Today's edition of quick hits:
* With extraordinary speed, the Taliban has now taken 11 of Afghanistan's 34 provincial capitals: "The Taliban captured Afghanistan's third-largest city and a strategic provincial capital near Kabul on Thursday, further squeezing the country's embattled government just weeks before the end of the American military mission there."
* Also in Afghanistan: "President Joe Biden is deploying about 3,000 troops to Afghanistan to help secure the withdrawal of most staff from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul amid growing alarm over a Taliban military offensive, officials said Thursday."
* Good: "The nation's largest teachers' union on Thursday offered its support to policies that would require all teachers to get vaccinated against Covid or submit to regular testing."
* Census data: "The United States grew significantly more diverse over the past decade, as the populations of people who identify as Hispanic and Asian surged and the number of people who said they were more than one race increased, the Census Bureau reported on Thursday."
* A case worth watching: "A federal judge cleared the way Wednesday for a defamation case by Dominion Voting Systems to proceed against Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani and Mike Lindell, allies of former President Donald Trump who had all falsely accused the company of rigging the 2020 presidential election."
* The ongoing hunt for hidden materials: "A federal judge in Washington gave a partial victory Wednesday to a House committee in its long-running effort to get financial records from Donald Trump's accounting firm. But the ruling also gave some ground to the former president by limiting the nature and scope of the records sought."
* Speaking of the former president: "A Scottish judge on Wednesday opened a path to a possible investigation into the purchase of Donald Trump's two golf courses in Scotland, in a ruling that could force the former president to explain how he funded the deals."
* All is not well in Poland: "The United States is deeply concerned by the passage of legislation in Poland's parliament restricting the process of Holocaust restitution and targeting a U.S.-owned independent news station, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday. In a statement, Blinken said Poland needs a comprehensive law to resolve Holocaust-related property claims and urged the Polish president not to sign the new legislation passed earlier on Wednesday into law."
See you tomorrow.