Minnesota legislators are debating all day (and possibly into the night) whether to pay $398 million of the $975 million for a new stadium for the Vikings (2011 record: 3-13). Live discussion from the Capitol is streaming at the Star Tribune. The story is sadly lacking any critical analysis of the "jobs" claim, or really any critical analysis on publicly funded stadiums whatsoever.
- Vladimir V. Putin was sworn into office as president of Russia for his third term today. His inauguration was preceded by protests (and, of course, crackdowns on the protesters), followed by decrees of new housing access and nursery school availability. He also promised 90 percent satisfaction with government service by 2018 as well as 40 to 50 percent wage increases.
- Village Voice Media has lost ads from 27 companies amid the emotional but not entirely logical war on Backpage.
- The White House says it will not negotiate with al-Qaeda for the release of 70-year-old aid worker Warren Weinstein, who was kidnapped in Pakistan nine months ago.
- A mystery is under investigation over Army captain who keeled over suddenly while talking to his wife on Skype and died. His wife claimed she saw a bullet hole in the closet behind him when he collapsed, but the military insists he was not shot.
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