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10 things you need to know today: February 22, 2012
Newt's $100 million man makes waves, two journalists are killed in Syria, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
Newt Gingrich's political benefactor, Sheldon Adelson, may pony up $100 million to back the former House speaker's presidential campaign.
Newt Gingrich's political benefactor, Sheldon Adelson, may pony up $100 million to back the former House speaker's presidential campaign.
T.J. Kirkpatrick/Corbis

1. GOP SUPERDONORS ATTRACTING ATTENTION
Following Tuesday's news that Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson might donate an additional $100 million to help presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich, GOP "superdonors" and the super PACs they donate to are taking center stage. According to a USA Today analysis, five wealthy people, Adelson among them, have donated nearly $1 out of every $4 flowing into the super PACs. [USA Today]

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2. TWO WESTERN JOURNALISTS KILLED IN SYRIA
Marie Colvin, 55, an American who worked for The Sunday Times of London, and French journalist Remi Ochlik, 28, were killed early Wednesday as government forces bombarded the city of Homs, according to officials and opposition activists. Meanwhile, the opposition reports that more than 100 people were killed Tuesday throughout the country as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime continues its brutal crackdown. [New York Times]

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3. OBAMA TO SEEK LOWER CORPORATE TAX RATE
President Obama is expected to propose lowering the top corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent, while moving to increase the government's take by eliminating various deductions and loopholes that corporations use to save tens of billions of dollars. The current U.S. corporate tax rate is one of the highest in the world, but many companies manage to pay next to nothing. [Washington Post]

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4. U.N. SAYS IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS FAILED
The United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency reported "renewed failure" following an inspection trip to Iran. International Atomic Energy Agency experts left Iran Tuesday after being denied access to a key military site where, they suspect, components of nuclear detonations are being tested. [Associated Press]

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5. NORTH KOREA, U.S. TO REOPEN NUCLEAR TALKS
In what's being taken as a positive sign, North Korea has agreed to reopen nuclear talks with the U.S. on Thursday in the first such meeting since Kim Jong Il's death. Before the "dear leader" died in mid-December, the two countries were nearing a deal for the U.S. to provide aid in exchange for a commitment from North Korea to cease uranium enrichment. [Associated Press]

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6. SUPREME COURT TO RULE ON AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear an appeal from a white student in Texas who wants to end "racial preferences" in college admissions. The case marks the Roberts court's first opportunity to weigh the constitutionality of affirmative action in universities. The Roberts court has previously ruled against affirmative action in elementary and high school districts. [Los Angeles Times]

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7. VIRGINIA GOVERNOR BACKS DOWN ON ULTRASOUND BEFORE ABORTIONS
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) says he is no longer committed to signing a bill that would require a woman to have an ultrasound before an abortion. The bill, which has yet to pass the state's General Assembly, has attracted national attention and protests, partly because an ultrasound in the earliest stage of pregnancy might require an invasive probe rather than an external scan. [Washington Post]

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8. THREE KILLED IN AFGHAN ANTI-AMERICAN PROTESTS
At least three people were killed when police opened fire on thousands of anti-American demonstrators in Kabul, according to officials in Afghanistan. It was the second day of increasingly violent protests that began after NATO soldiers burned Muslim holy books — inadvertently, the U.S. says.  [CBS News/Associated Press]

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9. ADELE GIVES BRIT AWARDS THE FINGER
The superstar chanteuse Adele flipped the middle finger when her acceptance speech for the best album award was cut off at the Brit Awards in London on Tuesday. "That was for the suits at the Brit Awards, not my fans," she reportedly said. "I'm sorry if I offended anyone, but the suits offended me." [USA Today]

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10. HEART ATTACKS DIFFERENT FOR WOMEN
A new study has found that women appear to be less likely to display the classic chest pain signs of a heart attack, a fact that can delay lifesaving treatment. While men are significantly more likely to have heart attacks, women under the age of 55 have a higher chance of dying if they suffer one. [BBC News]

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