Today's edition of quick hits:
* A suicide car bomber targeted a U.S. military base in Afghanistan today, killing a local guard, two civilians, and the attacker.
* Abdul Azia Jassem al-Shallal deals the Assad regime a major setback: "Syria's embattled leadership suffered a new setback on Wednesday with the publicly broadcast defection of its military police chief, the highest-ranking officer to abandon President Bashar al-Assad since the uprising against him began nearly two years ago."
* A doozy of a storm: "A powerful winter storm system pounded the nation's midsection Wednesday and headed toward the Northeast, where people braced for the high winds and heavy snow that disrupted holiday travel, knocked out power to thousands of homes and were blamed in at least six deaths."
* William Spengler Jr., who shot four unarmed firefighters on Monday, left a note, which was later recovered by police. "I still have to get ready to see how much of the neighborhood I can burn down and do what I like doing best -- killing people," it read.
* Another setback: "Legislation sent to President Obama this week quietly removed language in a bill that would have -- for the first time -- forced law enforcement to obtain a warrant to read Americans' email."
* Violence in Kenya's Tana River region: "The White House on Saturday responded to renewed violence between the Orma and Pokomo tribes of Kenya by urging leaders from both communities to end the ethnic clashes that have escalated this year."
* Climate crisis: "West Antarctica is warming almost twice as fast as previously believed, adding to worries of a thaw that would add to sea level rise from San Francisco to Shanghai, a study showed on Sunday."
* Tea Party Nation wants public school teachers to be required to get trained as SWAT teams, in case "Iranian and Hamas agents go en masse into the schools of this nation." I don't think Tea Party Nation was kidding, but sometimes, I'll concede it's tough to tell.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.