FRIDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Firing on civilians in Bahrain: “Government forces opened fire on hundreds of mourners marching toward Pearl Square on Friday, sending people running away in panic amid the boom of concussion grenades. But even as the people fled, at least one helicopter sprayed fire on them and a witness reported seeing mourners crumpling to the ground.”
* Libya: “Thousands gathered Friday for a fourth day of demonstrations in Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city, in an unprecedented challenge to the mercurial 41-year reign of Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi.”
* Yemen: “Anti-government protesters clashed with loyalists of President Ali Abdullah Saleh on the streets of the capital for the eighth straight day Friday, hurling insults and chunks of concrete at one another. But the loyalists – along with Yemeni security forces, who fired shots in the air – managed to swiftly disperse the crowds.”
* Egypt: “On foot and in battered taxis, tired minivans and lurching buses, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians streamed toward Tahrir Square on Friday, reaffirming their victory over the country’s old repressive government and their determination to build a new free one.”
* Good for the White House: “The Obama administration rescinded most of a federal regulation Friday designed to protect health workers who refuse to provide care they find objectionable on personal or religious grounds. The Health and Human Services Department eliminated nearly the entire rule put into effect by the administration of President George W. Bush during his final days in office that was widely interpreted as allowing such workers to opt out of a broad range of medical services, such as providing the emergency contraceptive Plan B, treating gay men and lesbians and prescribing birth control to single women.”
* Senate, with broad bipartisan support, easily passed an aviation reauthorization bill last night. The final vote was 87 to 8.
* Net neutrality: “House Republicans on Thursday moved to block the Federal Communications Commission from enforcing new rules that prohibit broadband providers from interfering with Internet traffic on their networks.”
* It sounds like Mark Ekstrum has some explaining to do: “A veteran firefighter refused to respond to last month’s deadly shooting spree that left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords wounded because he had different political views than his colleagues and ‘did not want to be part of it,’ according to internal city memos.”
* I’ll assume impeachment is the next step: “The chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee fires off a letter to Nancy-Ann DeParle, asking for every document related to health care negotiations — all of them.”
* Why history may be repeating itself in Wisconsin.
* Next year’s CPAC hopes to drive out participants who may respect gay people. Contemporary conservatism spirals downward, just a little more.
* This story out of Pennsylvania really is stunning: “A former juvenile court judge was convicted Friday of racketeering in a case that accused him of sending youth offenders to for-profit detention centers in exchange for millions of dollars in illicit payments from the builder and owner of the lockups.”
* Even some conservatives think Texas officials created a ridiculous state education curriculum.
* A worthwhile timeline: Two years of economic recovery.
* And Matt Yglesias reflects on Mike Huckabee’s attitudes towards Israel: “I have no particular view on whether or not Abraham was a real historical person, but trying to view present-day political disputes as mere extensions of events that occurred thousands of years in the past isn’t going to have a happy ending.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.