Today’s edition of quick hits:
* In Syria, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon “strongly” urged President Bashar al-Assad to “immediately put into effect a peace plan he is said to have accepted that would rein in security forces in advance of negotiations to end a year of bloody revolt, but activist groups reported more assaults throughout the country.”
* In Sanford, “despite public claims that there wasn’t enough probable cause to make a criminal case in the Trayvon Martin killing, early in the investigation the Sanford Police Department requested an arrest warrant from the Seminole County State Attorney’s office.”
* Global warming: “Scientists are increasingly confident that the uptick in heat waves and heavier rainfall is linked to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, posing a heightened risk to the world’s population, according to two reports issued in the past week.”
* Austerity doesn’t work: “Britain’s economy shrank by more than expected in the last three months of 2011 than previously thought, driven down by a weaker services sector, official data showed on Wednesday.”
* Oh my: “Training material used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation said agents had the ‘ability to bend or suspend the law and impinge on freedoms of others,’ but that language has now been removed, according to a briefing the bureau recently provided to Congress.”
* The New Republic has scrapped its online paywall. Good idea.
* My opinion of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke went up yesterday when he said, “I am very proud of my nerd-dom. In fact, the world needs more nerds. Nerds, you know, create more jobs and advance science, and I hope make good economic policy, but that remains to be seen.”
* And on the House floor today, Rep. Bobby Rush’s (D-Ill.) hoodie was not well received.