Morning Must Reads: March 18

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

In the news: Vladimir V. Putin declared his intention to make Crimea a part of the Russian Federation; a Big-Bang theory gets a big boost; the latest on the missing Malaysia Airlines plane; March Madness

  • “Moving swiftly in the face of international condemnation, President Vladimir V. Putin declared his intention to make Crimea a part of the Russian Federation, defying the United States and Europe just hours after they imposed their first financial sanctions against Moscow since the crisis in Ukraine began.” [NYT]
    • “Foreign policy analysts warn the latest steps could be the beginning of a deep freeze in U.S.-Russian relations.” [Hill]
    • “European stocks rose, extending their biggest gain in two weeks, after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he isn’t seeking to split up Ukraine.” [Bloomberg]
    • “From Crimea to North Korea, from Syria to Egypt, and from Iraq to Afghanistan, America apparently has no good options. If possession is nine-tenths of the law, Russia owns Crimea and all we can do is sanction and disinvite—and wring our hands.” [Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney/WSJ]
  • A Big-Bang Theory Gets a Big Boost: Evidence That Vast Cosmos Was Created in Split Second [WashPost]
    • “That, in turn, confirmed that in the first billionth of a trillionth of a quadrillionth of a second after the Big Bang, the universe briefly expanded faster than the speed of light—a speed that’s supposed to be impossible, but in this exceptional case wasn’t.” [TIME]
  • “The first turn to the west that diverted the missing Malaysia Airlines plane from its planned flight path from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing was carried out through a computer system that was most likely programmed by someone in the plane’s cockpit who was knowledgeable about airplane systems…” [NYT]
  • White House Jumps Through Hoops to Increase Obamacare Enrollment [Daily Beast]
  • “The denizens of Wall Street and wealthy precincts around the nation said they are still plenty worried about the shift in tone toward top earners and the popularity of class-based appeals.” [Politico]
  • A Day in the Life of a Marijuana Lobbyist [Yahoo!]
  • March Madness begins.


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