By Jack Fitzpatrick (@jackfitzdc)
TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: The two major Palestinian factions reached a deal to unite their governments, which is bad news for peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel. A recent poll shows that despite the favorable political climate for Republicans, several red-state Democratic candidates for Senate are keeping their races close. Georgia's governor signed a broad bill allowing guns in a variety of public places, such as schools and bars. Three weeks after the McCutcheon v. FEC ruling, Democrats don't seem to be taking advantage of their expanded ability to raise funds. Powdered alcohol is coming in the not-so-distant future, but regulators still need to figure out what to do about it. And for late April, there's still a whole lot of ice left on the Great Lakes.
PALESTINIAN FACTIONS STRIKE A DEAL: The Palestine Liberation Organization and Hamas agreed to form a unified government within five weeks, which doesn't help the American-led peace talks there. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had warned the PLO not to enter this kind of agreement. (Akram/Kershner, NYT)
DON'T COUNT OUT SOUTHERN DEMOCRATS IN THE SENATE: Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas is considered one of the country's most vulnerable Democrats, but he holds a 10-point lead over his challenger. Other Southern Democrats like Sen. Kay Hagan and Alison Lundergan Grimes are nearly neck and neck with their opponents. (Martin/Thee-Brenan, NYT)
GEORGIA GOVERNOR SIGNS 'GUNS EVERYWHERE' BILL: The bill lets Georgians legally carry guns in schools, bars, churches, and government buildings. But Gov. Nathan Deal warned against politicizing the bipartisan bill, which even Jimmy Carter's son, a state senator, supported. (Greg Bluestein, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
AMERICAN JOURNALIST SEIZED IN UKRAINE: Vice's Simon Ostrovsky, whose reporting technique is described as "poking the bear with a video camera and seeing what reaction he gets," was kidnapped for "not reporting in a correct way," according to a separatist spokeswoman. (Jamie Dettmer, Daily Beast)
DEMOCRATS AREN'T TAKING ADVANTAGE OF McCUTCHEON: A week after the Supreme Court decision, Republicans had created a fundraising account meant to accept huge donations. Democrats haven't been so quick on the uptake. (Shane Goldmacher, NJ)
WYDEN, UDALL GET NO LOVE FROM SNOWDEN SUPPORTERS: Despite their anti-spying stances, Sens. Ron Wyden and Mark Udall are part of the problem and "lacked the courage" to reveal the NSA's spying activities themselves, said Glenn Greenwald. (Dustin Volz, NJ)
TOMORROW IN ONE PARAGRAPH: President Obama will be traveling in Japan and will attend a state dinner at 8:20 p.m. with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Secretary of State John Kerry will speak at 9 a.m. at the State Department's Take Your Child to Work Day event. Attorney General Eric Holder will speak at 1:30 p.m. at the Oklahoma City Police Department's police academy graduation ceremony.
THE FUTURE OF PALCOHOL: Powdered alcohol, like an adult version of Tang, is coming, but first it has to be regulated. (Brian Resnick, NJ)
ICE, ICE, BABY: Almost a third of the Great Lakes are covered in ice, a record-breaking amount for this late in the year. (Jason Samenow, WaPo)
GOOGLE TIME TRAVEL: Google Maps users will be able to compare street-level images from 2007 until the present day, allowing them to not only travel the streets but also to travel back to the early days of Street View. (Abby Ohlheiser, The Wire)
HOW THE OBAMA FAMILY DRIFTED APART: In Dreams From My Father, President Obama wrote about family members who didn't stay in touch being "lost," but it's hard for a president to stay connected to a family spread around the globe. (Jason Horowitz, NYT)
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SLAVERY AND CARBON EMISSIONS: Actually, there are a lot of differences between slavery and carbon emissions, but the interesting one is an issue of dispossession: If we really wanted to, we could buy off the companies that emit carbon. That wouldn't have worked with slave owners. (Josh Barro, NYT)
OUTHOUSES, MAPPED: A map of where Americans lack indoor plumbing shows that even today, there's progress to be made in Alaska, along the Rio Grande, and on the Navajo Nation. (Christopher Ingraham, WaPo)
LAST NIGHT'S LATE-NIGHT FUNNIES IN UNDER 3 MINUTES: Jimmy Fallon reports that President Obama is skipping China on his Asia trip because it's weird to hang out with people when you owe them money. (Mauro Whiteman, NJ)