“President Barack Obama says the situation in Syria has reached, in his words, a ‘’critical juncture,’” AP writes, adding, “Also Thursday, Obama freed up money for the first round of direct nonlethal U.S. assistance for Syria’s armed opposition. The president signed a declaration directing up to $10 million to provide food and medical kits to help the rebels and civilians. Secretary of State John Kerry had promised the aid in February as part of a $60 million package of direct assistance for the rebels. The next phase of U.S. assistance to the rebels is expected to include body armor, night-vision goggles and other military-style equipment, while stopping short of providing weapons to the opposition.”
Obama called the Newtown families after yesterday’s gun vote.
Tom DeFrank reports that George W. Bush had back surgery several months ago and spent the month of January recuperating in Florida.