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Tuesday's Mini-Report

Today's edition of quick hits:* With Edward Snowden's whereabouts unclear, U.S. diplomacy with Russia is proving to be awkward.* Related news: "Edward Snowden

Today's edition of quick hits:

* With Edward Snowden's whereabouts unclear, U.S. diplomacy with Russia is proving to be awkward.

* Related news: "Edward Snowden is still inside the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday -- the first official word on the fugitive's whereabouts in more than two days. Putin said Russia has nothing to do with Snowden's plans, and appeared to pour cold water on demands from Washington to hand him over to U.S. prosecutors."

* Afghanistan: "Taliban militants with false papers and military-style uniforms bluffed their way through two checkpoints on their way to Afghanistan's presidential palace Tuesday before jumping out of their explosives-packed vehicle and opening fire on security personnel, according to Afghan officials and eyewitness accounts."

* Iraq: "At least 32 people were killed in Iraqi towns and cities on Tuesday, security sources said, the latest flare of violence in a country where sectarian attacks have become a frequent occurrence."

* Domestic economy: "It was a sunny Tuesday morning for the housing market. Home values shot up yet again and new home sales rose, a week after the Federal Reserve's statement about scaling back its massive bond-buying program sent markets on a wild ride and sparked fears that the housing market's stellar recovery may finally start to slow down."

* Cabinet: "With a nearly unanimous vote, the Senate has confirmed Penny Pritzker, a prolific Democratic fundraiser and the heiress to the Hyatt Hotel empire, to be the next Secretary of Commerce." It was 97 to 1, with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) dissenting.

* The apology was warranted: "A Minnesota state representative has apologized for a tweet in which he referred to black Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as 'Uncle Thomas.'"

* I didn't realize Justice Alito engaged in such ugly "middle-school antics." Isn't he a little old to be acting this way?

* That's quite impressive: "The Social Security Administration has a 99.996% accuracy rate for paying benefits to the right people."

* And after all the effort Fox News invested in the discredited IRS controversy, how did the network deal with yesterday's revelations? It's simple: Fox ignored the information that undermined its preferred narrative.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.