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10 things you need to know today: March 6, 2012
Romney and Santorum clash in Ohio, the administration defends killing U.S. terrorists, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
An Ohio Mitt Romney supporter wears a campaign button ahead of the Super Tuesday primaries.
An Ohio Mitt Romney supporter wears a campaign button ahead of the Super Tuesday primaries.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

1. ROMNEY, SANTORUM IN DEAD HEAT IN OHIO
Going into Super Tuesday, polls show Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum running neck-and-neck in the key state of Ohio. Nine other states hold their nominating races today. Romney is expected to prevail in Virginia, Vermont, and Massachusetts, and, perhaps, score an upset over Santorum in Tennessee. Santorum is expected to win Oklahoma, and Ron Paul is looking to score his first victory with Alaska. Newt Gingrich is leading in his home state of Georgia. [Reuters]
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2. OBAMA TO HOLD NEWS CONFERENCE
Not content to let the Republicans have all the attention, President Obama will hold his first full news conference of the year on Tuesday. He is expected to address the ongoing housing crisis and unveil a plan to provide mortgage relief to military families and homeowners with government-insured loans. [Associated Press]
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3. HOLDER DEFENDS KILLING AMERICAN TERRORISTS
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said Monday that the U.S. government has the right to target and kill American citizens, like the late Anwar al-Awlaki, abroad if they are top al Qaeda leaders who pose an "imminent threat" to the country and cannot readily be captured. "Where national security operations are at stake, due process takes into account the realities of combat," Holder said. [Washington Post]
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4. IRAN TO GIVE INSPECTORS ACCESS
In a gesture of good will, Tehran has agreed to allow United Nations inspectors to visit a key military site where experts suspect Iran is developing nuclear arms. Iran and the U.N. still must agree on guidelines for the visit. Meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, President Obama stressed diplomacy in dealing with Iran — Netanyahu is reportedly considering military strikes — but said the U.S. "will always have Israel's back." [Associated Press]
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5. MCCAIN WANTS U.S. AIRSTRIKES AGAINST ASSAD
On Monday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called for U.S.-led airstrikes on Syrian government forces to protect the country's civilians and assist opposition forces. "The Syrian people deserve to succeed," McCain said. "Shame on us if we fail to help them." Administration officials oppose such action and are worried about Iran's increasing involvement in the Syrian conflict, as Tehran provides more and more military aid to help keep Assad in power. [CNN]
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6. RUSSIA RELEASES ANTI-PUTIN PROTESTERS
Russian police have released 250 activists who were arrested at a Moscow rally protesting Vladimir Putin's election victory. Some 20,000 attended the rally in Pushkin Square on Monday night. Via Twitter, the U.S. ambassador to Moscow, Michael McFaul, said it was "troubling to watch arrests of peaceful demonstrators," as "freedom of assembly and freedom of speech are universal values". [BBC]
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7. DEATHS FROM AL QAEDA ATTACK IN YEMEN REACH 185
Officials in Yemen said Tuesday that the number of troops dead from an al Qaeda attack on a military base had risen to 185. It would appear to be the worst defeat suffered by Yemen's army in its 10-month campaign to push al Qaeda out of the southern province of Abyan. [Associated Press]
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8. LIMBAUGH BACKLASH CONTINUES
Despite his apology, conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh is still losing advertisers for calling Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" after she testified before Congress about the need for health insurance with contraception coverage. Critics have called for Limbaugh to be fired, and his show has lost nine advertisers, including AOL and Quick Loans. Still, experts say the incendiary radio host is likely to survive this controversy, and maybe even benefit from it. [ABC News]
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9. ROBOTIC CHEETAH BREAKS SPEED RECORD
A running robot named "Cheetah," built by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, has reportedly set a world speed record. The headless robot hit 18 miles per hour on a lab treadmill, beating the previous legged robot land speed record of 13.1 mph. [BBC]
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10. ANIMAL HOUSE TO BE MADE INTO MUSICAL
Universal Pictures has announced that the 1978 John Belushi frat comedy is Broadway bound. Casey Nicholaw of The Book of Mormon will serve as director-choreographer and the Canadian band Barenaked Ladies will compose an original score. [Hollywood Reporter]

 

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