Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Unexpected developments in Syria: “Russian strongman Vladimir Putin declared mission accomplished Monday and said he is withdrawing his troops from war-torn Syria now that peace talks are underway…. Putin’s declaration came as United Nations-led negotiations got underway in Geneva, Switzerland to end the brutal and bloody civil war that has left thousands dead and sent millions more into exile.
* Turkey: “A car filled with explosives blew up in a public square in the heart of Ankara, the Turkish capital, on Sunday evening, killing more than 30 people in the latest of a string of terrorist attacks that have destabilized the country.”
* Climate crisis: “The global temperature in February took its greatest leap in 136 years of record-keeping, rising 1.35 degrees Celsius (2.43 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 1951-1980 average. As a result of the gigantic temperature jump, it became the warmest February on record by a landslide. NASA released the data over the weekend, and scientists reacted with astonishment.”
* ISIS: “A U.S.-born ISIS fighter has been detained in northern Iraq, but it was not clear if he was captured or surrendered, according to reports. The man pictured in photos released by local media was identified by an uncle as Mohamed Jamal Khweis, 26, of Alexandria, Virginia.”
* Predictable: “A senior member of the Saudi royal family has criticized comments made by President Obama in a recent magazine article, suggesting that Obama’s harsh remarks about the kingdom were a ‘curveball’ in America’s relationship with one of its main Arab allies.”
* Germany’s anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party did surprisingly well in regional elections yesterday. It’s the best result “for a far-right party in any German election since World War II.”
* Someone wants attention again: “North Korea claimed Sunday that it could wipe out Manhattan by sending a hydrogen bomb on a ballistic missile to the heart of New York City, the latest in a string of brazen threats.”
* This guy just can’t help himself: “Republican Gov. Paul LePage is coming under attack for displaying wanted posters targeting environmentalists, unions and others at his latest town hall meeting…. On Friday, the governor’s chief of communications said the Old West-style wanted posters featuring black and white photos were created to draw attention to groups that are holding Maine back.”
* I’m starting to get the impression that all is not well at Breitbart News, a prominent right-wing news website.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.