Today's edition of quick hits:
* The evolving situation in Syria just got more complicated: "Turkey's prime minister said Thursday that Russian military equipment and munitions bound for Syria's Defense Ministry had been confiscated from a Syrian civilian jetliner on a Moscow-to-Damascus flight, which was forced to land in Ankara on suspicion of illicitly carrying war material."
* Perhaps last week's debate was a wake-up call -- President Obama appeared to be fired up and ready to go at an event at the University of Miami today.
* Malala Yousafzai: "Doctors treating a 14-year-old girl shot in the head by Islamist militants because she dared to advocate schooling for girls said Wednesday that they hoped she would make a full recovery from her wounds after nightlong surgery to remove the bullet." The Taliban said Yousafzai's ideas made the assassination attempt "obligatory."
* Meningitis: "Federal health officials said they've tracked down more than 90 percent of the roughly 14,000 people who may have received contaminated steroid shots, urging anyone with early symptoms of potentially deadly meningitis to seek help fast."
* Housing: "U.S. foreclosure filings dropped to a five-year low in September as fewer homes were on track to be seized by lenders. It was the second-consecutive monthly decline in filings."
* Nobel: "Mo Yan, a wildly prolific and internationally renowned Chinese author who considers himself nonpolitical but whose embrace by the ruling Communist Party has drawn criticism from dissident writers, was on Thursday awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature."
* Whistleblowers: "President Obama has done what Congress has not -- extend whistleblower protections to national security and intelligence employees. A Presidential Policy Directive issued Wednesday says employees 'who are eligible for access to classified information can effectively report waste, fraud, and abuse while protecting classified national security information. It prohibits retaliation against employees for reporting waste, fraud, and abuse.'"
* And what would happen "if women at risk for unintended pregnancies received the birth control of their choice-- especially the more effective kinds -- at no cost?" We know exactly what would happen: the "national abortion rate would plummet."
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.