Monday’s Mini-Report

MONDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl, the only known American serviceman being held captivity: “The Taliban released a video Friday showing a U.S. soldier who was captured more than five months ago in eastern Afghanistan.”

* Three attacks in three days against Shiites in Pakistan: “A suicide bomber killed more than 30 people at a Shiite religious procession in Karachi on Monday, setting off rioting in parts of the city and prompting fears that extremist groups already waging a multi-front war against the government were now trying to foment sectarian violence against the country’s minority Shiite Muslims.”

* Claiming responsibility: “Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility Friday for an attempt to destroy a Northwest Airlines jet over Detroit on Christmas Day, saying that it had done so in response to airstrikes against the group in Yemen this month. The group said it had provided Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab with an explosive device that failed because of ‘a technical fault.'”

* Tehran: “Iranian security forces stormed a series of opposition offices on Monday, rounding up at least 12 prominent anti-government activists in a new crackdown on the country’s reformist movement, opposition Web sites and activists reported.”

* Israel’s Housing Ministry announced plans today to build nearly 700 housing units in Jewish areas of Jerusalem. The White House isn’t happy about it.

* Preliminary evidence points to slightly better-than-expected U.S. retail numbers during the holidays.

* Is full-body scanning equipment on the way?

* Despite the intense criticism from Roman Catholic bishops, the nation’s Catholic hospitals have signaled that they support the Senate’s compromise on abortion funding in health care reform.

* Jonathan Gruber explores the merit of taxing “Cadillac” health plans to finance reform.

* Ethics watchdogs have been impressed thus far by what they’ve seen from the Obama White House.

* I’m starting to get the impression that Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons (R) isn’t fond of higher ed.

* Victor Davis Hanson writes odd things.

* R.I.P., Percy Sutton.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.