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apt-get doesn't upgrade, but synaptic does

Had a strange problem this morning for the second time recently:

root@frank-debian:/home/frank# apt-get upgrade
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
Calculating upgrade... Done
The following package was automatically installed and is no longer required:
Use 'apt-get autoremove' to remove it.
The following packages have been kept back:
  eom-common mate-panel mate-panel-common
The following packages will be upgraded:
base-passwd cups cups-bsd cups-client cups-common cups-core-drivers cups-daemon cups-ppdc cups-server-common dnsmasq-base geoip-database libcups2 libcupscgi1
  libcupsimage2 libcupsmime1 libcupsppdc1 man-db pluma pluma-common ruby
20 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 3 not upgraded.
Need to get 7,645 kB of archives.
After this operation, 4,731 kB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n]

Apt-get then did what it said it would upgrading everything except
mate-panel, mate-panel-commong and eom

Then I ran synaptic...and it removed an old version of mate-panel-applets and replaced it with the newer version. It then upgraded
mate-panel and mate-panel-common.

Why was synaptic able to figure out what was needed (the newer version of mate-panel-applets) and neither apt-get nor aptitude could figure it
out ?

This is the second time recently that synaptic was able to accomplish what apt-get and aptitude couldn't.

When the rich get richer they get more powerful
and that puts them in the position to lobby for policies
to make them even richer.
- former Clinton advisor Larry Summers

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