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Thursday's Mini-Report

Today's edition of quick hits:

* An unpleasant day for the Pentagon nominee: "Chuck Hagel, President Obama's nominee to be secretary of defense, came under sharp and sometimes angry questioning Thursday on a wide range of issues from fellow Republicans at his Senate confirmation hearing."

* Chicago is still reeling after the shooting that left Hadiya Pendleton dead.

* Another school shooting: "A 14-year-old boy was shot and a teacher was injured at a middle school in Atlanta on Thursday afternoon, officials said."

* Alabama hostage standoff: "The family of an Alabama boy abducted from his school bus and being held in an underground bunker is 'holding on by a thread,' a state representative said Thursday as the hostage drama stretched into a third day."

* Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced an a/v element to today's hearing, hoping to smear Chuck Hagel with a 2009 clip from a call-in talk show on Al Jazeera. The problem: Cruz and his staff appear to have edited the clip to take Hagel wildly out of context.

* Syria: I"sraeli officials remained silent on Thursday about their airstrike in Syrian territory the day before, a tactic that experts said was part of a longstanding strategy to give targeted countries face-saving opportunities to avoid conflict escalation. But Syria's own confirmation of the attack, followed by harsh condemnation not only by Israel's enemies Iran and Hezbollah but also by Russia, may have undercut that effort, analysts said, increasing the likelihood of a cycle of retaliation."

* Sensible standards: "Cecilia Munoz, director of the White House's Domestic Policy Council and the president's top adviser on immigration, said that the administration has a plan in its immigration package to move the undocumented population through the green card process without having to wait 'decades and decades' for approval."

* 49 states have approved some kind of limits on abortion access. The sole exception in the United States? Oregon.

* And my friend Chris Mooney has a fascinating interview with Paul Krugman on science and pseudoscience in economics.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.