Today’s edition of quick hits:
* A remarkable scene in Kiev: “Thousands of Ukrainian protesters on Monday blocked entrances to the government building and called for the ouster of the prime minister and his Cabinet, as anger at the president’s decision to ditch a deal for closer ties with the European Union gripped other parts of the country and threatened his rule.”
* World AIDS Day: “President Barack Obama lauded ‘extraordinary’ progress towards eradicating HIV/AIDS Monday and promised further U.S. investment to find a cure for the disease.”
* Merrill Newman: “North Korea accused a captive American military veteran of war crimes, saying he was involved in the killing of innocent civilians during the Korean War, state news media reported on Saturday.The veteran, Merrill E. Newman, 85, of Palo Alto, Calif., has been detained in North Korea since Oct. 26, when he was taken off a flight as he was about to leave the country. He had been visiting on a tourist visa.”
* A deadly accident: “The engineer of the Metro-North Railroad train that derailed on Sunday morning, killing four people and wounding dozens more, was preparing to meet with investigators on Monday afternoon as the focus of the inquiry turned to reviewing the data recorders recovered from the train.”
* Consumer demand won’t be a problem: “White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that approximately 375,000 people visited the relaunched HealthCare.gov between midnight and noon ET.” By some measures, the site may reach 800,000 by the end of the day.
* The Supreme Court turned down a big ACA case this morning: “The high court rejected a petition from Liberty University, which challenged the law’s employer coverage requirements, individual mandate and contraception coverage requirements. A lower court upheld the law in Liberty’s case.”
* There’s been some diplomatic progress with Iran, but not this much: “The White House on Monday categorically denied a report that President Obama is planning a trip to Iran next year. ‘There is no truth to this report,’ National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden told The Hill in an email.”
* I’m starting to get the impression that Fox News likes to use the phrase “Sharia Law” an awful lot, without actually knowing what it means.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.