Wednesday's Mini-Report, 3.11.20

Today's edition of quick hits.
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By Steve Benen

Today's edition of quick hits:

* A new label: "The head of the World Health Organization officially characterized the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic on Wednesday. 'This is the first pandemic caused by the coronavirus,' the WHO's director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said during a news conference."

* Wall Street: "The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down more than 1,400 points Wednesday, crossing firmly into bear market territory, or a 20 percent decline from a 52-week high. The losses came as the World Health Organization labeled the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic."

* A painful read: "A series of missed chances by the federal government to ensure more widespread testing came during the early days of the outbreak, when containment would have been easier."

* SCOTUS sure does come to the administration's rescue frequently, doesn't it? "The Supreme Court said Wednesday that the Trump administration can continue its practice of returning asylum-seekers to Mexico along the entire southern border while immigration authorities process their claims."

* A story we've been following: "The Senate Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday scrapped plans to issue a subpoena to a former consultant for a Democratic public relations firm as part of the panel's investigation into Hunter Biden and his role on the board of a Ukrainian energy company."

* Moscow: "The Russian parliament approved a sweeping constitutional reform in the third and final reading Wednesday, a move that will allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in power for another 12 years after his current term ends in 2024."

* A rare recusal: "Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will not participate next month when the court hears one of two cases that could change a key element of the system America uses to elect its president -- the Electoral College."

See you tomorrow.