Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Libya: “Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi remained at large Monday, and loyalist forces still held pockets of the city, stubbornly resisting the rebels’ efforts to establish full control, but there was little doubt that the Libyan leader’s four-decade grip on power was ending.”

* The Gaddafi regime is collapsing sooner than anticipated, forcing Western countries to scramble to put together post-conflict plans for Libya.

* Egyptian/Israeli tensions reach their highest point in three decades: “Diplomats scrambled to avert a crisis in relations between Egypt and Israel on Saturday, and the Israeli government issued a rare statement of regret for the killing of three Egyptian security officers by an Israeli warplane.”

* Iran: “Two American hikers imprisoned in Iran for more than two years have been convicted of espionage and sentenced to eight years in jail, according to a news reports.”

* Just when it seemed like this would be a quiet hurricane season: “Hurricane Irene swept just north of the Dominican Republic on Monday after pummeling Puerto Rico, and forecasters saw the storm strengthening to a major hurricane off the Southeast U.S. coast by the weekend.”

* The workers didn’t get a new contract just yet, but the Verizon strike ended over the weekend, two weeks after it began.

* The world probably didn’t need an easier way to enrich uranium, but General Electric has developed a successful new laser-enrichment technique.

* The Keystone XL pipeline, which would “carry diluted bitumen — an acidic crude oil — from Canada’s Alberta tar sands to the Texas Gulf Coast,” is generating controversy.

* Juan Cole has an interesting item noting the “top 10 myths” about the war in Libya.

* A long-awaited memorial honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. opened to the public today, near the Washington Mall.

* “Insufferable” seems like an entirely fair adjective to describe the L.A. Times‘ Andrew Malcolm.

* Not suspicious at all: “The e-mail accounts of Rick Scott and most of the governor-elect’s transition team were deleted soon after he took office, potentially erasing public records that state law requires be kept.”

* Something’s wrong with this picture: “[T]he total cost of tuition, room, and board at Amherst College, for instance, is $53,370 a year. Even relatively affluent people can’t easily manage to shell out $53,000 at one time. And so Amherst uses a company called Tuition Management Systems to help make tuition payments more affordable. But TMS charges a 2.99 percent fee for every credit charge transaction. That’s $1,595 a year.”

* And on a personal note, today is my third anniversary here at the Washington Monthly. I’m delighted to be here, and I appreciate all the support.

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.