Today’s edition of quick hits:
* A stunning scene in Ukraine: “Mayhem gripped the center of the Ukrainian capital on Tuesday evening as riot police officers moved on protesters massed behind barriers raised throughout Independence Square, the focal point of more than two months of protests against President Viktor F. Yanukovych.”
* MSNBC published a photo essay with remarkable images out of Kiev. Look for more on this on tonight’s show.
* Iran: “Nuclear talks with Iran got off to a rough start Tuesday when the country’s top negotiator ruled out scrapping any of the country’s nuclear facilities, a key requirement for the U.S. and other parties to the talks.”
* Syria: “Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday sharpened the Obama administration’s mounting criticism of Russia’s role in the escalating violence in Syria, asserting that the Kremlin was undermining the prospects of a negotiated solution by ‘contributing so many more weapons’ and political support to President Bashar al-Assad.”
* And speaking of Kerry: “Secretary of State John Kerry made a surprise visit to Tunisia on Tuesday in a gesture of support for its struggle to establish a democratic system.”
* Mississippi: “Police are investigating a vandalism incident at the University of Mississippi that appears to be racially motivated, according to reports by the school newspaper. The Daily Mississippian reported that a noose was found around the neck of a statue of James Meredith, the first black student to attend Ole Miss, on Sunday morning. An old version of the Georgia state flag, which prominently featured the Confederate stars and bars, was placed on the statue’s shoulders.”
* New Jersey: “The legislative panel investigating the George Washington Bridge lane closures now possesses un-redacted documents from a key witness, and lawmakers are working to make those once-secret details part of their public records.”
* Director of National Intelligence James Clapper reflects: “Even the head of the U.S. intelligence community now believes that its collection and storage of millions of call records was kept too secret for too long.”
* Keep a close eye on this: “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he hopes President Obama will review possible administrative actions to halt the deportations of illegal immigrants now that reform legislation has stalled in Congress.”
* An expensive breakdown: “Banks and credit unions have spent more than $200 million replacing cards affected by the data breach at Target late last year, according to data from top trade groups.”
* If Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) likes NPR so much, why did he vote to prohibit all federal funding for the public radio network?
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.