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10 things you need to know today: February 14, 2012
Details emerge on Whitney Houston's death, Iran and Israel tangle — and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
Details are beginning to emerge about Whitney Houston's death.
Details are beginning to emerge about Whitney Houston's death.
Ron Sachs/CNP/Corbis

1. POLICE SAY HOUSTON FOUND UNDERWATER
The Beverly Hills Police Department says Whitney Houston was found underwater and unconscious in the bathtub of her hotel room on Saturday. There were prescription drugs in the room, but officials say it's too early to say if they played a part in her death. Late Monday, Houston's body arrived in New Jersey, her home state. A memorial for the music superstar is expected to be held later this week. [Los Angeles Times]

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2. ISRAEL BLAMES IRAN FOR BOMBINGS 
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Iran was behind two bombing attacks on Monday, one in India and one in Georgia, that targeted Israeli diplomats. Four people, including the wife of a diplomat, were injured in the Delhi explosion. In Tbilisi, a bomb was found under the car of a driver for the Israeli Embassy and safely diffused. [Guardian]

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3. AN IRANIAN IS ALSO LINKED TO THAI BLASTS
Three explosions ripped through Bangkok early Tuesday, injuring four Thai civilians and a foreign man believed to be responsible for the blasts. Thai police say the foreigner is Iranian. His legs were blown off by a grenade as he carried explosives along a busy street lined with businesses and apartment buildings. [CBS News

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4. GOP AGREES TO EXTEND PAYROLL TAX HOLIDAY
In a surprise move Monday, Republican leaders in the House agreed to continue payroll-tax reductions through the end of the year, without insisting on spending cuts to offset the $100 billion cost. Democrats, who had called the offsets a deal-breaker, said the Republican proposal was "a major step forward." [Washington Post]

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5. APPLE TO UP INSPECTIONS OF OVERSEAS FACTORIES
In response to mounting criticism of working conditions at its Chinese factories, Apple has announced that it will hire an outside agency to monitor working conditions at the plants where most of its gadgets are assembled. In other Apple news, shares of the company's stock soared past $500 yesterday for the first time ever. [New York Times]

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6. SANTORUM FIGHTS GAY MARRIAGE IN WASHINGTON
Less than an hour after a bill legalizing gay marriage in the state was signed into law, surging Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum met with gay marriage opponents at a church in Olympia, Wash. The state holds its caucuses on March 3, following nominating races in Michigan and Arizona. [Seattle Times]

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7. REGULATORS APPROVE GOOGLE'S MOTOROLA BUY
As expected, U.S. and European regulators have approved Google's $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility. A move by an Apple-led consortium to buy a valuable group of patents from Nortel Networks was also approved by the U.S. Justice Department. [Reuters]

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8. GINGRICH SAYS HE'LL STAY IN THE RACE
Newt Gingrich says he won't abandon his bid for the GOP presidential nomination, despite calls from the National Review and others for him to drop out and endorse Rick Santorum as the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. "I think my ideas are much bolder than Santorum or Romney's," he told reporters in California Monday. "I think my ideas are much clearer and more specific, and I have to focus on communicating those ideas." [Associated Press]

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9. GREEK ECONOMY RAPIDLY SHRINKS
According to official figures released Tuesday, Greece's GDP fell by 7 percent in the last quarter of 2011, showing the severity of the debt-burdened country's recession and the "painful effects" of the austerity measures demanded in return for bailouts.  [Associated Press]

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10. NASA'S MISSION TO MARS HIT BY BUDGET CUTS
If approved by Congress, the space agency's budget request for 2013 would cut spending on Mars exploration and planetary science by 21 percent in favor of increased funding for space technology and human space travel. The proposed budget "would force NASA to walk away from planned missions to Mars, delay for decades any flagship missions to the outer planets, and radically slow the pace of scientific discovery, including the search for life on other worlds," laments the Planetary Society, a space advocacy group. [BBC]

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