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10 things you need to know today: April 18, 2012
Citigroup rejects big salaries for execs, North Korea threatens retaliation, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York City: In a sign of the times, Citigroup shareholders at an annual meeting rejected what they called an "obscene" plan for executive pay.
Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York City: In a sign of the times, Citigroup shareholders at an annual meeting rejected what they called an "obscene" plan for executive pay.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

1. SHAREHOLDERS REJECT CITIGROUP'S EXEC PAY PLAN
At Citigroup's annual meeting on Tuesday, the majority of shareholders voted against a plan laying out the compensation for the company's top five executives, including chief Vikram S. Pandit, who was designated to receive a $15 million pay package. The "stinging rebuke" marked the first time that shareholders have come together to speak out against exorbitant salaries at a major company. "CEO's deserve good pay, but there's good pay, and there's obscene pay," says the chief of a Philadelphia money management company that owns Citibank shares and voted against the pay packages. [New York Times]
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2. SYRIAN REGIME VIOLATES CEASEFIRE
According to activists, the Syrian regime has resumed its brutal assault on the city of Homs, despite a ceasefire that started last week. Still, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon says government forces have let up, and the international community is hesitating to declare the ceasefire a failure, given the lack of better options. Meanwhile, the wives of the German and British ambassadors to the U.N. have released a video calling on Syria's first lady, Asma al-Assad, to talk to her husband and "stand up for peace." [Associated Press]
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3. ZIMMERMAN JUDGE LIKELY TO STEP ASIDE
Jessica Recksiedler, the circuit judge at the head of the second-degree murder case against George Zimmerman, is expected to step aside this week. Zimmerman's attorney filed a motion requesting that Recksiedler step down because her husband's law firm partner is under contract with CNN to serve as a legal analyst on the network's coverage of the case. [Orlando Sentinel]
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4. SECRET SERVICE INVESTIGATING TED NUGENT
The Secret Service is investigating rocker Ted Nugent over remarks he made about the president at the annual National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis over the weekend. Nugent said that "if Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will be either be dead or in jail by this time next year." [Think Progress]
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5. NORTH KOREA THREATENS RETALIATION
On Tuesday, North Korea issued a rebellious statement threatening to "take necessary retaliatory measures" after the U.S. suspended food aid to the country. The U.S. halted a shipment of 240,000 tons of food after North Korea launched a long-range rocket last week. North Korea insisted that the launch, which ended in failure, was merely "for peaceful purposes," but the U.S. and its allies believe Pyongyang was trying to test its ballistic missile technology. [Telegraph]
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6. POLICE FIND KIDNAPPED BABY BOY
Authorities have found a 3-day-old baby boy who was snatched from his mother's arms outside a pediatrician's office in Spring, Texas, on Tuesday. The kidnapper shot and killed the baby's mother, 28-year-old Kayla Golden. Police found baby Keegan six hours later in "safe condition" in an as-yet-undisclosed location. [CNN]
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7. WARREN BUFFETT SAYS HE HAS PROSTATE CANCER
The 81-year-old investor revealed Tuesday that he has Stage 1 prostate cancer. In an open letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, Buffet said the cancer was detected with routine testing and is "not remotely threatening." That assertion is in line with medical research, which has found that prostate tumors in older men are unlikely to kill them, and are often best left untreated but monitored. [Washington Post]
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8. ILLINOIS MEGA MILLIONS WINNER TO COME FORWARD
Lottery officials are set to reveal the identity of the Mega Millions winner who bought the lucky ticket in the tiny Illinois town of Red Bull. The two other big Mega Millions winners bought their tickets in Kansas and Maryland and have opted to remain anonymous, something Illinois does not allow its winners to do. [CNN]
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9. LONDON HAS 100 DAYS UNTIL THE OLYMPICS
Wednesday marks 100 days until the opening ceremony for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Preparations for the big event are said to be on schedule and on budget, and tickets have been selling out quickly. The biggest concern is the city's transit system; London is difficult to traverse, and its aging subway is already overcrowded. [CNN]
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10. OPTIMISM LOWERS HEART ATTACK RISK
Researchers at Harvard University have found that being happy and optimistic could significantly lower the risk of heart and circulatory diseases. The most optimistic people had half the risk of a first heart attack that the least optimistic people had. [Associated Press]

 

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