Wednesday’s Mini-Report

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Diplomacy comes up short, for now: “An effort by the United States to broker the first face-to-face diplomatic meeting between Russia and Ukraine over the Crimea confrontation failed on Wednesday, but both Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart said there would be more discussions in the days ahead.”
 
* In related news: “As Secretary of State John F. Kerry met with his Russian counterpart in Paris, a standoff continued Wednesday between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea, and a U.N. envoy was forced to abandon a mission to the region after encounters with pro-Russia militiamen and an angry crowd.”
 
* Baghdad: “Officials in Iraq say separate attacks around the country’s capital, Baghdad, have killed at least seven people. Authorities say an attack Wednesday in Baghdad’s northern Sunni neighborhood of Azamiyah came as residents celebrated in the streets over Iraq’s win over China in an Asian Cup qualifier in Dubai. Police say that attack killed five people.”
 
* Minimum wage: “President Obama followed up the release of his proposed budget by making another plea Wednesday for an increase in the minimum wage. ‘This is good for business – it is good for America,’ Obama said during a campaign-style speech at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Conn.”
 
* Consequences for Uganda: “The World Bank has indefinitely delayed a decision on a $90 million health care loan to Uganda that was slated to be approved on Friday in response to the country’s enactment of anti-gay legislation.”
 
* Perhaps Massachusetts can revisit this law: “The state’s highest court says ‘upskirting,’ the practice of secretly photographing under a woman’s skirt, is not prohibited by state law. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court said today that a state law intended to prohibit ‘Peeping Tom’ voyeurism of completely or partially undressed people did not apply to people who take pictures of people who are fully clothed.”
 
* North Carolina: “North Carolina’s environment agency wants Duke Energy to provide information about its coal-ash ponds that state legislation has allowed the utility to keep private. The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Wednesday that it will inspect all of Duke’s ash ponds next week.”
 
* ACA: “The Obama administration said Wednesday that it would allow consumers to renew health insurance policies that do not comply with the Affordable Care Act for two more years.”
 
* Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) has been accused of domestic violence by his soon-to-be ex-wife. The congressman has called the allegations “absolutely false” and “completely unfounded.”
 
* The NRA is apparently on board with this: “Under pressure from gun control advocates, Facebook agreed Wednesday to delete posts from users seeking to buy or sell weapons illegally or without a background check.”
 
* I’m sure Jewish people will appreciate her condescension: “Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) accused the American Jewish community this week of selling out Israel with its support of President Obama.”
 
* Mythopedia will be a very handy resource and I’m glad Media Matters created it.
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Wednesday's Mini-Report