Today's edition of quick hits:
* As Beijing speaks up, there's still no word from Putin: "Chinese President Xi Jinping has congratulated President-elect Joe Biden, state media reported on Wednesday, becoming one of the last world leaders to do so."
* Crisis in eastern Africa: "Hundreds of people in a town in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region were stabbed, strangled and hacked to death in an apparent ethnically based attack that may amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes, Ethiopia's human rights watchdog said Tuesday."
* In related news: "President-elect Joe Biden's pick for national security adviser warned Wednesday about the risk of war crimes in Ethiopia, where government forces are surrounding a city governed by rebellious regional leaders in what's threatening to spiral into civil war. In one of his first tweets after being named, Jake Sullivan warned about 'the risk of violence against civilians, including potential war crimes' in the East African country."
* Interesting case: "The House of Representatives quietly paid $850,000 this year to settle wrongful termination claims by five Pakistani-American technology specialists, after a set of routine workplace allegations against them morphed into fodder for right-wing conspiracy theories amplified by President Trump. Together, the payments represent one of the largest known awards by the House to resolve discrimination or harassment claims, and are designed to shield Congress from potentially costly legal action."
* An ongoing mess in Austin gets messier: "The Texas attorney general's office has fired the last remaining whistleblower who alleged Ken Paxton broke the law in doing favors for a political donor — just days after aides had sued the agency alleging they suffered retaliation for making the report."
* Worth watching: "Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.) filed complaints on Friday in five states against [Rudy] Giuliani and 22 other lawyers working with the Trump campaign, calling for them to be stripped of their law licenses for filing 'frivolous' lawsuits and allegedly engaging in 'conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.'"
* The OxyContin maker: "Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty Tuesday to three criminal charges, formally taking responsibility for its part in an opioid epidemic that has contributed to hundreds of thousands of deaths but also angering critics who want to see individuals held accountable, in addition to the company."
* The right will no doubt see this as outrageous, but it's quite sensible: "YouTube suspended One America News Network, one of the right-wing channels aggressively pushing false claims about widespread election fraud, for violating its policies on misinformation."
Have a safe holiday.