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10 things you need to know today: May 5, 2013
Israeli strikes in Syria continue, the California wildfires calm down, and more
 
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs a cabinet meeting at the Herzl Museum on May 5 in Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs a cabinet meeting at the Herzl Museum on May 5 in Jerusalem. Getty Images

1. SYRIA CALLS ISRAELI ATTACK AN ACT OF WAR
A Syrian official called Israel's attack against its military research facility a "declaration of war" on Sunday. Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al Mekdad told CNN that the attack, which followed an airstrike late last week, represented an alliance between Islamic terrorists and Israel. Neither Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor the Israeli military commented on the U.S. claim of an airstrike, but Israel has long said it would target any transfer of weapons to Hezbollah or other terrorist groups. [CNN]
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2. TSARNAEV PARENTS REQUEST SECOND AUTOPSY
An independent autopsy on the body of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev is scheduled to be performed Sunday, a step requested by Tsarnaev's parents, who believe their sons were framed by the U.S. government. The Tsarnaevs say the autopsy results could undermine the U.S. officials' account of Tamerlan's death by showing that he was not run over by his brother, Dzhokhar. That, the parents believe, would throw into question law enforcement officials' entire account of the case. [Boston Globe]

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3. EIGHT WESTERN SOLDIERS KILLED IN BLOODY DAY IN AFGHANISTAN
Eight soldiers with the American-led military coalition in Afghanistan were killed Saturday, making it the bloodiest day this year for Western troops fighting in the country. Two were shot in an insider attack, one died in a small-arms attack and five Americans were killed when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb, according to statements from the International Security Assistance Force and Afghan officials. Seven of the slain soldiers were American. [New York Times]
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4. COOL AIR TAMPS DOWN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES
A big cool-down calmed a huge wildfire burning in Southern California's coastal mountains Saturday. High winds and witheringly hot, dry air were replaced by the normal flow of damp air off the Pacific, significantly reducing fire activity. "The fire isn't really running and gunning," said Tom Kruschke, a Ventura County Fire Department spokesman. Despite the favorable conditions, evacuation orders remained in place for residents of several areas. [Washington Post]
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5. NRA REACHES RECORD MEMBERSHIP LEVEL
NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre told organization members during a fiery speech Saturday that the "political and media elites" have tried to use Sandy Hook and other recent shootings "to blame us, to shame us, to compromise our freedom for their agenda." He also said the proposed gun-control bill "got the defeat that it deserved." The speech took place at a meeting that is part of the yearly NRA convention being held this weekend in Houston. LaPierre also said the NRA now has a record 5 million members[ABC News]

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6. DURBIN USES BOSTON TO PUSH IMMIGRATION BILL
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin is using the terrorist bombings in Boston to push for his immigration reform bill. On Sunday's State of the Union, Durbin said poor information sharing between federal agencies that came to light after the attacks would be fixed in the Senate's immigration bill. "There's not enough coordination between these different agencies so that we know someone should not have been readmitted to the United States," the Illinois senator said. "Our bill addresses that directly." The Senate begins work on its immigration bill this week. [Politico

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7. MALAYSIANS TURN OUT FOR HISTORIC VOTE
Voting has ended in Malaysia in what is widely expected to be the most closely contested general election in the country's history. It will be several hours before the first results are known. PM Najib Razak's National Front coalition is up against Pakatan Rakyat, a three-party alliance headed by Anwar Ibrahim. Voters were faced with returning the ruling party, in power for 56 years, or choosing an untested opposition. Ahead of the polls, allegations of various forms of fraud emerged. [BBC
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8. ORB WINS 139TH KENTUCKY DERBY
On a wet and muddy track at Churchill Downs on Saturday, Orb came from behind to win the 139th Kentucky Derby. It was the first Derby win for Shug McGaughey, Orb's trainer, and Joel Rosario, Orb's jockey. Orb, the co-favorite with Revolutionary at 6-1, will go on to attempt a Triple Crown victory. [CBS Sports]
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9. NEW YORK TO HAVE NATION'S LARGEST BIKE SHARE PROGRAM
Public transportation-friendly New York City plans to introduce the nation's largest bike-sharing system, called Citi Bike, later this month. City officials say the nation's largest bike-sharing system will begin with 6,000 bikes at 330 stations in Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, with plans to expand eventually to 10,000 bikes and 600 docking stations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. [Wall Street Journal]
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10. MAYWEATHER RETAINS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
After a year off from boxing and two months in jail, Floyd Mayweather Jr. easily retained the world welterweight championship with a masterful one-sided beatdown of interim champ Robert Guerrero on Saturday night before a crowd of 15,880 at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena. [ESPN]

 
Terri is a freelance writer at TheWeek.com. She's a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, and has worked at TIME and Brides.

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