WEDNESDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Libya: “Having all but destroyed the Libyan air force and air defenses, the allies turned their firepower Wednesday on the military units loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi that are besieging rebel-held cities.”
* Pentagon: “Defense Secretary Robert Gates acknowledged Wednesday that there is no clear end to the international military enforcement of a no-fly zone over Libya, and says no one was ever under any illusion that the assault would last just two or three weeks. He added that the U.S. could turn over control of the operation as soon as Saturday, but could not say how the coalition operation might be resolved.”
* A fascinating story about how the U.S. pulled off a major freeze of Libyan assets in just 72 hours.
* Japan: “Radioactive iodine detected in Tokyo’s water supply prompted Japanese authorities on Wednesday to warn that infants in Tokyo and surrounding areas should not drink tap water, adding to the growing anxiety about public safety posed by Japan’s unfolding nuclear crisis.”
* Israel: “A bomb exploded at a crowded bus stop near Jerusalem’s main bus station on Wednesday, killing one woman and leaving at least 24 other people injured. It was the worst attack in Jerusalem in four years, putting Israelis on alert and prompting international condemnation.”
* Not good: “Purchases of new U.S. homes unexpectedly declined in February to the slowest pace on record and prices dropped to the lowest level since December 2003, adding to evidence the industry is floundering.”
* I’m glad someone’s saying it: “‘I frankly don’t understand why policy makers aren’t more worried about the suffering of real families,’ former Council of Economic Advisors Chair Christina Romer, who left the Administration last fall, said during a discussion at Vanderbilt University in Nashville Tuesday. ‘I think there are tools we have tools we have that we can use, and I think it’s shameful that we’re not using them.'”
* Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said most of the emails he received during the recent labor fight urged him to eliminate union rights for state workers. Was that true? Apparently not.
* Ouch: “It’s official: Newt Gingrich now has had as many positions on Libya as he’s had marriages.”
* Arizona state lawmakers still pondering “birther” legislation.
* Daniel Luzer: “Gigantic student loan company Sallie Mae announced Monday that students receiving its loans can now get refunds the same day the school generates such refunds…. The catch? Well, it turns out that in order to receive their own refunds promptly students have to sign up for Sallie Mae Bank’s ‘Sallie Mae No-Fee Student Checking account with Debit MasterCard.'”
* Fox News takes a great deal of pleasure from bashing CNN. The Republican network seems outraged, though, when CNN bothers to hit back.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.