Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Europe: “Euro zone finance ministers on Monday rejected as insufficient an offer made by private bondholders to help restructure Greece’s debts, sending negotiators back to the drawing board and raising the threat of Greek default.”
* On a related note, the IMF is clearly concerned: “The International Monetary Fund warned on Tuesday that global growth prospects had dimmed as the sovereign debt crisis in the euro zone entered a ‘perilous new phase.’ Releasing quarterly updates of three reports on the outlooks for the economy, debt and global financial stability, the fund cut its estimates of global growth this year.”
* Syria: “The Arab League sought help from the United Nations to address the escalating crisis in Syria on Tuesday, amid Syrian defiance of Arab efforts to broker a peace settlement and an upsurge of violence in which dozens of people died.”
* Rumors in Afghanistan: “The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan on Tuesday condemned rumors that the United States is planning to divide the war-torn country, saying the suggestions were ‘lies that dishonor the sacrifice of more than 1,800 American service members who have died in the cause of a unified Afghanistan.’”
* Encouraging news out of Chicago: “Sen. Mark Kirk was doing better than expected after suffering a stroke and undergoing emergency surgery, his neurosurgeon said Tuesday, noting the Illinois Republican was answering questions and even asking for his Blackberry. Dr. Richard Fessler, who performed surgery on Kirk at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, said the 52-year-old ‘is doing very well’ but that the road to recovery will be long.”
* Quorum avoidance in Indiana: “The Indiana House again remained at a standstill today, as most Democrats boycotted the chamber to stall the controversial ‘right to work’ bill.”
* The inconsistencies of libertarian lawmakers: “Outraged over being detained by the TSA when he refused a pat-down after setting off an airport scanner, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren on Monday night that even though he doesn’t want ‘special treatment,’ TSA pat-downs need to be less random, targeting people such as ‘Middle Eastern students.’”
* When he was being considered for John McCain’s 2008 ticket, Mitt Romney turned over 23 years of tax returns. If McCain can see 23 years of returns, why can American voters only see two?
* For-profit colleges have their share of detractors on the Hill: “Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) is introducing legislation to limit the amount of federal funds for-profit colleges can derive from veterans.”
* And First Lady Michelle Obama will have several notable guests join her for the State of the Union address tonight. Of particular, she’ll be sitting with Debbie Bosanek, who just happens to be Warren Buffett’s secretary, and who pays a higher tax rate than her billionaire boss.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
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