Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Ukraine: “Mykola Azarov, the prime minister of Ukraine, resigned on Tuesday, hours before a planned vote of no confidence by Parliament that could have stripped him of his powers. The resignation came shortly after the pro-government Party of Regions joined with opposition lawmakers on Tuesday to repeal most of the laws in a package of legislation restricting freedom of speech and assembly that was enacted only last week.”
* A deteriorating political dynamic in Afghanistan: “President Hamid Karzai has frequently lashed out at the U.S. military for causing civilian casualties in its raids. But behind the scenes, he has been building a far broader case against the Americans, suggesting that they may have aided or conducted shadowy insurgent-style attacks to undermine his government, according to senior Afghan officials.”
* On a related note, confidence in Karzai is gone: “Senators are fed up with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and say the Obama administration should wait until a new Afghan leader is elected to finalize a deal for keeping U.S. troops in the country.”
* Middle East peace process: “President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority said in an interview aired Tuesday that he could accept an Israeli military presence in the West Bank for a three-year transition period as part of a peace deal. But Mr. Abbas said ‘whoever proposes 10 or 15 years for a transition’ was not serious about an agreement.”
* After West Virginia’s chemical spill, new federal safeguards probably can’t overcome Republican opposition, but state policymakers are acting: “Legislation to create new standards for above-ground chemical storage tanks passed without opposition in the Senate Tuesday. The bill was introduced in response to a Jan. 9 chemical spill that left people in nine counties without potable drinking water.”
* Dianne Feinstein isn’t exactly a Snowden fan, but she’s not buying new GOP arguments: “There’s no evidence yet that former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden was working with Russian authorities when he facilitated the largest leak of classified information in history, the chair of the Senate intelligence committee said Tuesday.”
* Fox News hosted a panel discussion yesterday on the “war on women.” All four of the people appearing on screen were conservative white men. The host said it was “not the best booking of this panel.” Ya don’t say.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
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