Tuesday’s Mini-Report

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Capital punishment: “Gov. Jay Inslee said Tuesday he was suspending the use of the death penalty in Washington state, announcing a move that he hopes will enable officials to ‘join a growing national conversation about capital punishment.’ The Democrat said he came to the decision after months of review, meetings with family members of victims, prosecutors and law enforcement.”
 
* Asian-Pacific diplomacy: “Representatives of Taiwan and China held their first official talks on Tuesday since the end of China’s civil war in 1949, a meeting expected to produce few concrete results but one that was a symbolic development in the easing of the two sides’ longtime rivalry.”
 
* Staying the course at the Fed: “Janet L. Yellen, the new chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, told Congress Tuesday the central bank maintained its optimistic view of the economy and its determination to retreat slowly from its stimulus campaign.”
 
* A worthy goal: “President Obama plans to launch an initiative aimed at improving the lives of young black and Latino men by bringing businesses and foundations together with government agencies to change what an administration official called the ‘school-to-prison pipeline.’”
 
* The nation’s newest senator: “Vice President Biden swore in former Montana Lt. Gov. John Walsh (D-Mont.) Tuesday as the newest U.S. senator. Walsh replaces former Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who was confirmed last week as U.S. ambassador to China in a 96-0 Senate vote.”
 
* Syria: “Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations mediator for Syria, brought opposition and government representatives together here Tuesday for their first face-to-face meeting in the current round of peace talks. He said the talks were “laborious” and so far unfruitful.”
 
* Quiet skies: “When the Federal Communications Commission said last year it was going to relax the rules on using cellphones on airplanes, it touched off a firestorm of public criticism. Nobody likes a chatty seatmate. Some called for the Department of Transportation to ban in-flight calling altogether. Tuesday, a House panel took a step in that direction, passing a bill that would require the DOT to impose such a prohibition.”
 
* Good to know: “The New Jersey State Police today said Gov. Chris Christie’s helicopter did not fly over the George Washington Bridge or Fort Lee during the controversial lane closures last September.”
 
* Guantanamo: “A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that judges had the power to oversee complaints by detainees about the conditions of their confinement at the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The ruling was a defeat for the Obama administration and may open the door to new lawsuits by the remaining 155 Guantánamo inmates.”
 
* Oh my: “Wall Street Journal editor James Taranto claimed that cases of ”sexual assault’ on campus’ that involve alcohol are really victimless crimes in which both parties are equally guilty.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Tuesday's Mini-Report