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

* Terrorists hoped to bring down planes: “The two package bombs intercepted by authorities in Britain and Dubai last week appear to have been built to detonate ‘in flight’ and to bring down the planes carrying them, President Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser said.”

* Unlike some recent terrorist attempts, last week’s bombs “were expertly constructed and unusually sophisticated.”

* A relatively good sign: “Manufacturing activity expanded last month at the fastest pace since May, driven by demand in the United States and abroad for cars, computers and other goods.”

* On a related note, the Federal Reserve is expected to act in some capacity this week, but “most economists say it is unlikely to have a big impact on employment and growth.”

* Tragedy in a Baghdad church: “Iraq’s Christian community was in shock Monday after Islamist militants in suicide vests besieged a church during Sunday mass and then fought Iraqi commandos in a melee that left at least 58 people dead.”

* Dilma Rousseff easily won Brazil’s presidency over the weekend, and will become the country’s first female president.

* I can only assume that ABC News, right about now, is wondering why on earth it reached out to work with Andrew Breitbart.

* Daniel Luzer does a nice job summarizing the problem with financial aid to college students.

* Offering an anti-Islam remark that was slightly worse than Juan Williams’, Bill Maher offers a reminder that he, too, can say some pretty dumb things.

* And if you’re wondering why Republican activists seem so worked up about bogus “voter fraud” allegations, there’s no great mystery here — their media outlets are manufacturing a controversy that doesn’t exist.

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.