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10 things you need to know today: April 27, 2014

Jon Terbush
Pope Francis presides over a historic dual canonization ceremony Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images
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1.

Popes John XXIII and John Paul II canonized

Pope Francis elevated two of his predecessors, John XXIII and John Paul II, to sainthood on Sunday in the church's first ever dual canonization ceremony. Notably, it was also the first time two living popes were present at the same canonization. Francis' immediate predecessor, Benedict XVI, who resigned last year, attended the ceremony, as did an estimated crowd of 800,000.

2.

South Korea PM resigns over ferry wreck

Under fire for his government's response to the ferry disaster that left hundreds dead or missing, South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won resigned on Sunday. The government has been accused of moving too slowly in its rescue efforts since the ferry sank two weeks ago, killing nearly 200 and leaving another 115 missing. "As I saw grieving families suffering with the pain of losing their loved ones and the sadness and resentment of the public," Chung said in a news conference, "I thought it was only natural for me to step down."

3.

Pro-Russian forces display captured European officers

A group of European military officers kidnapped in eastern Ukraine appeared before the media Sunday and reported no mistreatment from their pro-Russian captors. The men were sent to Ukraine as civilian observers, though pro-Russian separatists detained them and accused them of being spies. Russia said Saturday it would try to help free the men, though there is no indication if or when the militants will allow that to happen.

4.

NBA investigating Clippers owner's alleged racist remarks

The NBA is looking into a stunning audiotape released over the weekend that purports to show Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racially offensive remarks. On the tape, a man believed to be Sterling tells his girlfriend to not bring black people to Clippers games and suggests that different races shouldn't even associate with each other. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver called the remarks "disturbing and offensive," but said the league had to authenticate the tape before deciding whether it would punish Sterling.

5.

Palestinian President Abbas calls Holocaust 'most heinous' crime

In a statement released on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denounced the Holocaust as the "the most heinous crime" in modern history. Abbas' unexpected remarks may have been in part aimed at easing his nation's strained relationship with Israel and restarting stalled peace talks. Yet Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday questioned Abbas' motivation in light of his recent decision to forge a unity government with the Islamic group Hamas, saying Abbas "cannot speak out of both sides of his mouth."

6.

Afghan election set for runoff

With preliminary results tabulated in Afghanistan's presidential election, no candidate broached the 50 percent threshold necessary to win the race outright, triggering a runoff. Former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah finished with 44.9 percent of the vote, with former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani in second at 31.5 percent. Both sides have accused the other of election fraud, and a final result will not be announced until mid-May when authorities have had time to investigate the claims.

7.

Powerful tornadoes strike North Carolina

Several tornadoes touched down in eastern North Carolina on Saturday, damaging or destroying some 200 homes and sending more than a dozen people to emergency rooms. The National Weather Service confirmed that one tornado was rated an EF-3, with winds of up to 150 miles-per-hour. "It peeled back my roof, just like you would a banana," resident Antonio Richardson told a local CBS station.

8.

Obama defends Malaysia's search for missing plane

President Obama on Sunday pushed back against mounting criticism of the Malaysian government's search for missing Flight 370, saying the government had been "eager for assistance and fully forthcoming" about its investigation. Search crews have so far been unable to find any sign of the plane save for a few scattered pings possibly emitted by its flight recorder, prompting questions about how an aircraft could simply vanish. Obama said that while it was still unclear what caused the crash, the vast, deep ocean where the plane is believed to have gone down had made the recovery a "very challenging" and "laborious" effort.

9.

New York may become first state to ban condoms as evidence

A bill before the New York legislature would prohibit police in the state from seizing condoms and using them as evidence in prostitution cases. The city dispenses free condoms to combat unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, though police routinely take them right back from suspected prostitutes, an action critics say undermines the public health initiative. The legislation passed the State Assembly last year, and the Senate could take action on it shortly.

10.

George Clooney reportedly engaged

George Clooney may no longer be Hollywood's most eligible bachelor. The movie star is reportedly engaged to his girlfriend and human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin, according to People and US Weekly. Clooney was married once before, from 1989 to 1993, but has remained notably unwed ever since.

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