Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Crisis in Ukraine: “Ukraine descended into a deeper spiral of violence on Thursday as both protesters and riot police officers used firearms in the deadliest day so far, and fear intensified that President Viktor F. Yanukovych would declare a state of emergency, a move that could herald the deployment of the military.”
* More developments in Kiev: “Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has told European foreign ministers that he is open to early presidential and parliamentary elections as a way of resolving Ukraine’s deepening and increasingly violent crisis, the Polish prime minister said Thursday evening in Warsaw, according to news services.”
* Baby steps with Iranian diplomacy: “In what officials described as a serious, workmanlike and conversational atmosphere, Iran and six world powers have agreed on a timetable and framework for negotiating a comprehensive agreement to end the confrontation over Iran’s nuclear program, the European Union’s foreign policy chief and Iran’s foreign minister said on Thursday.”
* Pakistan: “Pakistani fighter jets bombed suspected militant hideouts in an ethnic Pashtun area on the Afghan border on Thursday, killing at least 40 people, security officials said, after attempts to engage insurgents in peace talks collapsed this week.”
* New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) hosted a two-hour town-hall event earlier today. Somehow, there were exactly zero questions about any of the ongoing scandals surrounding the governor’s administration.
* West Virginia: “West Virginia regulators have cited Patriot Coal again for additional problems at a Kanawha County coal preparation plant where a major coal slurry spill occurred last week. The state Department of Environmental Protection issued another ‘notice of violation’ to Patriot’s Kanawha Eagle Prep Plant on Fields Creek near Winifrede.”
* The latest in a trend: “Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said in a legal filing Thursday that she will not defend the state’s ban on gay marriage and argued that the ban ‘cannot withstand a federal constitutional challenge under any standard of review.’”
* The Reinhart/Rogoff economic research that Republicans are so fond of suffered a brutal takedown last year after grad students discovered a mistake in the economists’ spreadsheet. This week, an IMF Working Paper delivered yet another blow to the Reinhart/Rogoff report.
* And apparently there’s newfound interest in the Bush/Cheney health care presented – and then quickly forgotten about – in the 2007 State of the Union Address. In case anyone’s forgotten, the plan “favored the rich and only insured a small number of Americans,” so it doesn’t seem especially noteworthy now.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.