Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Venezuela: “As growing chaos took hold in Venezuela, a country whose people have had little power, water and communications for days, the United States announced plans to withdraw all remaining personnel from its embassy there this week.”
* Afghanistan: “The United States and the Taliban now have a draft agreement on two thorny issues that signals concrete progress toward a peace deal to end the 17-year-old war in Afghanistan, U.S. presidential envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said Tuesday.”
* For now, the U.S. appears increasingly isolated on this: “The European Union Aviation Safety Agency has grounded the Boeing jet involved in two crashes that have killed more than 300 people.”
* On a related note: “U.S. lawmakers of both parties called Tuesday for the FAA to join a growing list of governments in grounding Boeing’s beleaguered 737 MAX 8 jetliner – a step that would threaten major disruptions of some domestic air traffic and one of the nation’s top manufacturers.”
* Brexit: “For the second time in as many months, British lawmakers rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s divorce deal with the European Union. Tuesday’s defeat comes only 17 days before the United Kingdom is due to leave the 28-country bloc. It also casts doubt on whether Britain’s departure will occur as scheduled – or even at all.”
* The White House probably isn’t pleased: “Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, extended a bipartisan invitation on Monday to the head of NATO to address a joint session of Congress, in an unsubtle jab at President Trump’s foreign policy that is meant to underscore broad congressional support for the alliance.”
* As the budget debate unfolds in earnest, keep this detail in mind: “Trump’s budget hinges on economic growth numbers no one believes.”
* According to Reuters. Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team “have been funded through the end of September 2019, three U.S. officials said on Monday, an indication that the probe has funding to keep it going for months if need be.”
* NRA divisions come to the fore: “In recent weeks, in a rare airing of internal debate at the N.R.A., two prominent board members expressed concerns about NRATV to The New York Times. Their statements were released through the N.R.A. itself, amid what was described as an internal review of NRATV and its future.”
* Trump International Golf Club considers the president the winner of a 2018 club championship that Trump didn’t actually compete in. If that sounds odd, it’s because it really is.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.