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OBAMA AGENDA: A new cease-fire?

The news from Minsk: "A new cease-fire and an overall compact to end the war in eastern Ukraine was announced here on Thursday by the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine after marathon overnight bargaining that threatened to derail the attempt. Even as the agreement was announced, it appeared fragile, with officials on all sides saying that there was more work to be done," writes the New York Times.

And from the Wall Street Journal: "Ukraine reached a preliminary agreement with Western creditors to increase a bailout to around $40 billion over four years to stave off a potential financial collapse in the conflict-stricken country, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde said Thursday."

Obama emphasized yesterday that his new request for authorization of force against ISIS is "not the authorization of another ground war like Afghanistan or Iraq."

The New York Times observes: "In seeking authorization for his six-month-old military campaign against the Islamic State terrorist group, President Obama on Wednesday did something that few if any of his predecessors have done: He asked Congress to restrict the ability of the commander in chief to wage war against an overseas enemy."

"The Obama administration is cutting off health-insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act for 200,000 people who haven’t proved they are legally residing in the U.S.," writes the Wall Street Journal. "Department of Health and Human Services officials on Wednesday said health plans would terminate Feb. 28 for people who had signed up for coverage in 2014 and whose plans had been automatically renewed for 2015, after officials concluded those people hadn’t supplied enough information to verify their immigration or citizenship status.

The New York Times reports that that foreign trip Biden's taking during Netanyahu's US visit is to Central America to talk about border security.

CONGRESS: Obama poised for Keystone veto

The Keystone XL pipeline bill is on its way to the president's desk, teeing up a veto, writes NBC's Andrew Rafferty.

NBC's Frank Thorp reports: "Sen Mark Kirk (R-IL) is breaking ranks with his fellow Republicans, telling reporters this afternoon that he thinks the Senate should pass a clean DHS bill, without the extraneous riders that House Republicans attached to the legislation that curtail President Obama's executive actions. "I generally agree with the Democratic position here," Kirk told reporters this afternoon, "I think we should have never fought this battle on DHS funding.""

OFF TO THE RACES: Rubio’s relationship with Jeb Bush

BIDEN:The AP reiterates: "Advisers say he isn't organizing in early voting states such as New Hampshire and Iowa, although he'll visit Des Moines on Thursday. He has yet to form an exploratory committee or other apparatus that could rapidly scale up to become a campaign."

CLINTON:The Wall Street Journal notes the tension and "some drama" surrounding Clinton's campaign timetable.

PERRY: The governor says the country doesn't want "another young, untested United States senator."

And here's his take on the uninsured rate in Texas: “Texas has been criticized for having a large number of uninsured,” he said, “but that’s what Texans wanted. They did not want a large government program forcing everyone to purchase insurance.” But he said Texans passed in 2003 a constitutional amendment that brought “the most sweeping tort reform in the nation. And the result of that is that there are now 35,000 more licensed physicians in Texas.”

RUBIO: The Washington Post delves into the relationship between Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush.

Rubio discussed his relationship with Bush in an interview with the Des Moines Register, disputing the idea that they pull from the same donor base and saying " I think it's important for this country at this stage in our history to move towards the future. I'm grateful for the service people have given our government and our nation in the past, but I think the time has come for a new generation of leadership in this country."

WALKER: From one of us(!): "Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker focused on trade issues while traveling in London Wednesday but brushed away questions on ISIS, his 2016 aspirations and even evolution."

And around the country...

CALIFORNIA: The LA Times notes how Kamala Harris is racking up endorsements to fortify herself against a possible run by Antonio Villaraigosa.

OREGON: Wow, this story keeps twisting and turning. "Gov. John Kitzhaber decided to resign Tuesday but then changed his mind, insisting Wednesday afternoon that he's staying, The Oregonian/OregonLive has learned."

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