Today’s edition of quick hits:
* GOP drama: “Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said that a closed-door meeting Thursday was ‘a very positive step toward unification’ of the GOP despite ideological differences between the wings of the party represented by the two leaders.”
* Brazil’s impeachment crisis: “Brazil’s Senate voted to impeach President Dilma Rousseff early Thursday amid the country’s worst economic crisis since the 1930s and with only 85 days to go until the Rio Olympics.”
* Speaking of Brazil’s troubles: “This week, in the Harvard Public Health Review, immunologist Amir Attaran makes the case for either postponing or moving the 2016 Olympic Games from Rio [because of the Zika virus].”
* And speaking of the Zika virus, can U.S. policymakers address the problem on the cheap? “Senate Republicans plan to approve at least $1.1 billion to combat the Zika virus in the next week or so, amid intensifying pressure to combat the spread of the mosquito-borne illness.” The administration has pleaded with Congress to approve a $1.9 billion emergency package.
* The vote was 372 to 51, with 99 abstentions: “After decades of struggle by gay rights groups, and months of contested political negotiations, the Italian Parliament on Wednesday evening gave final approval to a law recognizing civil unions of same-sex couples.”
* Scandalous: “Poultry workers are routinely denied basic needs such as bathroom breaks to the point of being forced to wear diapers while on the line, a new report claims.”
* All is not well in New York politics: “Dean G. Skelos, the once powerful Republican majority leader of the New York State Senate who was convicted with his son in December on federal corruption charges, was sentenced to five years in prison on Thursday.”
* Striking abortion trends: “A new analysis of global abortions shows a stark and troubling divide between what’s happening in wealthier, developed countries and their poorer and less developed counterparts. The paper, published Wednesday in the Lancet journal, represents the most comprehensive analysis ever conducted on the subject.”
* Don’t read on an empty stomach: “After one online gun seller pulled his listing, George Zimmerman has found a new website on which he plans to auction the gun he said he used to kill Trayvon Martin.”
* Time for a priority check, guys: “The love of high school football in Texas is hard to quantify. But to get an idea, have a look at the price tag on one of its newest temples. Voters in McKinney, Tex., have given the go-ahead to spend nearly $63 million on building a high school football stadium after months of contentious debate in the suburb north of Dallas.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.