Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Keep expectations low: “The Kremlin says leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine have had a conference call to discuss the implementation of a peace deal for eastern Ukraine.”
* Anti-ISIS coalition: “Australia will launch airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria within days and resettle an additional 12,000 refugees from the deepening humanitarian and security crisis in the Middle East, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Wednesday.”
* EU: “Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Union’s executive arm, called on the bloc on Wednesday to accept 160,000 migrants, imploring leaders not to remain indifferent in the face of one of Europe’s toughest humanitarian challenges in decades.”
* Shutdown: “Here are four congressional budget analysts’ predictions on how likely it is that the government will shut down. We’ll start with the most conservative estimate – which is still ‘well over 50 percent.’”
* New Mexico: “Once an integral part of the Republican Party’s rise to power under Gov. Susana Martinez’s stewardship in this Democratic stronghold, the secretary of state, Dianna Duran, has now been abandoned by her party, threatened with impeachment by her political opponents and called on to resign by one of the state’s leading newspapers.”
* Brett O’Donnell fesses up: “A communications strategist who has worked with some of the best-known names in Republican politics – including several presidential candidates – has pleaded guilty to lying to congressional ethics investigators about campaign-related coaching he provided to a lawmaker that cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.”
* “Can you name one member of Congress?” It seems like any American adult should be able to answer the question effortlessly. But apparently, some find it alarmingly difficult.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.