Today’s edition of quick hits:
* A rash of deadly Russian bombings: “At least 14 people were killed and 28 wounded when an explosion ripped through a trolley bus in the Russian city of Volgograd on Monday, the country’s third deadly attack in four days…. On Sunday, 17 people were killed in a terror attack by a suspected female suicide bomber at a railway station in Volgograd. And on Friday, a car bomb killed three people in the southern Russian city of Pyatigorsk, 170 miles east of Sochi, where the Olympics will be held.”
* U.S. response: “In a statement of condolence released by the White House, the spokeswoman for the national security council, Caitlin Hayden, said, ‘The United States stands in solidarity with the Russian people against terrorism. The U.S. government has offered our full support to the Russian government in security preparations for the Sochi Olympic Games, and we would welcome the opportunity for closer cooperation for the safety of the athletes, spectators, and other participants.’”
* IOC weighs in: “The International Olympic Committee on Monday said it is confident the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, will be ‘safe and secure’ despite a pair of suicide bombings that have raised terrorism concerns.”
* Diplomatic talks with Tehran get back on track: “Negotiations between Western powers and Iran resumed in Geneva on Monday where experts are discussing how the interim deal reached last month will be implemented.”
* Expect to hear a lot more about this one: “The Federal Aviation Administration will authorize test sites for drone aircraft in upstate New York, New Jersey and at least eight other states, the agency said on Monday, but integrating the aircraft into the nation’s airspace, set by Congress for 2015, will be phased in gradually.”
* Consequences: “China’s Foreign Ministry said Monday that Chinese leaders, angered over a visit last week by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan to a contentious war shrine in Tokyo, would not meet with Mr. Abe.”
* The ACA’s delayed deadline mattered: “Almost every Obamacare delay has been met with derision by congressional Republicans, who seize on every adjustment to the law’s timeline as evidence that it’s not ready to be rolled out. But one of the administration’s most high-profile delays – the decision to extend the deadline to sign up for January coverage from Dec. 15 to Dec. 23 (and then to Dec. 24) – has allowed hundreds of thousands of additional people to enroll in coverage.”
* The AP ran an interesting report today on the “global retirement crisis”: “Spawned years before the Great Recession and the financial meltdown in 2008, the crisis was significantly worsened by those twin traumas. It will play out for decades, and its consequences will be far-reaching.”
* And it’s only a matter of time before that rascally President Obama uses space aliens to distract us from scandals that only Republicans can see.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.