Today's edition of quick hits:* Mosul: "The American ground force commander in Iraq, Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky, said U.S.-backed Iraqi forces have momentum on their side in the battle to drive ISIS out of its Iraq stronghold, the northern city of Mosul."* Related news: "Iraqi Kurdish forces advancing toward the northern city of Mosul paused Tuesday on the second day of a long-awaited offensive after the Islamic State mounted tough resistance in villages east of the strategic city."* Syria: "Russian and Syrian troops suspended bombing sorties around Aleppo on Tuesday so aid convoys can reach the besieged Syrian city, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said."* The criticism has the benefit of being true: "President Obama on Tuesday criticized Donald Trump's 'flattery' of Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling it an unprecedented development in American politics."* Pennsylvania: "The mayor of a small Pennsylvania town is resigning after sparking outrage by posting images on his Facebook page comparing President Barack Obama and his family to apes and referencing a noose. The council of the borough of West York, located about 100 miles (160 km) west of Philadelphia, voted unanimously on Monday to accept Mayor Charles Wasko's offer to step down, council President Shawn Mauck said."* One more state dinner for the Obamas: "President Barack Obama says 'ciao' Tuesday to White House state dinners as he honors U.S. ally Italy with the final one of his presidency. And he's cranked the White House machinery into high gear to help elevate an up-and-coming European leader he holds in high regard."Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
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