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

* Libya: “Having halted a westward push by rebel fighters, forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi began a counteroffensive on Tuesday, marching eastward to the outskirts of this critical oil town, as an array of diplomats gathered in London to shape a political vision of a post-Qaddafi era.”

* Japan: “Japan said Tuesday it was on ‘maximum alert’ over a crippled nuclear plant where radioactive water has halted repair work and plutonium has been found in the soil.”

* Syria: “President Bashar al-Assad accepted the resignations of his cabinet ministers on Tuesday as some protesters began demanding that he also leave, in the most serious threat to his rule since he assumed power a decade ago.”

* Cote d’Ivoire: “The UN peacekeeping mission in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI) has released a statement saying forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, the country’s incumbent leader, opened fire on civilians in Abidjan on Monday, killing about a dozen people.”

* Not good: “Housing prices slid in January for the sixth month in a row, putting them barely above the lows reached in the depths of the recession, according to data released Tuesday. The Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index for 20 large cities dropped 1 percent from December, putting it only 1.1 percent above its spring 2009 low. The index is down 31.8 percent from its 2006 peak. Analysts expected a rough winter, but not quite so brutal.”

* Wisconsin State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) boasted that Republicans have busted state unions “once and for all.” But I thought this was about budget issues? The GOP wasn’t lying, was it?

* Any chance yet another short-term budget extension might prevent a shutdown next week? No.

* Good point: “Asking why low income people don’t make it to America’s most exclusive colleges is sort of like asking why low income people don’t buy more BMWs. It’s because the price of the good largely prohibits the economically disadvantaged from purchasing that good.”

* Congrats to Tom Tomorrow on his new role with Daily Kos.

* Once in a while, Karl Rove repeats a lie so bold, even he isn’t willing to defend it when pressed.

* And in an amusing twist, Donald Birther Trump thought he was being clever by releasing his birth certificate yesterday. As it turns out, however, this wasn’t his actual, official birth certificate. So, what does he have to hide?

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.