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Wednesday's Mini-Report, 6.24.15

Today's edition of quick hits.
Today's edition of quick hits:
* More on this in the morning: "After no shortage of fits and starts, the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's trade agenda -- Trade Promotion Authority -- is finally heading to his desk."
* The Pakistani death toll has topped 800: "After four days of punishing heat that killed hundreds of people in this southern port city, the temperature and death toll were lower on Wednesday. Health and rescue officials said the number of deaths, which have surpassed 800, was down on Wednesday as the temperature dropped to 98 degrees Fahrenheit."
* Ali Awni al-Harzi: "An American drone strike last week killed a midlevel operative with the Islamic State who had been a conduit for the militant group's outreach to extremists in North Africa, Defense Department officials said on Monday."
* France: "French President Francois Hollande branded alleged spying by the National Security Agency on him and two predecessors as 'unacceptable' on Wednesday."
* South Carolina: "The Chief Magistrate widely criticized for soliciting sympathy for the family of a man accused of fatally shooting nine people during a Bible study last week has been replaced, according to a Wednesday order from the S.C. Supreme Court."
* Baltimore, Part I: "Freddie Gray suffered a single 'high-energy injury' to his neck and spine -- most likely caused when the police van in which he was riding suddenly decelerated, according to a copy of the autopsy report obtained by The Baltimore Sun."
* Baltimore, Part II: each of the officers charged in the Gray case has pleaded not guilty.
* Boston: "A choked-up Dzhokhar Tsarnaev apologized in court Wednesday to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, then was formally sentenced to die for the attack. 'You told us just how unbearable it was, this thing I put you through,' Tsarnaev said at a hearing in Boston. 'Now, I am sorry for the lives that I have taken.'"
* Eastern Europe: "The U.S. will spread about 250 tanks, armored vehicles and other military equipment across six former Soviet bloc nations to help reassure NATO allies facing threats from Russia and terrorist groups, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced Tuesday."
* It could have been worse: "The U.S. economy contracted by a revised 0.2% in the first quarter, a smaller decline than previously reported that mainly reflects higher consumer spending and a lower drop in exports."
* Reproductive-rights proponents get creative in Poland: "Four women's-rights organizations based in Germany and Poland are planning to deliver WHO-approved abortion pills by drone from Germany to a Polish border town."
* This argument seems to be coming up a lot lately: "Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia, says cutting up Iraq along sectarian lines might be 'the only realistic alternative.'"
* I'd forgotten the network was still paying her: "Fox News has finally cut ties with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for good. The conservative cable news network decided not to renew the outspoken 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee's contract on June 1, according to Politico."

In Austin, Tex., a tall bearded man went into the tattoo parlor where Kelly Barr works with a request: the removal a 10-year-old tattoo of the Confederate flag. He told Mr. Barr that he had decided to get the flag removed when he saw the pained look on a middle-age black woman at his gym on Monday. " 'If South Carolina can take theirs down,' " Mr. Barr recalled him saying, " 'I can take mine down.' " I told him, 'Right on.' "

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