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10 things you need to know today: April 13, 2012
North Korea's rocket launch fails, Syria's ceasefire falters, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
South Korean protesters burn a mockup of a North Korean missile during a demonstration against the North's failed April 13 rocket launch.
South Korean protesters burn a mockup of a North Korean missile during a demonstration against the North's failed April 13 rocket launch.
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

1. NORTH KOREA'S ROCKET LAUNCH FAILS
Ignoring admonishments from the international community, North Korea launched a long-range rocket into space on Friday, but the attempt was an embarrassing failure. The rocket broke apart just moments after launching, never even leaving Earth's atmosphere. In an uncharacteristic move, North Korea acknowledged the mishap, saying scientists were "looking into the cause." U.S. officials have said aid to North Korea will be suspended because the mission violated agreements for the country to end activity related to nuclear armament. The U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting to discuss the matter on Friday. [New York Times]
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2. CRACKS EMERGE IN SYRIA'S CEASEFIRE
Protesters took to the streets in Syria on Friday, demonstrating their support for the opposition and testing the tenuous ceasefire that began Thursday. The rallies followed reports of clashes along Syria's border with Turkey and scattered violence throughout the country. Meeting in Washington on Thursday, foreign ministers from the G8 called for the U.N. to immediately approve sending observers to Syria. [CNN]
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3. ROMNEY, OBAMA RESPOND TO WORKING MOM FLAP
The Mitt Romney campaign is seizing on comments from Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen, who said that stay-at-home mom Ann Romney "has actually never worked a day in her life." Romney's camp hopes to capitalize on the gaffe in order to attract the female voters who have largely eluded the presumptive GOP nominee thus far. President Obama, meanwhile, has tried to distance himself from Rosen to limit the damage to his re-election campaign. His advisers have called Rosen's comments "inappropriate and offensive." [CBS News]
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4. INVESTIGATORS SAY ZIMMERMAN 'PROFILED' MARTIN
In an affidavit made public Thursday, investigators for the state attorney who charged George Zimmerman with second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin say that Zimmerman "profiled" Martin and ignored a police dispatcher who told him not to follow the 17-year-old. Zimmerman's team says he did not profile Martin. [CNN]
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5. GOOGLE TO SPLIT STOCK
On Thursday, Google reported a 61 percent increase in profit for the first quarter, beating analysts' estimates, and announced plans to split its stock 2-for-1. The split would help Google's senior leaders maintain control over the company. [Associated Press]
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6. CHINA'S GROWTH SLOWS
According to China's National Bureau of Statistics, the Chinese economy grew at an annual rate of 8.1 percent in the first quarter, down from 8.9 percent in the previous quarter. That's the slowest growth the superpower has seen in almost three years, as demand for key exports wanes. For the past three decades, China's economy has typically grown by 10 percent. Still, analysts say there isn't a cause for concern. [CNN Money]
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7. AUTHORITIES INDICT JETBLUE PILOT 
Clayton Osbon, the JetBlue pilot who had an apparent meltdown during a March flight, has been formally charged with one count of interfering with flight crew. The court said that Osbon "did knowingly and willingly interfere and attempt to interfere with the performance of the duties of a flight crew member and flight attendant." [CNN]
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8. BABOONS CAN RECOGNIZE WRITTEN WORDS
Scientists report that baboons have been able to recognize short words in studies. While the animals aren't reading, being able to distinguish word shapes and lengths is seen as a key component of reading. "We're seeing reading-like vision processes can occur in a species without language, and that is really surprising," said a neuroscientist not affiliated with the study. [USA Today]
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9. OBAMA SAYS KANYE WEST IS STILL A "JACKASS"
The president tells The Atlantic that Kanye West is "very talented" but still "a jackass," and says he prefers Jay-Z. Obama first declared that West was a jackass when he interrupted singer Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards to say that the prize should have gone to Beyonce. [Atlantic]
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10. DETAILS EMERGE ABOUT J.K. ROWLING'S NEXT BOOK
Publisher Little, Brown has revealed that J.K. Rowling's first novel aimed at adults will be called The Casual Victory and will be released on Sept. 27. The company describes the novel as "blackly comic," and says it is set in a seemingly idyllic English town called Pagford where the sudden death of one of its residents causes "the biggest war the town has yet seen." [Washington Post]

 

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