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Thursday's Mini-Report

Today's edition of quick hits:

* Syria: "In a policy shift, the United States on Thursday announced plans to send military rations and medical supplies directly to Syrian opposition fighters, but fell short of providing weapons and ammunition that the rebels had been asking for."

* As of now, Pope Benedict XVI is official a former pope.

* He pleaded guilty to 10 criminal counts: "Pfc. Bradley Manning on Thursday confessed in open court to providing vast archives of military and diplomatic files to the antisecrecy group WikiLeaks, saying that he wanted the information to become public 'to make the world a better place.'"

* A welcome suggestion of common sense, which seems doomed to fail: "With automatic budget cuts set to kick in Friday, a group of progressive Democrats in the House has launched a late-game bid to repeal the so-called sequestration, arguing that Congress should scrap the cuts entirely if it can't agree on a suitable replacement."

* I admit to finding this perplexing: "On the eve of sequestration, Wall Street doesn't seem terribly concerned about the impact of the budget cuts."

* Expect a big legal fight: "The Arkansas Senate voted Thursday to override a veto of a near-ban of abortions starting in the 20th week of pregnancy and backed a separate measure that would only allow the procedures before the 12th week, with few exceptions."

* Pushing from the left: "The White House is coming under pressure from liberal Democrats in the House and Senate to press for a minimum wage hike as high as $10.10."

* Some on the right are suddenly realizing that relying on Bob Woodward right now may not be a wise idea.

* And congratulations to Dan Perkins, aka Tom Tomorrow, for his well-deserved 2013 Herblock Prize for editorial cartooning.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.