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10 things you need to know today: February 27, 2012
The Artist sweeps the Oscars, violence continues in Afghanistan, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
Christopher Plummer wins Best Supporting Actor for his role in "The Beginners."
Christopher Plummer wins Best Supporting Actor for his role in "The Beginners."
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

1. THE ARIST WINS 5 OSCARS
The French silent film took home five Oscars Sunday night, including best picture, best actor (Jean Dujardin), and best director (Michel Hazanavicius). In a night with few surprises, other winners included Christopher Plummer for best supporting actor in Beginners, Meryl Streep for best actress in The Iron Lady, and Octavia Spencer for best supporting actress in The Help. [Associated Press]
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2. SUICIDE BOMBER KILLS NINE IN AFGHANISTAN
Following a week of violent protests over the burning of Muslim holy books, a suicide bomber detonated a car loaded with explosives near a military airfield in eastern Afghanistan on Monday. At least nine people were killed and 12 wounded. (There were no NATO casualties). The Taliban claimed responsibility and said the attack was retaliation for the Koran burnings at a U.S. base. [CNN]
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3. SYRIAN CHARTER DISMISSED, VIOLENCE CONTINUES
Brutal attacks by government forces continue in Syria, despite a Sunday referendum for a new constitution. Critics have called the referendum a farce. "To open polling stations but continue to open fire on the civilians of the country has no credibility in the eyes of the world," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said. [New York Times]
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4. SUPPOSED  PUTIN ASSASSINATION PLOT FOILED
Ukraine's counter-intelligence agency said Monday that Russian and Ukrainian intelligence services had intercepted a plot to assassinate Vladimir Putin after Russia's presidential elections next week. Some Russians are skeptical, however, believing the report to be a ploy to attract sympathy for Putin as he faces mounting opposition and protests. [Reuters]
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5. WIKILEAKS UNLOADS MORE SECRET DOCUMENTS
On Monday, WikiLeaks started publishing more than five million emails from Stratfor, a global security analysis company that is based in the U.S. Stratfor has been likened to a "shadow CIA" and has several Fortune 500 companies as clients. [Reuters]
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6. PAKISTAN DEMOLISHES BIN LADEN COMPOUND
Pakistani authorities on Monday finished demolishing the three-story house Osama bin Laden lived in from 2005 until his death at the hands of U.S. forces last year. Pakistan's government has not explained the motivation behind the demolition job. [Associated Press]
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7. BUFFETT ANNOUNCES SUCCESSION PLAN
In his annual letter to shareholders Saturday, Warren Buffett, the 81-year-old CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, said the company's board had selected his successor. But Buffett didn't say whom the board picked, a fact that many are criticizing. [Bloomberg]
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8. SANTORUM SAYS JFK MADE HIM SICK
Rick Santorum said Sunday that he "almost threw up" when he read a 1960 speech on the separation of church and state given by the late President John F. Kennedy. On ABC's This Week, the GOP presidential hopeful said: "The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country." [Wall Street Journal]
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9. POLLS FORECAST MICHIGAN, ARIZONA WINS FOR MITT
According to new numbers from Public Policy Polling, Mitt Romney is set for an easy victory in Tuesday's Arizona presidential primary. He's polling at 43 percent compared with 26 percent for Santorum. Polls also show that Romney has a two-point lead in Michigan, where he had been down by four points. [Politico]
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10. NOKIA ANNOUNCES NEW SMARTPHONES
As part of a continued quest to make a comeback, Nokia on Monday announced a new low-end Windows smartphone, the Lumia 610, that will sell for $254. The company also announced a global rollout for its high-end handset, the Lumia 900. [Associated Press

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