Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Putin wants Ukraine to pull Ukrainian troops out of Ukraine: “President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia told Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany on Thursday that Ukraine must remove its military from the southeastern region of the country to resolve the showdown there with pro-Russian militants who have seized several official buildings, the Kremlin said.”
* We already knew about the 8 million enrollments through the Affordable Care Act exchanges, but the administration published a more detailed breakdown today, including state-by-state data. Long story short: “Obamacare” is looking more and more like a success and just about every claim Republicans have made has been proven wrong.
* Reports of sexual assaults in the military have jumped 50%: ”Approximately 5,000 sexual assaults were reported during the 2013 fiscal year, compared to 3,374 in fiscal year 2012 according to the report. The numbers were consistent with figures released in December. The Department of Defense’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office releases figures on sexual assault reports, investigations, prosecutions and penalties every year. Last year’s report found that of 3,374 reports of sexual assault, only 302 went to trial.”
* In related news: “The Obama administration on Thursday released a list of 55 colleges and universities that are being investigated for possible violations of federal anti-discrimination law over their handling of sexual assault complaints. It is the first time that the Education Department has put out a comprehensive list of schools under investigation for potential violations under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.”
* Nigeria: “An apparent car bomb exploded near a checkpoint at a busy road lined with traffic in Nigeria’s capital Thursday night, near the site of an April 14 bombing that killed at least 75 people, officials and witnesses said.”
* Oklahoma’s top corrections official today “called for an indefinite delay in executions in the state following a botched execution earlier this week. Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton on Thursday recommended a complete review and revision of execution protocols in the state.”
* Ohio: “Ohio’s cuts to early voting and elimination of same-day registration discriminate against racial minorities in violation of the Voting Rights Act, a new lawsuit alleges.”
* Keep an eye on this one: “Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) is ordering his administration to work with utilities that provide electricity to state residents to reduce, and eventually eliminate, the amount of power generated from burning coal.”
* Minimum wage: “Seattle Mayor Ed Murray this morning announced his plan to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, phased in over three to seven years depending on the size of business and whether workers receive tips or benefits in addition to salary.”
* A welcome flurry of confirmations: “The Senate confirmed Robert Work to be Deputy Secretary of Defense by voice-vote Wednesday. The Senate also voted to confirm six district court judges. On Tuesday, cloture was invoked on all six nominees.”
* I guess my real question about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is whether he understands that most modern phones include cameras. I’d assumed this was common knowledge, but the troubled mayor seems to struggle with this small detail.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
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