Morning Must Reads: March 17

Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

In the news: Crimean parliament votes to secede from Ukraine; House Republicans search for an ObamaCare alternative; Senators drop legislation to replace Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto releases statement denying involvement with bitcoin

  • “A day after a contested referendum, legislators in Crimea moved swiftly on Monday to begin the process of splitting from Ukraine, with the regional Parliament declaring that Crimea is an independent state, with special status for the city of Sevastopol.” [NYT]
    • After Crimea, Putin Is Going to Take Eastern Ukraine [New Republic]
  • “House Republican leaders are adopting an agreed-upon conservative approach to fixing the nation’s health-care system, in part to draw an election-year contrast with President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.” [WashPost]
    • “Senior Republicans charged with writing health care legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act are grappling with two major challenges: Drafting a package that can attract enough GOP votes to clear the House and crafting policy that doesn’t undermine the party’s politically effective criticism of Obamacare. To avoid those roadblocks, Republicans are signaling that they might delay plans for comprehensive legislation in favor of passing a set of narrowly targeted reforms.” [WashExaminer]
  • In Demand: Women Voters [WSJ]

  • Senate Drops Housing Reform Legislation [Hill]
  • “The biggest U.S. banks are about to learn whether they can pay out more than $75 billion in excess capital to investors as the Federal Reserve completes stress tests of their ability to survive new economic calamities.” [Bloomberg]
  • Is Scott Brown the Face of the Coming Republican Wave? [Atlantic]
  • Hillary Clinton Steps Away from Obama on Foreign Policy [National Journal]
  • “Australia took the lead Monday in searching for the missing Boeing 777 over the southern Indian Ocean as Malaysia appealed for radar data and search planes to help in the unprecedented hunt through a vast swath of Asia stretching northwest into Kazakhstan.” [CBS]
    • “The pilot of the Malaysia Airlines jet that vanished more than a week ago is a strong supporter of the political opposition leader here, but friends vehemently deny that he is a terrorist.” [USA Today]
    • Here Are the 634 Runways Where the Malaysia Airlines Plane Could Have Landed [Slate]
  • “In a statement made public early this morning, Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, the subject of Newsweek’s controversial Bitcoin cover story, continues to deny any involvement with the currency…” [BuzzFeed]
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