Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Central Africa: “The government of South Sudan and rebels loyal to the country’s ousted former vice president signed a cease-fire agreement on Thursday, holding out the prospect of peace after more than a month of fighting that has torn the new nation apart.”
* Horror in India: “Village elders in India ordered the gang rape of a 20-year-old woman after they found out she was in a relationship with a man from a different community, police said Thursday. Police in a rural part of West Bengal arrested 13 people in connection with the alleged offense that left the woman in critical condition in the hospital, police told the BBC.”
* Awkward: “[A]uthorities proposed that then-Gov. Robert F. McDonnell plead guilty to one felony bank fraud charge that had nothing to do with corruption in office and his wife would avoid charges altogether. The governor rejected the offer, the people with knowledge of the conversations said.”
* Another breakdown: “The theft of consumer data from Neiman Marcus appears far deeper than had been disclosed originally, with the company now saying that hackers invaded the luxury retailer’s systems for several months in a breach that involved at least 1.1 million credit and debit cards.”
* More oddities in New Jersey: “Proponents of a bill to ensure that the public is notified when raw sewage spills into local rivers were at a loss Wednesday about why Governor Christie did not sign the legislation, even though it had been amended to address concerns raised by his administration.”
* As 2014 gets underway, the uninsured rate is dropping quickly. I guess conservative activists find this depressing?
* SOTU: “Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), the highest-ranking Republican woman in the House, will deliver the GOP response to President Obama’s State of the Union address next week, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced Thursday.”
* He’d probably also like to see Bigfoot reading a Reagan biography while listening to Limbaugh and riding a unicorn: “Sen. Ted Cruz wants a special prosecutor to investigate misconduct at the IRS.”
* Worth watching: “In an exclusive interview with msnbc, [Attorney General Eric Holder] said the Justice Department would be open to plea negotiations with Edward Snowden.”
* Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) accused a reporter this week of going to Canada and tracking down his ex-wife, who “slammed the door” in the reporter’s face. In reality, literally none of this actually happened. So why did LePage say it did? No one has any idea and the governor’s office doesn’t want to talk about it.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.