Today's edition of quick hits:
* Crisis in Kazakhstan: "Troops from a Russia-led military alliance arrived in Kazakhstan on Thursday to restore order after protests in the Central Asian country turned violent, with the police reporting that dozens of antigovernment demonstrators had been killed and hundreds injured."
* In related news: "The Biden administration is closely watching Moscow's military intervention in Kazakhstan, a Russian neighbor and former Soviet republic that Washington has cultivated as a friendly partner in recent years. U.S. officials see President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia's response to the crisis as a test of his ability and determination to maintain a Russian sphere of influence in neighboring countries."
* Covid strategizing: "Six former health advisers to President Biden's transition team released a series of journal articles on Thursday calling for a 'new normal' in the nation's approach to fighting the coronavirus and other viral threats."
* Michael Carvajal is a Trump administration holdover: "The director of the federal Bureau of Prisons is resigning amid increasing scrutiny over his leadership in the wake of Associated Press reporting that uncovered widespread problems at the agency, including a recent story detailing serious misconduct involving correctional officers."
* Notable diplomacy: "Top U.S. and Japanese officials are holding strategic and security talks on Thursday just two weeks after negotiators ended a Trump-era row by agreeing in principle to a new formula for paying for the American military presence in Japan."
* USPS: "The Postal Service is seeking a temporary exemption from President Joe Biden's vaccine-or-testing mandate, arguing a waiver would prevent major disruptions to mail delivery."
* Not helpful: "Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who faces re-election this year, has doubled down on downplaying the latest increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, saying that it is not a crisis and that the demand for Covid testing is hysteria."
See you tomorrow.