Tech Check
March 26, 2014
DONALD BOWERS/Getty Images

Security concerns have prompted the Russian government to switch from iPads to Samsung tablets. Journalists noticed parliament members recently stopped using the Apple devices, prompting questions as to why Russia dumped the American gadgets.

Russian Minister of Communications Nikolai Nikiforov confirmed to the AFP that the change happened "not so long ago" due to security concerns, but denied that Russia was eliminating the use of American technology products because of recently imposed sanctions by President Obama. Nikiforov also expressed concern about American's spying tactics and added that the Russian government will be "very choosy" about its technology purchases. Jordan Valinsky

Freedom of speech
4:05 p.m. ET
Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

Back in March, the conservative Spanish government passed a law sharply limiting the right of public protest. It is set to take effect tomorrow, and groups including Greenpeace are protesting in advance, calling it a "gag law."

The law prescribes, among other things, fines up to €600 for not notifying the authorities in advance about a protest, up to €30,000 for disturbing the peace around government buildings, and up to €600,000 for spontaneous demonstrations near certain infrastructure, such as power stations or transit hubs.

Human Rights Watch has denounced the measure as a clear infringement of the right of peaceable assembly and protest, and opposition parties have promised to repeal it if elected in elections later this year. Ryan Cooper

ObamaWeek
3:45 p.m. ET
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Political pundits have been quick to declare last week President Obama's best week ever. But Obama himself is quick to say that actually, he's had better.

Never mind that his approval rating is now the highest it's been in two years, apparently fueled by last week's successes with marriage equality, the Affordable Care Act, the widely applauded eulogy he delivered in Charleston, the GOP about-face on the Confederate flag, and the success in Congress of his Trans-Pacific Partnership. Nope, to the contrary, last week was not, in fact, Obama's greatest ever.

"In terms of my best week, now my best week, I will tell you, was marrying Michelle. That was a really good week," Obama said when asked by a journalist during a press conference on Tuesday. "Malia and Sasha being born, excellent weeks."

The president paused, thinking.

"There was a game where I scored 27 points," he said. "That was a pretty good week."

Still, Obama went on to agree that his victories last week were indeed "gratifying." "In many ways, last week was simply a culmination of a lot of work we've been doing since I came into office," the president said. Right. No biggie. Watch the video below. Jeva Lange

Abortion Debate
3:42 p.m. ET
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A new Florida state law mandating that women wait 24 hours before getting an abortion was set to go into effect on Wednesday. But on Tuesday — just one day before — Chief Circuit Judge Charles Francis blocked it. After Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill into law, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit on the grounds that the law interfered with a woman's right to privacy and to have an abortion. In the judge's opinion, state officials didn't exactly have evidence to prove the contrary.

This is the second ruling this week in favor of abortion rights. On Monday, a Supreme Court ruling blocked a lower court ruling that would have closed down all but a few Texas abortion clinics. Becca Stanek

Jailbreak
2:52 p.m. ET
iStock

Clashes in Yemen have led to 1,200 prisoners escaping — and members of al Qaeda are thought to be among them, Reuters reports.

"Groups of al Qaeda supporters... today attacked the central prison in the city of Taiz," the state news agency, Saba, reportedly quoted an official as saying. "More than 1,200 of the dangerous prisoners escaped."

In an apparently similar case in April, 270 prisoners were broken out of a prison in Al Mukallah by al Qaeda militants; among those freed were senior al Qaeda officials.

Yemen remains in the throes of an ongoing power struggle between the forces of former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and Houthi rebels. Both Hadi and the Houthis are opposed by al Qaeda. Yemen also has its own Islamic State jihadist group, which is another al Qaeda antagonist. (Learn more about the various power players with this helpful BBC explainer.)

A car bomb yesterday killed 10 at a funeral in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack. Jeva Lange

Germanwings Crash
2:48 p.m. ET
Handout/Getty Images

Germanwings announced Tuesday that it will be offering "emotional damage payments" to the relatives of the 150 victims of the March 24 plane crash, Reuters reports. The payments of 25,000 euros, the equivalent of $27,958, are intended as compensation for pain and suffering. This offering, which is outside the norms of German law, is an addition to the 50,000 euros that the airline paid to the families for immediate assistance. Emotional damage payments will be made to parents, spouses, partners, and children of the victims.

Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked the captain out of the cockpit and deliberately crashed the Dusseldorf-bound plane in the Alps on March 24, killing all 150 people on board. Becca Stanek

Law And Order
2:04 p.m. ET
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

A dozen officials from Clinton Correctional facility, including its superintendent, have been placed on administrative leave in the wake of the investigation into the recent escape of two prisoners from the maximum-security prison. The New York State Department of Corrections said that three of the officials are members of the prison's executive team and nine are security staff.

The FBI is investigating Clinton Correctional, exploring possibilities of drug trafficking and other criminal behavior. A new inquiry is also being fueled by evidence uncovered by authorities while investigating Richard Matt and David Sweat's jailbreak. Corrections officer Joyce Mitchell has been accused of smuggling in the tools Matt and Sweat used to break out of prison, while another prison worker, Gene Palmer, is charged with delivering those tools.

Matt was killed before capture; Sweat was shot in the torso and remains in stable condition. Sweat has told authorities that he and Matt began preparing for their jailbreak six months before actually making their escape, The New York Times reports. The pair practiced the escape the night before they enacted it for real on the morning of June 6. Jeva Lange

Thou shalt not
1:50 p.m. ET
iStock

Oklahoma's high court ruled Tuesday that the Ten Commandments monument in place at the state's Capitol indirectly benefits the Jewish and Christian faiths, and thus must be taken down, the The Associated Press reports.

Though it was funded with private money, the 6-foot monument violates the state's Constitution, which prohibits the use of public property for religious benefit.

In defense of the display, Attorney General Scott Pruitt cited a nearly identical monument in Texas, which the U.S. Supreme Court found to be constitutional. Other lawmakers have argued it serves a historical, as opposed to religious, purpose. That argument, however, led other groups — including Satanists and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster — to advocate for permission to erect displays at the Capitol marking their own historical events. Stephanie Talmadge

See More Speed Reads