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10 things you need to know today: May 3, 2012
A Chinese dissident has a change of heart, Junior Seau's death raises questions, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
Linebacker Junior Seau of the New England Patriots before taking on the New York Giants during Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008: Seau was found dead in his home Wednesday in an apparent suicide.
Linebacker Junior Seau of the New England Patriots before taking on the New York Giants during Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008: Seau was found dead in his home Wednesday in an apparent suicide.
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

1. BLIND DISSIDENT WANTS TO LEAVE CHINA
After leaving the U.S. Embassy Wednesday — when U.S. officials brokered a deal for him to remain in the country and be relocated to a safe location — Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng now says he and his family want to leave China. A U.S. State Department spokeswoman says Chen and his family have "had a change of heart." Chen says he felt pressured to leave the embassy because Chinese authorities threatened to kill his wife if he didn't. He says that while he initially wanted to remain in China — with assurances that he and his family would be safe there — he now fears for their lives. U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke told a press conference that he could "unequivocally" say that Chen was never pressured to leave the embassy. [Associated Press]
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2. JUNIOR SEAU'S DEATH RAISES QUESTIONS 
The death of former NFL linebacker Junior Seau from an apparent suicide is highlighting the possible links between head trauma, depression, and suicide. Seau's death, by a gunshot to the chest, is being compared to former Chicago Bear Dave Duerson's suicide last year. Duerson shot himself in the chest and left a note asking that his brain be donated to the "NFL brain bank" for study; he was one of several former NFL player to commit suicide in recent years, and many doctors believe their suicides could be related to the repeated head trauma that's commonplace in the sport. [ABC News]
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3. MAN SUES DEA FOR ABANDONING HIM IN JAIL CELL
Daniel Chong, a California college student, filed a $20 million claim against the Drug Enforcement Administration Wednesday. Agents took Chong into custody as part of a drug sweep of a friend's house and then left him handcuffed in a windowless cell for four days, though he was never arrested or charged. He drank his own urine to survive, and, following his release, spent five days in the hospital for kidney failure, dehydration, and a perforated esophagus. The incident is being called the worst of its kind, and lawmakers have called for an in-depth investigation. [Associated Press]
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4. PROSECUTORS CHARGE 13 IN FLORIDA A&M DEATH
On Wednesday, 11 people were charged with felonies and two with misdemeanors in the killing of Robert Champion, the Florida A&M marching band member who died following a hazing beating. The suspects have not been identified. Champion's family had hoped for more severe charges of murder or manslaughter, but prosecutors say Champion's death cannot be attributed to one person's single blow. [New York Times]
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5. W.H.O. RELEASES STUDY ON PREMATURE BIRTH RATES
The World Health Organization's first country-by-country comparison of premature births has found that the percentage of women in the U.S. who give birth prematurely is similar to that of women in Kenya, Turkey, Thailand, East Timor, and Honduras. The U.S. had considerably more premature births than Japan and Western European countries, a fact blamed on the number of teenage mothers and women over 35 giving birth. Worldwide, 15 million babies are born prematurely every year; one in 9 births in the U.S. is preterm. [New York Times]
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6. GROUPS CALL FOR MASS DEMONSTRATIONS IN EGYPT
A coalition of political and civil groups has called for mass demonstrations for Friday after an attack on demonstrators Wednesday left 22 dead and more than 150 injured. It is not clear who the attackers were; the demonstrators were staging a sit-in outside Egypt's defense ministry in protest of a Islamist candidate being disqualified from the upcoming presidential election. The sit-in continued Thursday. [CNN]
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7. SARKOZY FALTERS IN PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE
In a televised debate Wednesday night, Socialist candidate Francois Hollande held his own against French President Nicolas Sarkozy, noting that unemployment and debt have risen sharply under Sarkozy's watch. "Sarkozy's real difficulty was that Hollande kept turning the debate back to the incumbent's own record." [The Economist]
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8. 'THE SCREAM' SELLS FOR $119.9 MILLION
Norwegian painter Edvard Munch's "The Scream" brought in $119.9 million at auction at Sotheby's in New York City Wednesday, setting a new record for the most expensive piece of art ever sold at auction. [Associated Press]
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9. DEADLY BIRD FLU MAY BE MORE LIKELY 
Controversial, previously censored research about avian H5N1 flu viruses was published on Wednesday. The "sobering" paper suggests that with just one mutation, the virus could spread between mammals, including humans, greatly increasing the deadly virus' reach. The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity had prevented the research from being published for fear it would be used by bioterrorists. [TIME]
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10. THE AVENGERS GETS RAVE REVIEWS
The superhero flick hits U.S. theaters Friday, and it's being called "the best Marvel movie yet." It stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye. [Cinema Blend]

 

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