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Friday’s Mini-Report, 2.23.24

Today’s edition of quick hits.


Today’s edition of quick hits.

* New sanctions: “President Joe Biden announced more than 500 sanctions on Russia on Friday over its war in Ukraine and the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny last week in prison — the largest tranche since the conflict began, the administration said.”

* A foreign policy shift: “The Biden administration on Friday said Israel’s expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank is inconsistent with international law, signaling a return to long-standing U.S. policy on the issue, which had been reversed by the previous administration of Donald Trump.”

* In Alabama: “Cryoport, a major embryo shipping company, said on Friday that it was ‘pausing’ its business in Alabama as it evaluated the state’s Supreme Court decision that declared frozen embryos created through in vitro fertilization to be children.”

* Notable clarification on the rationale for the re-arrest: “A federal judge in California issued a warrant for the rearrest of former FBI informant Alexander Smirnov after federal prosecutors convinced the judge that the man at the center of House Republicans’ ongoing impeachment inquiry was ‘likely’ planning to flee the United States.”

* A codel in Kyiv: “U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and four other Democratic senators traveled Friday to Ukraine, where they met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy amid a standoff in Washington over billions of dollars in military aid for the war-torn nation.”

* The latest in a series of unpersuasive court filings: “Former President Donald Trump on Thursday urged a federal judge to dismiss his classified documents case in Florida on the basis of presidential immunity, according to a court filing.”

* I’ll be eager to hear more about this: “Federal prosecutors charged journalist and media consultant Timothy Burke with 14 federal crimes — including conspiracy — in an indictment that was unsealed Thursday. Burke, 45, was arrested Thursday morning, the Tampa Bay Times reported.”

* NATO leadership: “President Joe Biden is supporting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to become the next NATO secretary general, a U.S. official said Wednesday. Biden’s support is likely to sway more allies to get on board with Rutte’s nomination, after months of jockeying between him and several other European leaders for the job.”

* This seems like a thread worth pulling on: “Not only was Brazil’s democracy closer to the brink than initially understood, but targeted U.S. pressure on key Brazilian officials was likely decisive in guaranteeing the eventual outcome: a largely peaceful transition of power in the country after its October 2022 presidential election.”

* Noted without comment: “Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) went after New York Judge Arthur Engoron on Thursday, demanding he be ‘disrobed’ for his $355 million business fraud verdict against former President Trump last week.”

Have a safe weekend.