Today's edition of quick hits:
* Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives in Israel, seeking a "durable outcome" in Gaza truce talks.
* France aimed to end its combat role in Afghanistan a faster track than other NATO allies, and it succeeded, withdrawing troops today.
* Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said today that 2013 could be a "very good year" for the U.S. economy unless Congress screws things up.
* On a related note, Bernanke added that the debate over the looming austerity crisis already appears to be affecting private spending and investment decisions and may be contributing to an increased sense of caution in financial markets, with adverse effects on the economy."
* The housing recovery continues: "Housing starts rose to their highest rate in more than four years in October, suggesting the housing market recovery was gaining steam, even though permits for future construction fell."
* Murdoch media scandal gets much worse: "In a new turn in the scandals swirling around Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper outpost, prosecutors said on Tuesday that two former top executives will be charged with paying bribes of up to $160,000 to public officials, in addition to several earlier charges against them."
* In an apparent bid to drive Fox News batty, it appears Attorney General Eric Holder is likely to stay at his post for another year.
* I'm quite eager to hear what NASA found on Mars: "On the one hand, they'd like to tell everybody what they found, but on the other, they have to wait because they want to make sure their results are not just some fluke or error in their instrument."
* There are broad concerns about the defense cuts looming in the sequester, but they really aren't that scary.
* Good for him: "Not content to simply rescue neighbors from burning buildings and invite cold Hurricane Sandy victims into his home, Cory Booker has a new plan to empathize with his constituency. He's going to live on food stamps."
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.