Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Deplorable: “A video showing four United States Marines urinating on the bodies of three dead Taliban fighters provoked anger and condemnation on Thursday in Afghanistan and around the world. American officials said they feared the images could incite anti-American sentiment at a particularly delicate moment in the war effort.”
* Also in Afghanistan, the Taliban’s decision to open a political office in Qatar may advance peace talks.
* The National Intelligence Estimate, meanwhile, has concluded that the war in Afghanistan is mired in stalemate. The L.A. Times added that that security gains “have been undercut by pervasive corruption, incompetent governance and Taliban fighters operating from neighboring Pakistan, according to U.S. officials.”
* South Sudan: “Bitter ethnic tensions that had largely been shelved for the sake of achieving independence have ruptured into a cycle of massacre and revenge in the six-month-old country.”
* Addressing the climate crisis: “Simple, inexpensive measures to cut emissions of two common pollutants will slow global warming, save millions of lives and boost crop production around the world, a large international team of scientists reported Thursday. The climate change debate has centered on carbon dioxide, a gas that wafts in the atmosphere for decades, trapping heat. But in recent years, scientists have pointed to two other, shorter-term pollutants — methane and soot, also known as black carbon — that also drive climate change.”
* After a false start two weeks ago, President Obama is again asking Congress for a debt-limit increase in order for Republicans to reject it and feel better about themselves.
* In 2011, foreclosures and repossessions “fell to their lowest level since 2007.”
* It’s great to see a group of U.S. military veterans rally to support an Iraqi restaurant in Lowell, Massachusetts, after it was vandalized.
* In light of the recent discussions about Bain Capital, Matt Yglesias explains what “private equity” actually means.
* And on a related note, Paul Krugman noticed that Mitt Romney only wants to limit discussions on economic injustices and inequalities to “quiet rooms.” Krugman concluded, “Trickle-down economics has now become shut-your-trap economics.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.