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10 things you need to know today: April 23, 2012
George Zimmerman is released on bail, French voters put Sarkozy on notice, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
French President Nicolas Sarkozy delivers a speech after the first round of the country's presidential election on April 22. Sarkozy narrowly lost to opponent Francois Hollande, so the two will have a runoff on May 6.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy delivers a speech after the first round of the country's presidential election on April 22. Sarkozy narrowly lost to opponent Francois Hollande, so the two will have a runoff on May 6.
Mark Piasecki/Getty Images

1. ZIMMERMAN POSTS BOND IN TRAYVON MARTIN CASE
George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, was released from a Florida jail late Sunday on $150,000 bond. Zimmerman wasn't arrested until weeks after the Feb. 26 killing of the unarmed, black teenager, sparking protests over police handling of the racially tinged case. Zimmerman now faces second-degree murder charges. Prosecutors had asked that bail be set at $1 million, and Martin's parents are reportedly "completely devastated" over a judge's decision to let Zimmerman post bail. [MSNBC]
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2. SARKOZY SURVIVES FIRST ROUND OF FRENCH ELECTION
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his socialist challenger, Francois Hollande, came out on top in Sunday's first round of France's presidential election, setting up a May 6 run-off. Hollande finished slightly ahead, and he expects to pick up supporters of the now-ousted far-left candidates. Sarkozy will have to fight for supporters of far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen, who finished third. Hollande, who opposes the eurozone's austerity push, is the favorite to win the run-off, unless Sarkozy can turn the tide in a May 2 debate. [Wall Street Journal]
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3. AFGHANISTAN AND U.S. SIGN SECURITY PACT
U.S. and Afghan negotiators have reached an agreement on the security partnership that will be put in place between the two countries once U.S. forces withdraw in late 2014. No details were released on the pact, which took months to hammer out. One of the main disagreements was over how much money Washington would provide to help the Afghan forces that will take over security duties when foreign troops leave. [BBC News]
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4. RUBIO JOINS ROMNEY ON CAMPAIGN TRAIL
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) will join presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney at campaign events in Pennsylvania on Monday. Rubio, a potential lure for Hispanic and Tea Party voters, has been mentioned as a possible running mate for Romney. Over the weekend Rubio fueled another line of speculation in the veepstakes, suggesting that former Florida governor Jeb Bush would make a "fantastic vice president." [CNN]
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5. LATE WINTER BLAST HITS THE NORTHEAST
A spring nor'easter hit the East Coast with a cold blast of high winds and soaking rains. Inland areas at high elevations got up to a foot of snow. The rare storm — "unusual, but not unheard of" in late April, one meteorologist said — left behind wet and slushy conditions that made for a messy Monday commute in some places. [Associated Press]
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6. HUNGER GAMES' BOX OFFICE REIGN ENDS
The relationship comedy Think Like a Man made an unexpectedly strong debut, pulling in $33 million over the weekend and ending the four-week dominance of The Hunger Games. After 28 days as North America's No. 1 film The Hunger Games slipped to third place, also trailing The Lucky One, a romantic drama. [Entertainment Weekly]
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7. JOHN EDWARDS TRIAL BEGINS
The criminal trial of two-time Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards will get underway in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday. Edwards, who was his party's vice presidential nominee in 2004, was indicted in June for allegedly scheming to cover up an extramarital affair with filmmaker Rielle Hunter and her resulting pregnancy. Prosecutors say the nearly $1 million paid to Hunter amounted to unreported campaign contributions. If convicted, Edwards could face up to 30 years in prison. [CBS News]
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8. EUROPEAN INVESTORS GET NERVOUS
European stocks fell Monday as economic indicators suggested more growth troubles for the eurozone. Investors also appeared to be worried that plans to tackle Europe's debt crisis through austerity measures were in doubt, after Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte's government crumbled after he failed to get support for budget cuts called for by the E.U., and anti-austerity socialist Francois Hollande led the first round of France's presidential election. Europe's troubles also weighed down U.S. stocks. [Wall Street Journal]
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9. MORE FIRINGS POSSIBLE IN SECRET SERVICE SCANDAL
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are warning that there could be more firings in the Secret Service hooker scandal. Sen. Joe Lieberman added that the White House should look into whether any of its personnel were involved in the misbehavior on the eve of President Obama's arrival for a summit in Colombia. The White House says none of its staffers had anything to do with the scandal. [New York Post]
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10. SAMSUNG SMARTPHONE LEAK RAISES EXPECTATIONS
Leaked statistics regarding the purported graphic-rendering abilities of the Samsung Galaxy S III suggest the new smartphone could challenge the top Android phones and even Apple's iPhone 4S... at least visually. Faster graphics translate into smoother gaming and multimedia performance. [Slashgear]

 

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