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

* In Afghanistan, U.S. troops forced Taliban fighters to flee from the country’s southern Helmand province.

* Elsewhere in Afghanistan, coalition troops endured more casualties today.

* The latest from Pakistan: “Two missiles fired from a remotely piloted American aircraft struck a militant base on Tuesday in the South Waziristan tribal region, killing 16 militants, according to intelligence officials and residents reached by telephone.”

* Fighting in Urumqui continues for a third day: “Rival protesters took to the streets again on Tuesday, defying Chinese government efforts to lock down this regional capital of 2.3 million people and other places across its western desert region after bloody clashes between Muslim Uighurs and security forces that were mostly Han Chinese.”

* Mahmoud Ahmadinejad thinks Iran’s recent presidential election was “the freest” and “the healthiest” ever. Imagine that.

* In case Biden confused anyone, President Obama made clear today that the United States is “absolutely not” giving Israel a green light to attack Iran.

* The American Bar Association’s standing committee on the federal judiciary has “unanimously found Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be ‘well qualified‘ for elevation to the Supreme Court, its highest ranking.”

* Don’t believe the rumors about the CBO scoring the House’s tri-committee health care bill. It’s a bogus story, and there is no score.

* Sen. Dick Lugar (R) of Indiana likes what he sees from President Obama’s trip to Russia.

* Speculators draw attention: “The Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Tuesday will announce that it’ll begin publishing how much hedge funds and other big financial firms are trading in oil and other commodities, with an eye toward curbing what critics say is speculation that pushes prices up.”

* Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) isn’t anxious to think about another stimulus.

* House Dems have a few words for Rahm Emanuel.

* The Justice Department thinks AT&T and Verizon might be abusing their telecom market power.

* At long last, Alberto Gonzales finds a job.

* In other employment news, Dan Froomkin didn’t go without a home for very long — the Huffington Post has named him its Washington Bureau Chief.

* And as of this morning, Washington, D.C., recognizes same-sex marriages performed legally in other states.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.