Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Afghanistan: “Insurgents on Saturday killed two American troops in eastern Afghanistan, an area that has seen heavy fighting in recent months, the U.S. military said.”
* On a related note, the war in Afghanistan is now 11 years old.
* Are the “worst-case scenarios” playing out in Syria? Turkish President Abdullah Gul thinks so.
* Lucas Gray, an animator for “The Simpsons,” put together a well-crafted video on President Obama’s vision and agenda. It was posted online late last week.
* Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez faced the strongest electoral challenge of his career, but he nevertheless won a third term over the weekend.
* Will the U.S. Supreme Court strike down affirmative action? We’ll find out this term, with the justices taking a case on race-based college admissions policies. The oral arguments begin Wednesday morning.
* On a related note, Ari Melber highlights an interesting larger dynamic, noting how and why Republicans have become curiously quiet on the subject.
* Nobel Prize in Medicine: “A pair of landmark discoveries in cell biology made more than 40 years apart have earned the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for John B. Gurdon of the University of Cambridge in England and Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University in Japan.”
* Joshua Holland’s take on polls made me laugh: “Why It’s Important To React To Every New Poll With Soaring Elation or Soul-Crushing Despondency.”
* Want to see a photo that cries out for a caption contest? Try this one.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.