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10 things you need to know today: April 21, 2012
George Zimmerman gets a $150,000 bail, Obama outraises Romney, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
George Zimmerman at his bond hearing Friday: The judge granted Trayvon Martin's killer a $150,000 bail, and he may be released in a matter of days.
George Zimmerman at his bond hearing Friday: The judge granted Trayvon Martin's killer a $150,000 bail, and he may be released in a matter of days.
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1. GEORGE ZIMMERMAN TO BE RELEASED FROM JAIL
George Zimmerman, who is charged with the February murder of unarmed black Florida teen Trayvon Martin, could be released from jail in several days, once his lawyers make arrangements for him to be fitted with an electronic monitoring bracelet. The judge in Zimmerman's trial offered the confessed shooter, who says he was acting in self-defense, a lower-than-expected $150,000 bail in a hearing on Friday, during which Zimmerman apologized to Trayvon's parents. [Associated Press]
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2. OBAMA EASILY OUTRAISES ROMNEY IN MARCH
The president's re-election campaign raised more than $46 million in March, and spent nearly $38 million, according to new financial reports. That's far more than the $12.6 million that Republican Mitt Romney's campaign raised. [Politico]

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3. SECRET SERVICE ANTICIPATES MORE FIRINGS
At least three more Secret Service agents — for a total of six — are expected to be fired as the Colombian prostitution scandal continues to unfold. To date, 11 agents have been placed on administrative leave pending internal investigation of the tawdry scandal, in which several agents charged with protecting the president are accused of drunkenly cavorting with prostitutes while abroad. [Associated Press]
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4. NO ONE SURVIVES PAKISTAN PLANE CRASH
A Bhoja Air boeing 737-200 heading from Karachi to Islamabad crashed shortly before it was to land on Friday evening. Pakistani officials say there are likely no survivors. Thunderstorms and low visibility were likely contributing factors in the crash, which is still being investigated. [CNN]
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5. SYRIAN FORCES FIRE ON PROTESTERS
Despite the tenuous ceasefire that went into effect in Syria last week, President Bashar al-Assad's forces have continued to fire tear gas and bullets on thousands of anti-regime protesters, killing at least 11 civilians on Friday. As the situation continues to unravel, the United Nations is making plans to place 30 observers in Syria to monitor the ceasefire, and hopes to ultimately have 300 monitors in the country. [Associated Press]
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6. US AIRWAYS AND AMERICAN AIRLINES MAY MERGE
US Airways has struck a deal with unions at American Airlines, gaining their critical support for a potential merger of the two travel giants. The unions had been angry that American is trying to cut jobs while under bankruptcy protection, and according to US Airways CEO Doug Parker, a merger could save roughly 6,200 jobs at American. Although unions cannot force a merger themselves, they can work with creditors of American's parent company to persuade a bankruptcy judge to open the door to a deal. [Washington Post]
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7. DISNEY EXEC QUITS AFTER JOHN CARTER FLOPS
Disney movie studio boss Rich Ross stepped down from his post a month after his studio's big-budget sci-fi movie John Carter suffered a $200 million loss. Despite having a hand in the successes of High School Musical and Hannah Montana, Ross' plans to majorly restructure the company failed to bring Disney out of a slump. [USA Today]
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8. WOMEN MORE LIKELY TO HIT GAS PEDAL BY MISTAKE
A new study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds that women are twice as likely as men to hit the accelerator when they mean to hit the brake. But it's not just women who make this mistake. The study also found that people over 76 were responsible for 40 percent of all unintended acceleration accidents. [CBS]
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9. ABSURD EIGHTH-GRADE TEST QUESTION STUMPS ALL
A nonsensical reading comprehension question on New York state's English exam — featuring a talking pineapple who challenges a rabbit to a race — left eighth-graders perplexed and parents furious, charging that it's a textbook example of America's increasingly flawed standardized testing system. [TIME
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10. CORONER SAYS BREITBART DIED OF HEART FAILURE
The conservative provocateur, who died suddenly at age 43 in March, was killed by heart failure, the Los Angeles coroner ruled on Friday. "No significant trauma was present and no foul play is suspected," the coroner said, adding that no drugs or excessive alcohol levels were detected, either. [The Hill]

 

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