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10 things you need to know today: May 5, 2014

Harold Maass
A woman watches as pro-Russia demonstrators storm a government building in Donetsk, Ukraine.  (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
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Ukraine separatists free compatriots from Odessa police station

Pro-Russian separatists — chanting "We will not forgive!" and "Russia!" — stormed a Ukrainian police station in Odessa on Sunday and freed nearly 70 of their allies. Forty-two activists died in a gun battle and fire in the city two days earlier. Odessa police said they had allowed the activists to walk free. The government in Kiev sent a special police unit to restore order and criticized Odessa police for failing to foil "terrorists." [Reuters, The Washington Post]


Circus high-wire performers injured in fall

Nine circus performers were seriously injured Sunday during a high-wire act in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus in Providence, Rhode Island. A metal frame the aerialists were hanging from broke loose from its support, sending eight women tumbling as far as 40 feet onto a dancer. "Clearly something went very wrong with this apparatus," said circus spokesman Stephen Payne. "The safety of our performers is the No. 1 priority." [USA Today]


Portugal says it won't need more bailout help

Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho announced Sunday that his government would not need any more bailout money after it gets the last part of its three-year, $108 billion bailout package from the European Union and International Monetary Fund next month. In the future, he said, the country will get the financing it needs from lending markets. The news marked a significant milestone in Europe's recovery from its debt crisis. [MarketWatch]


Research finds "diversity gap" in public schools

Nearly half of the students in public schools are minorities, but only 18 percent of their teachers are non-white, according to studies by the National Education Association and the Center for American Progress. Both groups recommend recruitment efforts to close the "diversity gap." "Nothing can help motivate our students more than to see success standing right in front of them," NEA executive committee member Kevin Gilbert said. [The Associated Press]


George H.W. Bush honored for breaking tax pledge

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation gave former president George H.W. Bush its 2014 Profile in Courage Award for breaking his "read my lips: no new taxes" campaign pledge to strike a budget compromise in 1990. The controversial move has been cited as a possible reason Bush lost his bid for reelection two years later. "America's gain was President Bush's loss," Jack Schlossberg, a grandson of JFK and a member of the award committee. [Reuters]


Rare goblin shark caught in Gulf of Mexico

Shark experts have determined that a beast caught recently off the coast of Florida was a rare goblin shark. The deepwater predator, which feeds on shrimp and squid, was only the second ever caught in the Gulf of Mexico and the first since 2000. Shrimper Carl Moore, who caught the roughly 18-foot shark, threw it back after snapping photos. He said when he saw the fish he remarked, "Man, he's ugly!" [CNN]


Sinn Fein leader released in 1972 murder case

Police in Northern Ireland released Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams with no charges on Sunday after holding him for four days in connection with the 1972 murder of Jean McConville. Former Irish Republican Army fighters have accused Adams, now a member of parliament in the Irish republic, of involvement in a series of killings, which he denies. He says the police timed his arrest to hurt Sinn Fein in elections later in May. [Reuters]


Nigerian president vows to find kidnapped girls

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan promised Sunday to rescue the more than 200 high-school girls abducted last month by members of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram. "Wherever these girls are, we'll get them out," he said. Nigeria's government has faced mounting protests over its handling of the case. About 100 people demonstrated outside the Nigerian High Commission in London on Sunday, chanting, "Bring them back!" [CNN]


Bombing kills at least three in Kenya

Three people were killed Sunday in bus bombings in Kenya, a day after more deadly attacks in Mombasa. Nobody immediately claimed responsibility, although the al Qaeda-linked Islamist group al Shabaab has conducted similar attacks in the past in retaliation for Kenya's intervention in neighboring Somalia in 2011. [Reuters]


San Antonio beats Dallas to advance in NBA playoffs

The San Antonio Spurs pulled off an emotional victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday in the seventh and final game of their first-round series to advance in the NBA playoffs. The Spurs got a lift from star point guard Tony Parker, who scored 32 points on 11 for 19 shooting from the field. The Brooklyn Nets also advanced with a game seven win against Toronto. [The Washington Post, The New York Times]

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