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The Edge

Biden’s Favorite Saint—THE EDGE Brought to You by the U.S. Chamber Foundation's Aviation Summit

By Jack Fitzpatrick (@jackfitzdc)

TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: Russian President Vladimir Putin signed legislation finalizing Russia's annexation of Crimea, and he subtly softened his stance in the sanctions war between Russia and the U.S. The disclosure of National Security Agency spying activities have started to work its way into tech companies' bottom lines, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is expected to bring up privacy concerns when meeting with President Obama today. Vice President Joe Biden thinks Obama deserves "sainthood" for pushing through the early difficulties with And 2012 presidential candidate Rick Santorum says Sen. Rand Paul is "allied" with Obama's foreign policy positions.


RUSSIA COMPLETES ANNEXATION OF CRIMEA: Putin signed a bill completing the process of annexing Crimea, but also called for a "refrain" in sanctions between his country and the U.S. His spokesman clarified that Russia would continue responding to further sanctions by the U.S. (WaPo)


NSA DISCLOSURES TAKE TOLL ON TECH COMPANIES: Companies like Microsoft and IBM have lost customers and had to invest in privacy measures since Edward Snowden's first leaks about the NSA's surveillance practices, and companies in other countries have gained customers who are worried about security in the U.S. While most companies are tied up in multiyear contracts and haven't seen a tangible difference, executives say it's getting hard to pitch their services. (Claire Cain Miller, NYT)

ZUCKERBERG MEETS WITH OBAMA: The Facebook CEO and other tech leaders, including Google's Eric Schmidt, were scheduled to meet with the president at 4 p.m. Zuckerberg condemned the NSA's spying practices last week, and the agency has until March 28 to give Obama options on spying reforms. (Dustin Volz, NJ)

CONTROVERSIAL SEXUAL-ASSAULT RULINGS DON'T CHANGE HAGEL'S MIND: The Defense secretary still believes the military should be involved in deciding whether a case is prosecuted, following two high-profile cases in which two members of the military avoided prison time in sexual-assault cases. Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair was fined $20,000 after admitting to adultery with a woman he supervised, and former Naval Academy football player Joshua Tate was found not guilty of sexual assault. (Jordain Carney, NJ)

THE WEEKEND IN ONE PARAGRAPH: On CBS's Face the Nation, former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will talk about Russia's annexation of Crimea and President Obama's foreign policy. On Fox News Sunday, Ohio Gov. John Kasich will talk about 2016 presidential prospects. On NBC's Meet the Press, Jimmy Carter will talk about his new book and House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers will talk about the search for missing Flight MH370. On ABC's This Week, FiveThirtyEight editor Nate Silver will talk about the Senate midterm elections.

Join National Journal on Tuesday, March 25th for "A New America: How Millennials are Sparking Change" underwritten by Microsoft. Student Activity Center, Black Box Theater, the University of Texas (Austin), 3:00 - 5:00 pm. RSVP @ https://a-new-america-how-millennials-are-sparking-change-tickets


SANCTIONING SHARAPOVA: Sen. Dan Coats followed Sen. John McCain's lead and responded to his economic sanctions with some Russia-themed snark. For starters, his tennis match with Maria Sharapova was canceled. (Jordain Carney, NJ)

BIDEN: OBAMA DESERVES 'SAINTHOOD': The vice president spoke candidly about the frustrating launch of and praised Obama for maintaining patience. (Justin Sink, The Hill)

SANTORUM: PAUL TOO SIMILAR TO OBAMA: On foreign policy, at least. Rick Santorum said the Kentucky Republican's cautiousness toward interventionism is "a very serious threat" to national security. (Time)

ENVIRONMENTALISM'S HIP-HOP APPEAL: The Congressional Black Caucus and non-congressional Hip Hop Caucus are trying to get young African-Americans interested in climate-change issues, noting that it's not all just about vacations to the Redwoods. (Tim Devaney, The Hill)


THE GOP'S REPORT CARD: A year after starting its Growth and Opportunity Project, the Republican Party still has work to do. It gets an "A" on embracing libertarian perspectives, but it gets a "D-" on branding itself as proactive and focused on solutions when it comes to health care. (Tim Alberta, NJ)

CITY VS. COUNTRY POLITICS: The defining issue that divides Republicans and Democrats isn't the minimum wage, gay marriage, or gun control. It's more like Whole Foods vs. Cracker Barrel. (Meckler/Chinni, WSJ)

HOW MUCH DO WE UNDERPAY COLLEGE ATHLETES? Even by the most forgiving standards, this estimate shows Kansas basketball player Joel Embiid is being underpaid by more than $650,000. (David Berri, The Atlantic)


THE REPUBLICAN SUPER HIPSTER: Daily Show alum John Oliver parodies the Republican ad encouraging young people--particularly those with leather jackets and glasses--to vote for Republicans. (Lucia Graves, NJ)

THE WORLD'S TERRITORIAL DISPUTES, MAPPED: Which countries other than Russia are involved in territorial disputes? A better question would be, which ones aren't? (Annalisa Merelli, Quartz)

LAST NIGHT'S LATE-NIGHT FUNNIES IN UNDER 2 MINUTES: According to Jimmy Kimmel, no one is less aware of when they're on camera than Rob Ford. (Reena Flores, NJ)

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