RSS
10 things you need to know today: April 29, 2012
Obama jabs Romney, an attack at a Nigerian university kills 15, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
President Obama at the 2012 White House Correspondents Association Dinner: Obama's jokes about Mitt Romney recalled remarks the president has made on the campaign trail regarding Romney being out of touch.
President Obama at the 2012 White House Correspondents Association Dinner: Obama's jokes about Mitt Romney recalled remarks the president has made on the campaign trail regarding Romney being out of touch.
Kristoffer Tripplaar/CORBIS

1. ATTACK AT NIGERIAN UNIVERSITY LEAVES 15 DEAD
At least 15 people have been killed in a gun and bomb attack at a university in Nigeria's northern city of Kano, witnesses and police said. A number of bodies were found at Bayero University, where Christian worshippers were holding a service. The perpetrators of the attack have not been found, but police suspect that the violent Islamist Boko Haram group, which is active in the area, was behind the assault. The Nigerian government has struggled to contain the militant group, which operates mainly in the predominantly Muslim north, but has also struck as far south as the capital, Abuja. [BBC News]
………………………………………………………………………………

2. U.N.: MORE OBSERVERS NEEDED IN SYRIA 'QUICKLY'
U.N. spokesman Neeraj Singh said Sunday in Damascus that it is "a matter of utmost urgency" for the U.N. to get more monitors to Syria, where only about a dozen have been deployed to watch over the already broken ceasefire. Singh asked that all efforts be made to make sure the rest of the 300 approved observers be put "on the ground as quickly as possible." He made the comments hours ahead of the expected arrival of Norwegian peacekeeper Major-General Robert Mood to take charge of the U.N. observer mission. [Voice of America]
………………………………………………………………………………

3. SUDANESE PRESIDENT DECLARES EMERGENCY
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir declared a state of emergency on Sunday covering several cities on its border with South Sudan, including towns in the provinces of South Kordofan, White Nile, and Sinnar. The declaration came as South Sudan told the U.N. that it would pull all police out of the disputed region, and that it would commit to halting all fighting with its northern neighbor. [ReutersCNN]
………………………………………………………………………………

4. SAUDI ARABIA CLOSES EMBASSY IN CAIRO
After days of protests outside its embassy in Cairo, Saudi Arabia closed the agency's doors and removed its ambassador to Egypt. The protests began April 24 after the arrest of Ahmed el-Gizawy, a human rights activist and lawyer who was detained in Saudi Arabia earlier in April after officials there said el-Gizawy tried to smuggle in anti-anxiety tablets. "The people are voicing their conviction that insulting the dignity of Egyptians abroad is no longer tolerated after the peaceful revolution which restored their will, their voice and their dignity," Egypt's Freedom and Justice Party said in a statement. [Bloomberg]
………………………………………………………………………………

5. OBAMA JOKES ABOUT ROMNEY AT GALA
At the annual White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday in Washington D.C., President Obama joked about his presumptive Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney, saying, "It's nice to be here in the nice, vast Hilton ballroom. Or as Mitt Romney would call it, a fixer-upper." Late night talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel followed the president's act with his own monologue, calling out some of the gala's attendees, including reality star Kim Kardashian. [Los Angeles Times]
………………………………………………………………………………

6. HEALTH SPENDING IN U.S. IS FLATTENING OUT
In the last few years, health spending has slowed "substantially," according to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. In 2009 and 2010, total nationwide health care spending grew less than 4 percent per year, the slowest annual pace in more than five decades. Much of the slowdown is due to the recession, so health experts say it's not surprising, but still an encouraging trend that could mean consumers and health providers will continue the changed behavior as the economy picks up, and could potentially reduce the pressure for enormous spending cuts or tax increases. [New York Times]
………………………………………………………………………………

7. WOMEN OVERESTIMATE EFFECTIVENESS OF PILL
According to a report published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 45 percent of more than 4,100 who were seeking birth control overestimated the effectiveness of birth control pills and condoms. They also had too much faith in hormonal birth control patches, vaginal rings, and injections. The findings point to a need for better education on how well different birth control methods work with "typical use" in the real world, study leader Dr. David L. Eisenberg said. [Reuters]
………………………………………………………………………………

8. GOOGLE STAFF: WE WERE UNAWARE OF DATA MINING
Google employees who worked on a mapping-service project told the FCC they didn't initially know about software that would gather personal data such as emails, even though an engineer had disclosed the program's details, according to an agency report. The FCC compiled the report as part of an investigation into whether Google's collection of private data through its Street View map product was a violation of the Communications Act. The agency said in the April 13 document that it decided not to penalize Google for the data-gathering, though Google was fined $25,000 for not cooperating with the inquiry. [Bloomberg]
………………………………………………………………………………

9. HADRON COLLIDER FINDS NEW PARTICLE
The world's largest and most powerful particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, located in Geneva, has discovered an entirely new particle called "neutral Xi_b^star baryon." The new type of particle is so rare that it cannot occur anywhere else on Earth outside of the accelerator, and only occasionally in outer space. [Talking Points Memo
………………………………………………………………………………

10. SAMSUNG TOPS APPLE IN PHONE SHIPMENTS
According to Strategy Analytics, South Korean electonics manufacturer Samsung surpassed Apple in global shipments of mobile phones. Samsung's share of the market went from 12.2 percent in the first quarter of 2011 to a whopping 30.6 percent in the first quarter of this year. Apple jumped from an 18.1 percent share last year (which at that time was larger than Samsung's) to 24.1 percent this year. [CNET

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week