Today’s edition of quick hits:
* At the White House: "President Joe Biden on Friday said that the U.S. has reason to believe that Russia will attack Ukraine’s capital within the coming days, calling the situation a 'rapidly escalating crisis.' Speaking from the White House, Biden said that he was 'convinced' that Russian President Vladimir Putin had already 'made the decision' to invade Ukraine, but said that a diplomatic resolution remained on the table."
* The crisis on everyone’s minds: “President Biden began another round of urgent talks with European leaders on Friday afternoon as the United States and its allies continued to warn that Russia appears poised for an imminent invasion of Ukraine that could trigger the largest conflict on the continent since World War II.”
* In Ukraine: “As fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine grew, the Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine called for the evacuation on Friday of every woman and child in the region, claiming that the Ukrainian military was about to launch a large-scale attack.”
* This should get Putin’s attention: “As concerns grew in Europe over an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine, Germany’s foreign minister suggested for the first time on Friday that military action by Moscow could mean the end of Nord Stream 2, a natural-gas pipeline running from Russia to Germany.”
* Kim Potter sentencing: “A Minnesota judge on Friday sentenced former police officer Kim Potter to two years in prison, far less than what was sought by prosecutors in the fatal shooting of Black motorist Daunte Wright. Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu handed down the punishment for the former Brooklyn Center police officer after emotional courtroom statements from the victim’s loved ones and the defendant herself.”
* In Ontario: “Police began arresting protesters Friday in a bid to break the three-week siege of Canada’s capital by truckers angry over the country’s Covid-19 restrictions. Some protesters surrendered and were taken into custody, police said. Some were seen being led away in handcuffs.”
* Shutdown averted: “The Senate passed a short-term spending bill Thursday night to prevent a government shutdown that was set to take place Saturday unless Congress acted.”
* Cases worth watching: “A Texas grand jury indicted 19 Austin police officers on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for their actions during 2020 protests over racial injustice that spread nationwide following the killing of George Floyd, according to people familiar with the matter.”
* This seems unlikely to work: “Sidney Powell, a former attorney for Donald Trump, has sued Verizon to shield her phone records from a subpoena issued by the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.”
* An interesting question about Sarah Palin’s libel lawsuit: “Perhaps as Palin’s attorneys prepare their briefs and the press corps reassembles the legal challenge, we’ll get a proper idea of why she sued in the first place — because nothing in her three-and-a-half hours on the stand in the one-week trial provided much of a clue. Substitute gym teachers put more industry in their work than Palin did in her testimony. What gives in a case that may have already cost Palin’s side up to $2 million in legal fees?”
Have a safe weekend.