatten, was found guilty of first degree murder, while the other three were found guilty of voluntary manslaughter."
* I really wish Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) would be a little more cautious about calling others "idiots," especially when he's talking about Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby.
* UNC: "A blistering report into an academic fraud scandal at the University of North Carolina released Wednesday found that for nearly two decades two employees in the African and Afro-American Studies department ran a 'shadow curriculum' of hundreds of fake classes that never met but for which students, many of them Tar Heels athletes, routinely received A's and B's."
* Combatting ISIS goes beyond airstrikes: "[David S. Cohen], a fastidious Yale Law School graduate who is known inside the White House as the administration's 'financial Batman,' is a first line of attack against the Islamic State. His title is under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence and he may be more important in the fight against the Islamic State than the Tomahawks fired off American warships or the bombs dropped from F-16s. He has become a fixture in Mr. Obama's Situation Room."
* Media fail, Part I: "In an opinion piece published Tuesday by Politico Magazine, 'No, BP Didn't Ruin the Gulf,' author Geoff Morrell writes that the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, the worst off-shore oil spill in American history, was much less disastrous environmentally for the Gulf Coast than expected. He complains that 'advocacy groups cherry-pick evidence' and 'blame BP for any and all environmental problems afflicting the Gulf.'" What's less clear for readers is the fact that the article was written by a BP employee.
* Media fail, Part II: "New York Times columnist Ross Douthat apologized for appearing at a fundraising event for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an extreme anti-gay legal group working to criminalize homosexuality."
* Puerto Rico: "In an opinion that frequently crosses the line from visible rage to outright belligerence towards his judicial colleagues, a federal judge in Puerto Rico became one of just two federal judges to deny equal marriage rights to same-sex couples on Tuesday. Judge Juan Perez-Gimenez's opinion accuses the overwhelming majority of federal judges who have sided with marriage equality of 'inexplicable contortions of the mind or perhaps even willful ignorance.'"
* And we’re still working on our new Whip Count project. We’re keeping a running tally of members of Congress who want to return to session – cutting their vacation short – in order to vote on authorizing military intervention against ISIS. I hope you’ll take a look and keep us posted.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.