Friday’s Mini-Report

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* If only there was a good reason to trust the ECB: “The financial stability of Europe has come down to one institution, the European Central Bank, which is now under heavy new pressure to rescue the euro — or possibly see it collapse.”

* An impatient Egypt: “Tens of thousands of Islamists jammed Tahrir Square on Friday in the most significant challenge yet to the authority of Egypt’s military council that seized power nine months ago with the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.”

* Myanmar in transition: “From dictatorship to quasi democracy in less than a year, the pace of change in Myanmar has stunned even the most cynical observers of the country.”

* A day after authorities charged Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez with attempting to assassinate President Obama, Fox News, in an apparent attempt at self-parody, labeled the madman the “Occupy Shooter.”

* Republicans care about states’ rights, except when they reject and ignore states’ rights: “The House on Wednesday evening approved a controversial bill that would require all states to honor the concealed weapons permits of other states, on the strength of Republican support for the idea that different state standards should not interfere with American’s Second Amendment rights.”

* Another lobbying problem for Newt to explain: “A think tank founded by GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich collected at least $37 million over the past eight years from major health-care companies and industry groups, offering special access to the former House speaker and other perks, according to records and interviews.”

* The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on what to expect in the near future: “‘Unprecedented extreme weather and climate events’ look likely in coming decades as a result of a changing climate, says the draft report.”

* HSR: “The House and Senate voted today to eliminate most of the $8 billion that President Obama sought next year for his vision of nationwide high-speed rail. The Associated Press points out, however, that ‘billions of dollars still in the pipeline will ensure work will continue on some projects. And it’s still possible money from another transportation grant program can be steered to high-speed trains.'”

* That “60 Minutes” report was widely noticed: “Momentum for insider-trading legislation continues to grow in Congress as a top Republican lawmaker announced Thursday that he will schedule the first-ever House hearing on legislation to prevent lawmakers from trading on nonpublic information.”

* Cool: “New research that suggests Jupiter’s moon Europa has a body of water the size of the Great Lakes just two miles below its icy surface has brought scientists one step closer to determining whether or not the freezing satellite is suitable for the development of extraterrestrial life.”

* Penn State discovers that raising money in the midst of dealing with a scandal is problematic.

* If Newt Gingrich thought attacking Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was a good idea, he probably thinks differently now. Frank tore Gingrich apart on “Hardball” yesterday.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.