Monday’s Mini-Report, 4.7.14

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Crisis in Ukraine: “Under the watchful eye of Russian state television, several hundred pro-Russian demonstrators in the city of Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, a region of millions, declared on Monday that they were forming an independent republic and urged President Vladimir V. Putin to send troops to the region as a peacekeeping force, even though there are no obvious threats to peace in the area.”
 
* A warning from the West: “The White House warned Russia against any further incursion in Ukraine on Monday amid reports that pro-Russian demonstrators had taken over government buildings in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk.”
 
* Afghanistan: “Former World Bank executive Ashraf Ghani and opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah appeared to be the two front-runners in Afghanistan’s presidential election, sidelining a candidate viewed as President Hamid Karzai’s favorite, according to partial results tallied by news organizations and one candidate.”
 
* The peace process is not over just yet: “Israeli and Palestinian negotiators planned to meet with an American mediator on Monday for the second straight day in an effort to salvage the Middle East peace talks, which were pushed to the brink of breakdown last week.”
 
* I consider this good news: “The Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal from a New Mexico photographer who refused to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony because of her religious beliefs, which the state supreme court found violated New Mexico’s anti-discrimination law.”
 
* Fort Hood: “President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama plan to attend a memorial service at Ft. Hood in Texas on Wednesday after last week’s shooting spree at the base, a White House official said Sunday.”
 
* India: “After weeks of campaigning, with politicians hurling insults at one another and making booming speeches in cities, towns and villages, the world’s largest democratic elections began in the most remote, northeast corner of the country on Monday.”
 
* Washington mudslide: “The number of people who died in the Snohomish County mudslide is now at 33.”
 
* Day of Action: “Immigration advocates and supporters rallied Saturday in cities across the country in a renewed effort to push President Obama to put a freeze on deportations. Organizers of the more than 50 planned ‘Day of Action’ demonstrations said Obama has the executive power to stop deportations that separate immigrants living in the country illegally from their loved ones.”
 
* Gaba has owned this beat and I’m delighted to see him get some well-deserved attention: “For the past six months, the best Obamacare sign-up data hasn’t come from a Washington think-tank or Health and Human Services number-crunchers. The best, most granular accounting of Obamacare’s sign-ups happens in a messy bedroom-turned-office in Michigan where Charles Gaba runs ACASignups.Net.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Monday's Mini-Report, 4.7.14