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10 things you need to know today: February 25, 2012
Ryan Braun's fierce defense, Mitt Romney's embarrassing speech, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun won't be suspended for 50 games after all, since his positive drug test was thrown out on a "technicality."
Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun won't be suspended for 50 games after all, since his positive drug test was thrown out on a "technicality."
Chris Pondy/Icon SMI/Corbis

1. NELSON MANDELA HOSPITALIZED
The first president of post-apartheid South Africa was sent to the hospital on Saturday for a "preplanned admission" over an "existing abdominal complaint." Mandela, 93, has spent the past several years in "virtual seclusion" after a legendary career in which he was imprisoned for nearly three decades by South Africa's white minority government before taking the presidency himself. His "last major public appearance was in 2010, at the final game of the World Cup in Johannesburg." [New York Times]

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2.  CLINTON BLASTS RUSSIA AND CHINA ON SYRIA
At an international summit in Tunisia, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton eviscerated Russia and China for blocking the U.N. from condemning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's violent crackdown. "It's quite distressing to see two permanent members of the Security Council using their veto while people are being murdered," Clinton said. "It is just despicable and I ask whose side are they on? They are clearly not on the side of the Syrian people." At the Tunisia meeting, 60 nations began planning a peacekeeping mission to Syria. [Associated Press
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3. RUTGERS CYBERBULLYING SUICIDE TRIAL BEGINS
The trial of former Rutgers student Dharun Ravi — accused of cyberbullying gay roommate Tyler Clementi, who later killed himself by jumping off the George Washington Bridge — opened in New Jersey on Friday. Prosecutors argued that Ravi's sharing of a surreptitious webcam feed of a shirtless Clementi making out with another man was "mean-spirited" and "malicious." [Los Angeles Times]

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4. S&P HITS HIGHEST POINT SINCE JUNE 2008
On Friday, the S&P 500 closed at 1,365.74 — its highest point since Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008. "Continuing a pattern of steady gains on signs of U.S. economic recovery," the Dow Jones Industrial Average also inched closer to the symbolic 13,000-point milestone, closing at 12,982. [Reuters]

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5. CRITICS MOCK ROMNEY'S EMPTY-STADIUM SPEECH
GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney delivered a speech on his economic plan to a nearly-empty football stadium in Detroit on Friday. Critics ridiculed Romney for drawing a crowd of just 1,200 people to the 65,000-seat Ford Field, and contrasted the audience size with the hordes who packed stadiums for Barack Obama speeches in 2008. [ThinkProgress]

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6. FEDS LAUNCH NEW PENN STATE PROBE
Federal prosecutors are opening a new investigation into what Penn State officials knew about former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's alleged sexual abuse of children, and have reportedly subpoenaed computer hard drives and documents as part of the probe. [MSNBC]

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7. EMAILS HINT AT PALIN MARITAL PROBLEMS
Newly released emails from Sarah Palin's tenure as governor of Alaska "show that the pressures of flimsy ethics complaints, financial burdens, and mounting legal bills were building on her." In one email, Palin broached the subject of divorcing husband Todd. "If we, er, when we get a divorce," she wrote in 2007, "does that quell 'conflict of interest accusations about BP," where Todd Palin used to work? [Associated Press]

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8. SLUGGER RYAN BRAUN PROCLAIMS HIS INNOCENCE
Reigning National League MVP Ryan Braun "delivered a powerful assertion of his innocence" on Friday, "the day after escaping a 50-game drug suspension on what amounted to a technicality." The Milwaukee Brewers star tested positive last fall for performance-enhancing drugs, but the results were thrown out this week, apparently because of a 44-hour gap between the time his sample was collected and when it was shipped to a drug-testing lab. [New York Times]

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9. STARGAZERS PREPARE FOR "DAZZLING" SHOW
Venus, Jupiter, and the moon will align this weekend, "producing a brilliant light show." You don't need a telescope to watch. Just look toward the western sky a bit after 6 p.m. on either Saturday or Sunday. [TIME]

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10. BEN AND JERRY'S RELEASES JEREMY LIN ICE CREAM
The ice cream company's Harvard Square location in Cambridge, Mass., has begun selling a "Taste the Lin-Sanity" flavor, in honor of the 23-year-old Harvard alum's stunning basketball success with the New York Knicks. The new flavor is made with vanilla frozen yogurt, lychee honey swirls, and waffle cookies. Initially, the Cambridge store used fortune cookie pieces instead of waffle cookies, but swapped ingredients after a "backlash." [Boston Globe]

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