Today’s edition of quick hits:
* The world noticed: “The historic announcement by President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China that they will commit to targets for cuts in their nations’ carbon emissions has fundamentally shifted the global politics of climate change. The agreement has given a fresh jolt of optimism to negotiations aimed at reaching a new international climate treaty next year in Paris, where the American and Chinese targets are expected to be the heart of the deal.”
* Ukraine: “Russian tanks, artillery and air defense systems have poured into Ukraine over the past two days, NATO’s top commander said Wednesday. U.S. Gen. Philip Breedlove expressed concern that the border between the former Soviet allies was now “completely wide open,” allowing Moscow to potentially bolster rebels in eastern Ukraine who are skirmishing with government troops despite a cease-fire.”
* Closer to home: “Russia’s long-range bombers will conduct regular patrol missions from the Arctic Ocean to the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, the military said Wednesday, a show of muscle reflecting tensions with the West over Ukraine.”
* Turkey: “Members of a Turkish nationalist youth group assaulted three visiting American sailors in Istanbul on Wednesday, hurling balloons filled with red paint at them, putting white sacks over their heads and calling them murderers.”
* A tragic milestone: “More than 5,000 people have died in the Ebola outbreak that is ravaging West Africa, the World Health Organization reported Wednesday, marking another grisly toll in the epidemic.”
* Related news: “The Pentagon doesn’t plan to deploy the full 4,000 U.S. troops to Ebola-stricken Liberia – scaling back the number even as the virus makes rapid gains elsewhere in West Africa. Army Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky, who’s leading up the effort overseas, said the current 2,200 troops will grow to nearly 3,000 by mid-December. But the military doesn’t expect more soldiers on the ground will be necessary.”
* Mexico: “Mexicans furious at the presumed massacre of 43 students torched the ruling party’s Guerrero state headquarters and briefly took a police commander prisoner as growing protests rocked President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government.”
* South Carolina: “A federal judge on Wednesday struck down South Carolina’s same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional, opening the door to such marriages but also giving the state a week to appeal. The attorney general said he would do so immediately.”
* Does FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler share President Obama’s vision on net neutrality? Maybe not.
* But the public agrees with Obama: “About 81 percent of Americans oppose allowing Internet providers like Comcast and Verizon to charge Web sites and services more if they want to reach customers more quickly, that is, allowing what are often called ‘Internet fast lanes.’”
* In case anyone’s forgotten, the sequester is a terrible policy that hurts the country for no reason: “Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work warned returning members of Congress on Wednesday that the military would be less able to fight future wars unless they reverse half a trillion dollars in defense cuts forced on the Pentagon last year.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.