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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy makes a speech in Kyiv on March 17.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy makes a speech in Kyiv on March 17.Ukrainian Presidency via Getty Images

Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 3.30.22

Today’s edition of quick hits.


Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Biden didn’t even ask for any favors in exchange for the assistance: “President Joe Biden told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday that the U.S. will send an additional $500 million in aid to the Ukrainian people. Biden and Zelenskyy held a call Wednesday in which the funds were discussed, according to a White House readout of the call.”

* Watch what Russia does, not what Russia says: “The Pentagon said Wednesday that over the last 24 hours it has seen some Russian troops in the areas around Kyiv moving north toward or into Belarus. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the U.S. does not view this as a withdrawal, but as an attempt by Russia to resupply, refit and then reposition the troops.”

* Delicate talks: “Russian and Ukrainian negotiators at peace talks in Istanbul discussed security guarantees for Kyiv that would be legally secured by third-party countries, Ukrainian negotiator and presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said Wednesday.”

* Good idea: “President Biden on Wednesday afternoon announced the launch of, a website that the White House is billing as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for Americans seeking vaccines, tests, treatments and masks, while urging Congress yet again to pass a stalled funding package to support the nation’s virus response.”

* And speaking of that legislative package: “The Senate is scrambling to reach an agreement on a $15 billion Covid-19 aid bill before members leave for a two-week break at the end of next week.”

* Some bipartisan support: “Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Wednesday she plans to vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, making her the first Republican to publicly back President Joe Biden’s nominee and putting her one step closer to a lifetime appointment on the court.”

* Just in time for International Transgender Day of Visibility: “Arizona’s Republican governor signed a series of bills Wednesday targeting abortion and transgender rights, joining a growing list of GOP-led states pursuing a conservative social agenda. The measures signed by Gov. Doug Ducey will outlaw abortion after 15 weeks if the U.S. Supreme Court allows it, prohibit gender confirmation surgery for minors and ban transgender girls from playing on girls sports teams.”

 * On a related note: “Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill into law Wednesday banning transgender girls and women from playing on female sports teams, cementing the state as the third this year — and the 13th nationwide — to enact such a measure.”

* In Connecticut: “A Superior Court judge on Wednesday found conspiracy theorist and Infowars host Alex Jones in contempt of court and imposed a fine of up to $50,000 a day for what she called his ‘willful’ violation of her orders that he submit to questioning at a deposition by families of victims of the Sandy Hook School killings.”

* Oh my: “Like the rest of the world, Facebook and its parent company, Meta, have watched TikTok‘s meteoric rise to prominence over the past two years. And a new report reveals just how desperate Facebook officials are to stop it. The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Facebook hired the conservative consulting firm Targeted Victory to help whip up fear, public outrage and congressional scrutiny of TikTok.”

See you tomorrow.