Thursday reads to read

"Kremlin spokesman [Peskov] shows gift for understatement," tweets journalist Ken Fireman in response to the Russian spokesman's claim that a British inquiry reporting Vladimir Putin may have approved a critic's poisoning was “not among the topics that interest us" (at 3,500+ shares and climbing right now). Specifically, the report says Russia's president "probably approved" the spiking of the former KGB officer's tea with radioactive ingredients. "Probably? Evidence?" demands Michael Schwirtz with the New York Times. "Putin & polonium-poisoned tea are the news gifts that never die," declares NYT's Rick Gladstone. "He famously fell ill after a sushi lunch in London," shares Hiroko Tabuchi, also at the NY Times. "Begs question what else Putin knew," points out BBC's Katty Kay. Then Business Insider's Colin Campbell brings up the next natural question: "so who wants to ask Donald Trump about the British slandering the tremendous Vladimir Putin with these allegations?"

Also near the top of our rundown: an inch of snow and icy roads unleashed 9 hours of traffic chaos across the D.C. region. "An inch! Canada sighs," reacts David George-Cosh. "The Chicago climate is not ideal but at least we know how to deal with snow. DC refuses to learn," laments Chicago Tribune's Steve ChapmanTIME's latest cover story reports that for residents of Flint, Michigan, their governor's new emergency actions come too late while their mayor suggests the water crisis wouldn’t have happened in a rich suburb. "When I first saw this photo on the @nytimes home page, I thought it was a urine sample," admits NYT's David Chen. In other unsettling revelations, Cleveland Scene Magazine dumps the news that the grand jury in the Tamir Rice case did not take a vote on charges. "This is very weird. The Tamir Rice grand jury never voted. So how did they decide not to indict the officer?" asks Matt Pearce with the LA Times. And in political moves, former senator and onetime Republican nominee Bob Dole claims his party would suffer "cataclysmic" losses if Ted Cruz is the nominee and would "fare better" under Trump. "Things really are nuts when Bob Dole is describing Donald Trump as a kind of pragmatic alternative," concludes Steve Daniels at Crain's Chicago Business. Meanwhile, Carly Fiorina accused of "ambushing" children. "I'd be mad if I sent my kid on a field trip to a botanical garden & they ended up in an anti-abortion stump speech," freelance journalist Jill Filipovic makes a very good case. So there's that.

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