11:39 AM, March 15th, 2012

Frontpage: Thursday, Mar 15th

  1. Dems Demand Domestic Abuse LawThe battle over President Obama’s contraception mandate is just winding down, but Congress looks set to divide along party and gender lines once again. This time the issue is the Violence Against Women Act. The legislation would extend grant programs to law enforcement and shelters for battered women, expanding free legal assistance to victims of domestic violence.
  2. Taliban Quits Peace TalksIn a blow to a nascent peace process, the Afghan Taliban announced on Thursday that they would be suspending their negotiations with the United States. The group cited Washington’s “alternating and ever changing position.” It’s not clear whether the pullout is related to the shooting of Afghan civilians on Sunday or the recent burning of Qurans at a NATO base. 
  3. Romney Dismisses Split Convention: Mitt Romney refuses to believe that the GOP primary contest will end without a presidential nominee. “We’re not going to go to a brokered convention,” he said on Fox News Thursday. “The states that remain will vote for that person, and that person will get the delegates, become the nominee.” 
  4. Syria Loyalists Mark Protest Anniversary: Bashar al Assad is marking what he is calling the anniversary of a “year-old conspiracy” against the country by sending thousands of regime supporters into the streets of Damascus. Meanwhile, tanks invaded the city of Daraa, where the protests first began, and shelling continued in Homs for a sixth straight day.
  5. Blagojevich Bids FarewellIn his final speech before heading to prison, former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich said that he’s going to “follow the law.” Blago heads to Colorado to begin a 14-year sentence.

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Photo: Samantha Cameron, First Lady Michelle Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and President Barack Obama pose for a photo at White House state dinner. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images). More photos from the dinner

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