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10 things you need to know today: April 14, 2012
The West is pessimistic about its Iran nuke talks, Obama releases his tax return, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
The Obamas paid a 20 percent tax rate in 2011, a higher rate than Mitt Romney pays, but lower than that paid by many Americans.
The Obamas paid a 20 percent tax rate in 2011, a higher rate than Mitt Romney pays, but lower than that paid by many Americans.
CC BY: The White House

1. SECRET SERVICE AGENT ALLEGEDLY CAVORTS WITH PROSTITUTES
A dozen Secret Service agents tasked with protecting President Obama during the Summit of the Americas in Colombia have been sent back to the U.S. amid allegations that at least one of them was hanging out with prostitutes in Cartagena. The allegations were leveled by the sex workers themselves, though the exact nature of the agent's alleged involvement with prostitutes remains unclear. [Daily News]

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2. U.S., E.U. NOT OPTIMISTIC ABOUT IRAN TALKS
The United States and the European Union begin direct negotiations with Iran in Istanbul on Saturday, but the West has low expectations for the nuclear talks, even though this is the first time Iran has agreed to discuss the matter in more than a year. "We don't expect to resolve all of our difficulties with Iran in one meeting," said one U.S. official. The West had hoped to curb or eliminate Iran's production and stockpiling of near weapons-grade uranium. [Wall Street Journal]
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3. ZIMMERMAN LAWYER REQUESTS BOND HEARING
Mark O'Mara, lawyer to Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman, requested a bond hearing for his client on Friday. The hearing was set for April 20, and O'Mara says he will he will argue that the 28-year-old should be allowed to post bail and remain free pending trial. [MSNBC]
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4. OBAMA RELEASES HIS 2011 TAX RETURN
Last year, President Obama's household paid a 20 percent tax rate — or $160,000 in taxes on $789,674 in earnings — the White House said Friday. The 20 percent is lower than the rate many Americans pay. Obama has made tax-rate fairness a key issue in his re-election campaign. [Associated Press]
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5. U.N. ANGRY OVER NORTH KOREA LAUNCH
Members of the U.N. Security Council convened Friday amid fears that North Korea will try to recover from its "embarrassing" rocket-launch failure with a nuclear test or military move. North Korea's launch ended 81 seconds after it began when the rocket broke apart and fell into the ocean. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, speaking on behalf of the council, said members "deplored the launch." [CNN]
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6. TULSA D.A. OFFICE CHARGES SHOOTING SUSPECTS
The District Attorney's office in Tulsa filed charges against two white men suspected of killing three black people and wounding two others in a shooting spree on April 6. Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 31, were each charged with three counts of first degree murder, two counts of shooting with intent to kill, and five counts of malicious harassment. The charges essentially amount to allegations of hate crimes. [FOX 23]
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7. EGYPT'S ISLAMISTS PROTEST SULEIMAN CANDIDACY
Thousands of Islamists protested in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday to express anger over the presidential candidacy of Omar Suleiman, the one-time vice president to ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak. Demonstrators, led by Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, demanded that Mubarak's former associate be barred from running in the May 23 election. [Washington Post]
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8. APPLE RESPONDS TO PRICE-FIXING LAWSUIT
After the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Apple and five book publishers for an alleged "conspiracy" to fix the price of e-books, Apple vowed to fight back. On Friday, the company released a statement saying, "The Justice Department's accusation of collusion... is simply not true. The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon's monopolistic grip on the publishing industry." [CBS News]
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9. STUDY FINDS MORE PENGUINS IN ANTARCTICA
Emperor penguins in Antarctica are far more plentiful than previously thought: The most recent estimates put the number of penguins somewhere between 270,000 and 350,000, but scientists have said a new tracking method has uncovered a higher number of birds — 595,000 to be exact. Researchers used high-resolution imagery snapped by satellites to more accurately determine the number of emperor penguins in the frozen tundra. [Discovery News]
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10. BRAD PITT PROPOSES TO ANGELINA JOLIE
After rumors swirled that actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were engaged when she was spotted wearing a diamond ring, Pitt's manager Cynthia Pett-Dante confirmed that the couple does indeed plan to tie the knot: "Yes, it's confirmed. It is a promise for the future... There is no date set at this time," she said. [PEOPLE]

 

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