Today's edition of quick hits:
* A huge story: "'Piracy,' 'hijacking' and 'state terrorism' — the condemnation of Belarus was swift and strong after it forced the landing of a commercial airplane carrying an opposition journalist. In a show of unified fury, the United States, Britain, the European Union, NATO and the United Nations on Monday lined up to call out the action in the skies above the eastern European country led by Alexander Lukashenko, often referred to as Europe's last dictator."
* Middle East: "Wading into the intractable conflict between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will travel to the Middle East this week to try to bolster a tenuous cease-fire — but he intends to steer well clear of longer-term peace talks that currently have almost zero chance of success."
* Weekend shootings: "At least 12 people were killed and dozens more were wounded over the weekend in gun violence and mass shootings in five states. The shootings in Minnesota, Ohio, New Jersey, Georgia and South Carolina come amid a yearlong rise in nationwide gun violence and record firearm sales."
* Capitol Hill: "National Guard personnel will fully depart the U.S. Capitol grounds this week, military officials and congressional aides said Monday, bringing an end to the security mission that began when armed troops were dispatched to help quell the attack by supporters of former president Donald Trump."
* The controversy surrounding Ronald Greene's death: "Three former police officers said Ronald Greene's 2019 death after an arrest in which he was stunned, punched and dragged by Louisiana state troopers is among the worst cases of excessive force they've seen and the latest example of filmed brutality eroding public confidence in law enforcement."
* In related news: "In perhaps the strongest evidence yet of an attempted cover-up in the deadly 2019 arrest of Ronald Greene, the ranking Louisiana State Police officer at the scene falsely told internal investigators that the Black man was still a threat to flee after he was shackled, and he denied the existence of his own body camera video for nearly two years until it emerged just last month."
* Temporary protected status: "The Biden administration on Saturday extended special protections to Haitians living temporarily in the United States after being displaced by a devastating 2010 earthquake, reversing efforts by the previous administration to force them to leave the country."
* Reporters' records: "President Joe Biden says he won't allow the Department of Justice to seize journalists' phone records and emails, calling the practice 'wrong' in a significant departure from his predecessors. 'Absolutely, positively, it's wrong. It's simply, simply wrong,' he told a reporter Friday at the White House."
* A curious case: "Former U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, filed a lawsuit Monday in federal court against former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the U.S. government, seeking $1.8 million in legal fees he accumulated during the first House impeachment investigation against then-President Donald Trump."
* Predictable: "Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said Sunday that he is not getting vaccinated because he has already had Covid-19."
* AP: "More than 100 Associated Press employees have criticized the way the news organization fired a young journalist last week after a conservative 'smear campaign' over her pro-Palestinian activism in college. In the open letter published Monday, AP staffers from across the world demanded more clarity from the company about why Emily Wilder, 22, was fired as a news associate in Phoenix only three weeks into her job."
* Noted without comment: "CNN has dropped former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum as a senior political commentator, a network spokeswoman confirmed on Saturday."
See you tomorrow.