Wednesday’s Mini-Report

Smoke rises above Independence Square during anti-government protests in central Kiev
Smoke rises above Independence Square during anti-government protests in central Kiev in the early hours of Feb. 19, 2014.
Photo by Reuters
Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Crisis in Ukraine: “Hints of turmoil within the government arose Wednesday as a day and night of fighting that left at least 26 people dead slackened to a standoff on the streets, and U.S. and E.U. leaders condemned the violence.”
 
* It’s spreading: “The security authorities in Ukraine offered the first indication on Wednesday that the deadly political violence afflicting Kiev had spread far beyond the capital, announcing a crackdown on what the Interior Ministry called ‘extremist groups’ that had burned down buildings and seized weapons nationwide.”
 
* Sanctions on the table: “Congress is putting pressure on President Obama to immediately punish the Ukrainian government following the deaths of at least 25 people in overnight violence. Both the House and Senate are considering new sanctions that could come up for a vote soon after Congress reconvenes next week.”
 
* Another spill in West Virginia? “West Virginia regulators were on the scene today of another coal-waste spill, this one coming from a former slurry impoundment that had been reopened by a company re-mining the site for leftover bits of coal.”
 
* Look for more on this North Carolina story on tonight’s show: “The federal inquiry into a spill of toxic coal ash into the Dan River is expanding to other similar ponds throughout the state and to specific state employees, according to federal subpoenas obtained by WRAL News through a public records request.”
 
* Keystone: “A Nebraska judge ruled Wednesday that the state violated its constitution when it allowed the governor to approve the route of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, a decision that could significantly delay the $5.3 billion project.”
 
* Impressive enrollment: “Well before the March 31 deadline to buy insurance, California announced Tuesday it has already exceeded its 2014 enrollment goals for its health care exchange. By the end of January, 728,410 people had enrolled in private health plans through Covered California, and 100,000 more signed up in the first two weeks of February. About 26% are 34 and younger.”
 
* New Jersey: “More than five months after several lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge were closed in an apparent act of political retribution, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey apologized to travelers on Wednesday.”
 
* This would be quite a surprise: “Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the largest private employer in the U.S., said it’s looking at supporting an increase in the federal minimum wage, breaking with business and industry groups that oppose such a measure.”
 
* Erik Wemple raises a compelling question: “When newspaper columnists and reporters stick with a story no matter what, they’re heroic and persistent. When TV networks do the same, they’re bloated and irresponsible. What gives there?”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Wednesday's Mini-Report