Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Crisis in Ukraine: “Asserting that Russian soldiers and armaments had crossed into Ukraine to support the separatists, President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine canceled a trip to Turkey on Thursday, and his national security council ordered mandatory conscription for the armed forces.”
* United Nations: “Alarmed members of the U.N. Security Council demanded Thursday that Russia remove its fighters from a new front in the Ukraine crisis, while the U.S. ambassador accused Moscow of having ‘outright lied.’”
* Middle East: “President Obama said he will send Secretary of State John Kerry to the Middle East in an effort to build a coalition of ‘strong regional partners’ to confront the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.”
* The media seemed a little too preoccupied with the president’s suit this afternoon, but Obama’s press conference covered quite a bit of substantive ground, with Q&A on Ukraine, Syria, ISIS, immigration, and the economy. Here’s a transcript.
* Gillibrand’s right: “MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell is less than surprised by the revelations of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) about being subjected to sexual harassment by her congressional colleagues…. ‘We all had our stories of whom you’d not get in an elevator with and whom you’d protect your young female interns from,’ Mitchell told her guests.”
* Keep an eye on this: “Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday called on GOP leaders to launch a floor debate on the Obama administration’s use of force against Islamic militants in Iraq. But the House minority leader stopped short of insisting that lawmakers vote on the issue, as some of her liberal troops are urging.”
* Not the first time: “Immigration protesters ambushed Rep. Paul D. Ryan Wednesday as the Wisconsin Republican signed books at a Barnes & Noble” in Thornton, Colorado.
* The same general was suspended from his duties last year: “An Army general who was found to have mishandled an accusation of sexual assault has been forced to retire with a reduced rank, the Defense Department said on Wednesday.”
* Veterans: “The number of homeless veterans in the United States has fallen 33 percent since 2010, to just under 50,000 as of January. The number of homeless veterans sleeping in the street, as opposed to in shelters, fell even faster, down nearly 40 percent over the past four years.”
* Fascinating story about FedEx: “The ‘fissured workplace’ took another hit on Aug. 27 with the unsealing of two federal appellate decisions disputing FedEx’s contention that its drivers in California and Oregon are properly classified as independent contractors.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.