Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 4.23.14

Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Palestinian unity deal: “The two main Palestinian factions announced an agreement on Wednesday to heal a seven-year schism and form a unity government within five weeks that would prepare for Palestinian elections six months later. The two groups – the Palestine Liberation Organization, which runs the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and Hamas, the militant Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip – have reached similar accords before that were never carried out.”
* Understatement: “The State Department said Wednesday that a reconciliation agreement between the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas announced Wednesday threatens to disrupt peace talks between Israel and the PLO. ‘This could seriously complicate our efforts … and the efforts between the parties to extend the negotiations,’ State spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.”
* Ukraine: “While Russia and the United States traded warnings and accusations over developments Wednesday in Ukraine, the promised Ukrainian military effort to reassert control over the restive eastern part of the country got off to a halting start, and the international agreement reached last week in Geneva that was meant to defuse the crisis in the country frayed even further.”
* South Sudan: “The White House said Tuesday it was ‘horrified’ by reports that rebels in South Sudan had slaughtered hundreds of civilians who sought refuge in houses of worship amid the ongoing ethnic violence that has gripped the fledgling nation. ‘These acts of violence are an abomination,’ White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.”
* Clemency: “The U.S. pardon attorney who withheld key information from the president in a high profile clemency case was removed from office Wednesday as the Obama administration announced a new pardons policy that could potentially allow hundreds of federal inmates to be freed early from prison.”
* Good for him: “Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday called Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent in the Supreme Court’s latest affirmative action ruling ‘courageous.’ At an event on diversity within the Justice Department, Holder said it’s tempting to think the struggle to overcome discrimination has ended when people like him or President Obama have reached the nation’s highest ranks. But, he said, the fight for equal rights is not over.”
* Washington mudslide: “Standing beneath a banner proclaiming ‘Oso Strong’ one month after the deadly landslide, President Obama told the residents of the hard-hit Stillaguamish Valley that the nation is grieving with them as they struggle to rebuild homes, businesses and families.”
* Rubin has a point on this one: “We’ve gotten so used to the Supreme Court deciding major policy issues that it is easy to forget how inadequate is [this] forum [is] for deciding cases in which cutting-edge technology is involved. If you doubt this, the oral argument at the Supreme Court in  American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc might convince you never to send such issues to the court.”
* Albuquerque: “Less than two weeks after federal officials rebuked the Albuquerque Police Department for a rash of unjustified officer-involved shootings, an officer fatally shot a 19-year-old woman suspected of stealing a vehicle before pointing a gun at police, authorities said.”
* And the news out of Arkansas appears encouraging: “The family of Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., is hopeful and looking forward to the next stage of the senator’s recovery following his emergency heart surgery for an acute aortic dissection Tuesday.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Wednesday's Mini-Report, 4.23.14