Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Bauer and Fattal are now free: “Iran released on Wednesday two Americans arrested while hiking along the Iran-Iraq frontier two years ago and sentenced to eight years in prison, ending diplomatic skirmishing that has complicated the United States’ already fraught relationship with Tehran. The two men, Shane M. Bauer and Joshua F. Fattal, both 29, emerged from the notorious Evin prison at dusk and were immediately taken by a diplomatic convoy to the airport.”
* At the U.N.: “President Obama on Wednesday hailed the popular revolutions that have transformed the political landscape of the Middle East and urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders to revive talks toward a difficult peace. In the third address of his presidency to the U.N. General Assembly, Obama acknowledged that he is frustrated by lack of progress on Israeli-Palestinian peace, but he stressed that there is ‘no shortcut’ to ending the conflict, and he called for understanding of each side’s ‘legitimate aspirations.’”
* In the same speech, Obama took a stand in support of “the rights of gays & lesbians everywhere,” which was apparently a first for any U.S. president speaking to the United Nations.
* Israel: “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised President Barack Obama’s efforts to dissuade Palestinian leaders from pushing for a United Nations vote on statehood, calling Obama’s actions a ‘badge of honor’ for the president.”
* Continuing resolution: “House Dem leadership is urging all caucus members to oppose the Republican legislation to continue funding the government past September 30 on the grounds that it cuts a popular manufacturing program to pay for federal disaster aid.”
* Google on the hot seat: “Google chairman Eric Schmidt defended the company’s business practices before a panel of senators Wednesday as the lawmakers lobbed questions on search rankings and Google’s search algorithm.”
* I remember when Michael Barone was a key figure covering American politics. It’s really a shame to see what he’s become.
* Those who only rely on Fox News may not have any idea that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is now officially gone.
* America needs for pro-profit colleges, but not for the reasons Joe Nocera supports.
* This ought to be fun: “Media Matters for America, the media monitoring group that directs most of its ire at Fox News and talk radio, is getting a radio show of its own, albeit temporarily. For six weeks, the group will have a two-hour show on Sirius XM Radio.”
* A perfect fit: “If ever a writer was suited to pen editorials for Investor’s Business Daily, it’s Andrew Malcolm. And starting next month, Laura Bush’s former flak will leave his post at the Los Angeles Times to go work for IBD, a far-right newspaper that publishes loopy birther columns, climate change denial rants, nasty personal smears, and in general just makes stuff up on a regular basis.”
* If it seemed, during the debt-ceiling debate, as if major media outlets generally ignored economists, it wasn’t just your imagination.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.