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10 things you need to know today: April 17, 2012
Norway's mass shooter says he'd do it again, an earthquake hits Chile, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
Norwegian mass killer Breivik clenches his fist in a far-right salute as he arrives in court for his terrorism and murder trial in Oslo.
Norwegian mass killer Breivik clenches his fist in a far-right salute as he arrives in court for his terrorism and murder trial in Oslo.
REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

1. NORWAY MASS KILLER SHOWS NO REMORSE
In court on Tuesday, Anders Behring Breivik offered no apologies for massacring 77 people last July, saying he acted out of "goodness not evil" and assuring the court: "I would have done it again." The radical anti-Muslim rambled for more than the 30 minutes allotted him as he read from a prepared statement. He has pleaded not guilty; although he takes responsibility for the killings, he says he was defending his country against multiculturalism. Early in the day, one of the lay judges hearing the case had to be dismissed because he had posted a comment on Facebook saying Breivik should get the death penalty. [MSNBC]
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2. SENATE REJECTS BUFFET RULE
On Monday, the "Buffet rule" — a Democratic initiative to institute a minimum tax rate for those making more than $1 million a year — failed to get enough votes in the Senate to break a filibuster. The measure had been expected to fail, but President Obama has been using it as an election-year rallying cry, and Democrats vowed to continue to push for the rule's implementation. [Washington Post]
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3. 6.5-MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE HITS CHILE
Late Monday, the coast of Chile, near the city of Valparaiso, was struck by a powerful earthquake. The capital city of Santiago, 69 miles from the epicenter, also felt the temblor. One death was reported. A tsunami warning has not been issued. In early 2010, an 8.8-magnitude earthquake hit the same region, leaving hundreds dead. [CNN]
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4. GSA EXECUTIVE PLEADS THE FIFTH
On Monday, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform conducted its first hearing investigating the General Services Administration's exorbitant $823,000 spending on a Las Vegas conference. Jeffrey Neely, the regional executive who hosted the conference and a key figure in the scandal, invoked the Fifth Amendment, and did not testify. On Tuesday, Robert Peck, the former commissioner of the GSA's Public Buildings Service, who was fired after throwing a party in his hotel room on the taxpayers' dime, is set to testify. [Associated Press]
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5. SYRIA CEASEFIRE IS CRUMBLING
Just five days after a ceasefire went into effect, the opposition in Syria say regime forces have ramped up attacks in the war-torn city of Homs, once a rebel stronghold. Fifty-five deaths were reported Monday, a sharp uptick from recent days. Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says President Bashar al-Assad and his regime cannot be trusted. "They have lied to the international community, lied to their own people," says Rice. "And the biggest fabricator of the facts is Assad himself." [CNN]
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6. OFFICIALS ANNOUCE PULITZER PRIZE WINNERS 
The winners of the prestigious journalism prize were announced Monday. David Wood won the Pulitzer for national reporting for a 10-part series on The Huffington Post about severely wounded vets of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It marks the first Pulitzer win for the online newspaper. In a controversial move, Pulitzer Prize officials did not give out a fiction prize for the first time in 35 years after none of the three contenders — David Foster Wallace's The Pale King, Karen Russell's Swamplandia, and Denis Johnson's Train Dreams — received a majority. [Huffington Post]
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7. SPACE SHUTTLE DISCOVERY HEADS TO NEW HOME
Early Tuesday, the space shuttle Discovery will fly atop a modified Boeing 747 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to Washington, D.C. There, the shuttle will join the permanent collection at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Space shuttles Endeavour and Atlantis will soon follow suit, and be put on display at museums in Los Angeles and Florida, respectively. [NPR]
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8. APPLE SHARES FALL SHARPLY
After soaring 43 percent this year, Apple stock has been on a downslide. Since hitting a peak of $644 on April 10, shares have fallen by nearly 10 percent. Analysts are scrambling to explain the tech darling's drop, with some wondering whether this is "the beginning of what could be an even larger decline." [Wall Street Journal]
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9. WOMAN FINDS WEDDING RING IN TORNADO RUBBLE
An Oklahoma woman who was forced by a tornado to evacuate her home in the town of Woodward in less than half an hour has been reunited with the family dog and the wedding ring she left behind. Neighbors helped Emilee Neagle, a third-grade teacher, sort through the debris. Using a metal detector and their hands, they found the ring after eight hours. [CNN]
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10. ANN ROMNEY SAYS DOG 'LOVED' ROOFTOP RIDE
In an interview with Diane Sawyer, Ann Romney defended her presidential candidate husband Mitt, who once strapped the family dog (in a pet carrier) to the roof of the family's station wagon on a family trip. "The dog loved it," Ann said. "He would see that crate and, you know, he would, like, go crazy because he was going with us on vacation. It was to me a kinder thing to bring him along than to leave him in the kennel for two weeks." [ABC News]

 

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