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10 things you need to know today: April 19, 2013
Police kill one Boston Marathon bombing suspect, Musharraf arrested, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
Metro SWAT members hang off the back of a truck as they prepare to search the School and Walnut Street neighborhood for one remaining suspect in Watertown, Mass. 
Metro SWAT members hang off the back of a truck as they prepare to search the School and Walnut Street neighborhood for one remaining suspect in Watertown, Mass.  Darren McCollester/Getty Images

1. ONE BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING SUSPECT DIES IN SHOOTOUT
Police killed one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects early Friday in a violent shootout in Watertown, Mass. — a suburb of Boston — and launched a manhunt for the second suspect. Officers closed in on the two young men after a crime spree in nearby Cambridge. Around 10:30 p.m. Thursday, a man believed to be the suspect still at large robbed a 7-Eleven convenience store in nearby Cambridge. Shortly after that, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer was shot and killed. Officers chased the two suspects, who reportedly hijacked a black Mercedes. The chase ended with the men stopping, and opening fire at police. One threw a bomb in what a witness said looked "like a pressure cooker," which fell short of the group of officers and exploded. [New York Times]
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2. POLICE CLOSE TOWNS AROUND BOSTON DURING MANHUNT
Authorities shut down traffic and urged residents to stay in their homes across a vast area around Boston early Friday as they hunted for the second of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bomb attack. The Associated Press identified the suspects as brothers from Russia near Chechnya — Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, the one reportedly killed, and Dzhokhar, 19. As officers in armored vehicles went door to door in Watertown near the scene of a shootout, universities in the area — including Harvard, MIT, and Boston University — announced that they would be closed for the day. Police officers said in a press conference that they were halting cars attempting to drive into and out of Watertown. Authorities urged businesses in the area to stay closed, and shut down public transportation in the Boston area. [Washington Post]
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3. MUSHARRAF ARRESTED IN PAKISTAN
Pakistani police arrested former president and military leader Pervez Musharraf on Friday. Musharraf returned recently from nearly four years of self-imposed exile hoping to make a comeback in next month's parliamentary elections. He fled an Islamabad courtroom this week, however, after a judge ordered him to be taken into custody in connection with treason charges stemming from a 2007 showdown he had with the judiciary, in which he dismissed the nation's top judges and imposed military rule. Early this week, election officials ruled that he couldn't run in the May elections. [BBC News]
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4. DEATH TOLL STILL UNCERTAIN IN FERTILIZER PLANT EXPLOSION
Investigators on Friday are still trying to determine how many people died in a massive explosion at a West, Texas, fertilizer plant. Fire officials say they know that five West firefighters, one Dallas firefighter, and four emergency responders were killed in the blast, which occurred after a fire erupted at the facility. Officials estimate that 15 people were killed and more than 160 injured. The plant mixes dry fertilizer and stores anhydrous ammonia, which can explode at high temperatures, in large tanks. The blast leveled buildings at the plant and threw people to the ground blocks away, and forced the evacuation of half of the town of West, including a nursing home with 133 residents. [CNN]
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5.  U.N. CALLS SYRIA HUMANITARIAN CATASTROPHE
United Nations officials said that the plight of Syria's citizens had degenerated into a humanitarian catastrophe after more than two years of violence and civil war. A quarter of the country's 22 million people have been forced out of their homes into other parts of the country, and 1.3 million have fled abroad. The rare and bleak assessment by the U.N.'s top humanitarian officials prompted members of the U.N. Security Council, which has been deadlocked on how to handle the crisis, to issue a new call to end the fighting, and condemn the government and rebels alike. [Reuters]
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6. SENATE COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS CONFIRMATION OF MONIZ AS ENERGY SECRETARY
The Senate energy committee on Thursday signed off on President Obama's nomination of Ernest J. Moniz as energy secretary, voting 21 to 1 in favor of his confirmation. The lone dissenter was Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who grilled Moniz on a project at a nuclear facility in his state. Moniz served as an undersecretary in the Energy Department under former president Bill Clinton. He is not expected to have any trouble winning confirmation in a vote by the full Senate. [New York Times]
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7. TELESCOPE SPOTS MOST EARTH-LIKE PLANETS KNOWN
Scientists say that NASA's Kepler telescope has spotted some of the most Earth-like planets ever discovered, about 1,200 light years away. In a study published Thursday in Science magazine, the researchers say these new worlds are the perfect size, and just the right distance from the stars that warm them to allow them to have water in liquid form. "They are the best candidates found to date for habitable planets," stated Bill Borucki, who leads the team working with the orbiting telescope. They're too far away to be examined closely with current telescope technology, though. [Science, BBC News]
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8.  VOLUNTEERS PITCH IN TO PREVENT FLOOD DAMAGE
Volunteers worked through the night stacking sandbags to keep out rising floodwaters after torrential downpours drenched parts of the Midwest, from Oklahoma to Michigan. As the water moves downstream, rivers are expected to rise in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri, adding to flooding on the Mississippi River that isn't expected to crest in Iowa and Illinois until the weekend or early next week. "It's really just all over," says National Weather Service hydrologist Steve Buan. [Associated Press]
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9.  WASHINGTON STATE FLORIST SUED FOR SNUBBING GAY WEDDING
The ACLU filed a lawsuit Thursday against a florist who refused to sell flowers in March to a gay couple for their wedding in Washington state, where voters approved legalizing same-sex marriage last year. The state filed a consumer protection lawsuit last week against the florist, Arlene's Flowers. The shop's owner, Baronelle Stutzman, says she told the customer — a regular who told her he was marrying his boyfriend — "I am sorry. I can't do your wedding because of my relationship with Jesus Christ." [New York Daily News]
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10. RUSH ENTERS ROCK HALL OF FAME
Canadian trio Rush won the most thunderous applause of an all-star lineup of new inductees in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thursday night. Rush had been awaiting an invitation since 1998, when they became eligible 25 years after the release of their first record. Rush won entry easily, possibly thanks to fans, as this was the first year they were allowed to cast votes. The eight inductees also included fellow classic rockers Heart, singer-songwriter Randy Newman, rap group Public Enemy, disco star Donna Summer, bluesman Albert King, and producers Quincy Jones and Lou Adler. [USA Today]

 
Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami HeraldFox News, and ABC News.

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