Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: April 7, 2014

Harold Maass
Activists wave Russian and Soviet-era flags outside of a Ukrainian government building held by separatists.  (AP Photo/Alexander Ermochenko)
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Jeb Bush calls illegal immigration an "act of love"

Jeb Bush signaled Sunday that he would break from GOP hardliners' "harsh political rhetoric" on issues such as education and immigration if he ran for president in 2016. In a speech capping the celebration of the 25th anniversary of his father's presidency, the former Florida governor said illegal immigration was often "an act of love" by people trying to provide for their families. He said he would decide whether to run by year's end. [The New York Times]


Pro-Russia protesters take the offensive in Ukraine

Pro-Russia demonstrators stormed provincial government buildings in three cities in eastern Ukraine on Sunday. The demonstrators in Donetsk, about 120 miles from the Russian border, raised a Russian flag and demanded the release of riot police accused of killing protesters in Kiev. Ukraine's new government said Monday that one of its naval officers had been shot dead by Russian soldiers in the disputed region of Crimea. [Slate, The Wall Street Journal]


The hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 focuses on pings

The British navy ship HMS Echo, which has advanced detection gear, on Monday sailed into a part of the Indian Ocean where a Chinese crew detected audio pings that might have come from the cockpit voice and data recorders of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished a month ago. The head of Australia's search said it could take days to confirm whether the signals came from the plane, because they came from a depth of about 14,800 feet. [CNN]


Massive Indian election gets underway

India launched the world's biggest elections on Monday in two small states. The voting — to pick the 543-member Lok Sabha, or House of the People — will take place over 15 days, with more than 800 million people eligible to cast ballots. The Bharatiya Janata Party, a Hindu nationalist opposition party promising to boost economic growth and jobs is expected to beat the ruling Congress party, but fall short of an absolute majority. [Reuters]


Obama launches Democrats' midterm push on equal pay

President Obama is preparing to sign two executive actions on equal pay Tuesday at the White House. One will prohibit federal contractors from retaliating against workers for discussing how much they make. The other will create new regulations requiring contractors to report salary data, including sex and race breakdowns, to the government. The moves come as Democrats prepare a push on the issue ahead of November's midterm elections. [Politico]


Spring break party ends in violence and arrests

Police in Southern California arrested about 100 people over the weekend after violence erupted at Deltopia, an annual spring break party. A crowd started throwing rocks and bottles at police and smashed windows after a campus officer at the University of California, Santa Barbara, arrested someone who hit him in the face with a backpack filled with liquor bottles. At least 44 people wound up in hospitals. [The Associated Press]


Rwanda mourns victims 20 years after genocide

Rwanda began a week of official mourning Monday to mark the 20th anniversary of a genocide committed by Hutu extremists in 1994. At least one million people, most of them ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus, died in the 100 days of slaughter. Many of the victims were hacked to death with machetes. The violence began after Hutu President Juvenal Habyarimana's plane was shot down over the Rwandan capital. [BBC News]


Pistorius murder trial resumes with the first defense witness

Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius took the stand at his murder trial on Monday, beginning his testimony by apologizing to the family of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, whom he says he shot by mistake. Pistorius says he fired through the bathroom door of his Pretoria, South Africa, home, killing Steenkamp, because he thought an intruder was inside. Prosecutors say he murdered her on Valentine's Day last year after an argument.  [The Associated Press]


Ortiz's presidential selfie might be the last

If you never get a chance to snap a selfie with President Obama, blame David Ortiz. The Boston Red Sox slugger took a photo of himself with Obama, who was unaware that Ortiz had a social media marketing deal with Samsung to promote the Korean phone maker's new Galaxy Note 3. Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer said the president didn't know about Samsung's role. "Maybe this will be the end of all selfies," Pfeiffer said. [The Christian Science Monitor]


Mickey Rooney dies at 93

Mickey Rooney, a child star turned Hollywood legend, died Sunday at age 93. Rooney appeared in more than 200 movies over 80 years, but was remembered best by early fans as the star of MGM's Andy Hardy films. Rooney won two honorary Oscars — one in 1938, the other in 1982. Laurence Olivier once called the 5-foot-3 Rooney, who played Puck in the 1935 movie version of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, "the greatest actor of them all." [USA Today]