Wednesday’s Mini-Report

Updated
 

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* A remarkable escalation in Syria: “Three high-ranking officials in President Bashar Assad’s regime were killed Wednesday in a Damascus bomb attack, state television reported, the most serious blow to Assad’s high command in the country’s 16-month-old rebellion.”

* Bulgaria: “A bus carrying Israeli tourists exploded in a fireball on Wednesday outside an airport in the Bulgarian city of Burgas, killing at least six people and wounding dozens more in what Bulgaria, Israel and the United States called a terrorist attack. Israel quickly blamed Iran.”

* Reflecting on the bizarro world: “White House press secretary Jay Carney on Tuesday pushed back on House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) remark that President Obama ‘doesn’t give a damn about middle-class Americans,’ calling the criticism ‘astounding.’”

* Austerity doesn’t work: “The International Monetary Fund, warning Wednesday of ‘a sizable risk’ that some euro zone countries could suffer a debilitating decline in prices, called on the European Central Bank to pump money into the region’s economy by buying huge volumes of government bonds.”

* Encouraging: “The government reported that builders broke ground last month on the most new homes and apartments in nearly four years. The 6.9 percent jump brought the number of housing starts to the highest since October 2008.”

* A massive ice chunk, twice the size of Manhattan, has broken free from Greenland’s Petermann glacier. Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) is trying to get Congress to care.

* Good: “A federal judge has dismissed a federal lawsuit in which Nebraska and six other states tried to block part of the federal health care law that requires contraception coverage” (via ABL).

* Gauging by his tirade this morning, it seems Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) isn’t on board with improving the way the chamber operates.

* The guy who runs Chick-fil-A really seems to have a problem with gay people.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Wednesday's Mini-Report

Updated