Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Ukraine: “President Obama said Wednesday that the United States and its allies ‘will be forced to apply a cost’ to Russia if it does not back down from ‘violations of international law and its encroachments on Ukraine.’” Obama made the comments after a meeting with Ukraine’s interim Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
* Capitol Hill: “The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday approved legislation granting aid to Ukraine and authorizing sanctions on Russia in a 14-3 vote. Four Republicans voted for the bill despite International Monetary Reform provisions opposed by some conservatives.”
* Flight 370: “The authorities in Malaysia acknowledged on Wednesday that they had detected radar signals that might have been from the missing jetliner, flying far off course and hundreds of miles away from its last reported position, but had failed to disclose the data for four days while they struggled to interpret it.”
* CIA scandal: “A partisan brawl has erupted behind the scenes on the secretive Senate Intelligence Committee, with the two parties at a bitter impasse over the panel’s highly sensitive review of Bush-era interrogation techniques.”
* Israel: “More than 30 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip rained down across southern Israel on Wednesday afternoon, sending thousands of Israelis scrambling into bomb shelters, in an attack that came a day after an Israeli airstrike killed three Palestinian militants in Gaza who had fired at Israeli soldiers.”
* An uphill fight: “House Democratic leaders on Wednesday moved to force a vote extending unemployment benefits. Republican leaders have refused to consider legislation renewing the benefits program for the long-term unemployed, which expired at the end of December, leading Democrats to introduce a discharge petition designed to force the bill to the House floor.”
* Banning Tesla in New Jersey? “State motor vehicle officials have approved a regulation that would require all new car dealers to obtain franchise agreements to receive state licenses, a move critics say will hurt the electric-car industry’s attempts to expand. The regulation, adopted Tuesday by the state’s Motor Vehicle Commission by a 6-0 vote, effectively prohibits companies from using a direct-sales model, which cuts out the middleman and takes vehicles directly to customers through smaller retail establishments.”
* Ben Carson’s condemnations of life in the United States are getting a little tiresome: “In response to the Breitbart interviewer’s question about what Carson means when he says Americans are living in a ‘gestapo age,’ Carson said, ‘I mean, very much like Nazi Germany – and I know you’re not supposed to say Nazi Germany but I don’t care about political correctness.’”
* History matters: “Bill O’Reilly is being ridiculed for comments last night suggesting that unlike President Obama, President Lincoln would never have appeared on a web comedy show. In addition to the inherent silliness of the comparison, according to a prominent Lincoln scholar, O’Reilly is also dead wrong.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.