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10 things you need to know today: March 30, 2012
iPhone factories are cited for labor abuses, France rounds up 19 terrorism suspects, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
An audit of Apple's Chinese factories reveals violations of both Apple's and China's labor rules.
An audit of Apple's Chinese factories reveals violations of both Apple's and China's labor rules.
CC BY: Dru Bloomfield - At Home in Scottsdale

1. AFTER CITATION, APPLE SUPPLIER VOWS REFORMS
The Fair Labor Association on Thursday reported 43 violations at Foxconn's factories in China, where 40 percent of the world's electronic products, including those for Apple, Dell, and HP, are manufactured. Violations included having employees work more than 60 hours a week, and in some instances more than 11 days in a row. Foxconn was also criticized for numerous accidents, overcrowded dorms, and wages that workers say do "not meet their basic needs." Facing a growing outcry, Apple recently joined the Fair Labor Association and called for an investigation of plants that make its gadgets. Following the report, Foxconn, which is the largest employer in China, vowed to significantly increase workers' compensation and lessen their hours. [New York Times]
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2. FRENCH ARREST 19 SUSPECTED TERRORISTS
Early Friday, French police arrested 19 suspected Islamic extremists in a series of raids across the country. The arrests were the latest crackdown on potential terrorists following the deadly shootings in Toulouse by a self-declared al Qaeda radical. [Wall Street Journal]
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3. HOUSE APPROVES RYAN BUDGET
The House of Representatives voted Thursday to approve Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget, which proposes sharp cuts to entitlement programs and government spending to slash $5.3 trillion from the deficit over the next decade. Voting fell along party lines. It is highly unlikely to pass in the Senate. On Wednesday, the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction proposal was soundly rejected in the House, with just 38 members voting for it. [Washington Post]
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4. SCOTT WALKER LIKELY TO FACE RECALL
Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board is expected on Friday to approve the one-million-signature petition to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker, paving the way for a June 5 special election, after a Democratic primary on May 8. Democrats and unions have had it out for Walker since he pushed through legislation that effectively ended collective bargaining for public employees. [Associated Press]
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5. SUPREME COURT TO VOTE ON HEALTH CARE
High court justices will vote in private on the future of President Obama's healthcare reform on Friday. Their initial decision might change as opinions are written and re-written. The final ruling won't be released to the public until June. [Associated Press]
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6. FRENZY OVER $540 MILLION JACKPOT
The U.S. is wild with excitement and anticipation for Friday night's $540 million Mega Millions jackpot — the biggest lottery prize in the country's history. There's a 90 percent chance there will be a winner. [CBS News]
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7. NEW AUTISM RESEARCH SHOCKS
New autism figures released Thursday show that one in 88 American children have autism spectrum disorder. The numbers also show a 78 percent increase in the number of cases since 2002. It's not clear whether the sharp rise is due to better screening, environmental factors, or a combination of both. [USA Today]
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8. JAPAN READY FOR NORTH KOREAN ROCKET
On Friday, Japanese Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka ordered missile units to be ready to intercept the long-range rocket North Korea is expected to launch next month, if the rocket or its debris threaten Japan. Pyongyang has said the rocket is being launched to carry a satellite into orbit, but many countries, including the U.S. and Japan, suspect its real purpose is to test weapons. [Associated Press]
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9. RIM POSTS $125 MILLION LOSS
BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion is reeling after posting a $125 million loss for the fourth fiscal quarter. Several top executives have resigned, and RIM says it will leave the consumer market to iPhone and Android and now focus on business customers. [USA Today]
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10. GAME OF THRONES RETURNS
HBO's acclaimed fantasy series Game of Thrones returns Sunday with a second season premiere critics are saying is near to "perfection." [USA Today]

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