Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Joplin, Missouri: “About 1,500 people are unaccounted for in this battered city, a Fire Department official said Tuesday, as rescue workers took advantage of a few hours of sunny weather to continue searching for survivors in buildings leveled by the country’s deadliest tornado in more than 60 years. At least 117 people have died.”

* Libya: “In the heaviest attack yet on the capital since the start of the two-month-old NATO bombing campaign, alliance aircraft struck at least 15 targets in central Tripoli early Tuesday, with most of the airstrikes concentrated on an area around Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s command compound.”

* Meltdown in Japan: “In a belated acknowledgment of the severity of Japan’s nuclear disaster, the Tokyo Electric Power Company said Tuesday that three of the stricken Fukushima plant’s reactors likely suffered fuel meltdowns in the early days of the crisis.”

* What we learned on Capitol Hill today: Congress loves Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

* Josh Marshall responds: “Prime Minister Netanyahu doesn’t want a two state solution. Period. End of story. Whether this is a principle of deeply held belief (probably) or just a desire not to see his coalition government fall (certainly) doesn’t really matter. His clear aim is to perpetuate the status quo indefinitely — something that is simply not compatible with Israel’s security, America’s security or the Palestinians need for a state.”

* Setting up a good bill to die on purpose, to send a “signal” to the White House: “House Republicans will hold a vote next week on a ‘clean’ bill to raise the debt limit, without corresponding spending cuts, GOP aides said.”

* Small rays of sunshine: “More people bought new homes for a second straight month in April, a hopeful sign. Still, sales remain far below a pace that would signal a turnaround for the depressed housing market.”

* Egypt is moving forward with plans to charge former President Hosni Mubarak for his role in killing of unarmed protesters. If convicted, Mubarak could face the death penalty.

* Syria: “A U.N. investigation has formally concluded that Syria ‘very likely’ was building a secret nuclear reactor in 2007 when the partially completed project was destroyed by Israeli warplanes, according to a report Tuesday that put new pressure on the embattled government of President Bashar al-Assad.”

* I probably shouldn’t have taken so many philosophy classes as an undergraduate: “Apparently what people study in college matters for their future earnings…. This is apparently the first time that anyone has directly connected college majors to lifetime earnings.”

* A twisted and bizarre perspective: “It’s a phenomenon that any observer of modern U.S. politics senses, but now we have study documenting it: Despite all the evidence to the contrary, white Americans believe that African Americans’ social progress in society is coming at their expense.”

* What’s better than Glenn Beck’s faltering ratings? The fact that Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are also finding shrinking audiences. (thanks to J for the tip)

* And finally, Fox News attacked the White House’s Online Rapid Response Group, and in the process, helped provide an example of why the Online Rapid Response Group is worthwhile.

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.