Friday’s Mini-Report

FRIDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Yesterday, U.S. troops faced minimal resistance in Afghanistan. Today was far more difficult: “Taliban insurgents stepped up attacks Friday against U.S. Marines in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand River valley, forcing troops in some areas to spend the day fighting instead of carrying out plans to meet with residents and local leaders.”

* Don’t count on fair trials: “A top Iranian cleric said Friday that some of the detained Iranian staffers of the British Embassy in Tehran will be put on trial, and he accused Britain of a role in instigating widespread protests that erupted over the country’s disputed presidential election.”

* New round of U.S. attacks along the Afghan border: “U.S. missiles struck a training facility allegedly operated by Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud and a militant hide-out Friday, killing 15 people and wounding 27 others, intelligence officials said.”

* Russia has approved a plan to allow American troops to fly over Russian territory as part of military operations in Afghanistan. The agreement is scheduled to be formally announced early next week, when President Obama visits Moscow.

* U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is in Burma today, meeting with the ruling generals about the release of political prisoners. No word on whether there is, or will be, progress on this front.

* World Health Organization head Margaret Chan believes the international spread of the H1N1 virus is now unstoppable, but nevertheless mild.

* Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) has been released from a Los Angeles hospital.

* Is the Obama administration nearing a deal with the hospital industry? Maybe.

* Dick Cheney had a hand, behind the scenes, in responding to the Plame scandal? You don’t say.

* Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) offered some odd advice to a constituent who wants the same kind of health care options he has: “Just go work for the federal government.”

* If a credible news network publicizes the results of an incomplete CBO analysis, it should also let the public know about the more reliable and accurate CBO analysis.

* Paul Krugman ponders exactly what’s wrong with the Wall Street Journal.

* And just in time for tomorrow, the case against fireworks displays.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.