Notes
First thoughts, running arguments, stories in progress

It’s Presidents Day: In the U.S., government offices, schools, and post offices are closed. Joseph M. Adelman writes for us on George Washington, whom Americas view “as a semi-mythical figure sprung from the earth like a Greek god,” and Olga Oksman writes about the gifts presented to U.S. presidents by foreign dignitaries over the years.

Hospital bombed in Syria: A Médecins Sans Frontières-supported medical facility in Idlib province was struck four times, the global medical charity said in a statement on its website. The hospital, which had 54 staff, 30 beds, an emergency room, and two operating rooms, was destroyed. At least eight employees have been reported missing. Update: More here.

The refugee crisis: The AP reports the prime minister of Hungary, which last year erected a fence on its borders with Croatia and Croatia, has proposed building a barrier on Macedonia’s and Bulgaria’s borders with Greece to stop the influx of migrants and refugees. The plan would effectively remove Greece from the Schengen zone, a European region of 26 nations that allows passport-free travel.

An EU application: Bosnia has submitted its application for European Union membership. “There is no way back for Bosnia-Herzegovina, we must catch up with our neighbors,” said President Dragan Covic.

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