RSS
10 things you need to know today: May 10, 2012
Obama focuses on fundraising, blasts in Syria leave 40 people dead, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
Residents and security personnel gather at the site of an explosion in Damascus on May 10. Two large explosions killed 40 people on Thursday, state media said, destroying dozens of cars on a highway and damaging an intelligence complex.
Residents and security personnel gather at the site of an explosion in Damascus on May 10. Two large explosions killed 40 people on Thursday, state media said, destroying dozens of cars on a highway and damaging an intelligence complex.
REUTERS/Khaled Al Hariri

1. OBAMA GOING HOLLYWOOD AFTER GAY MARRIAGE ENDORSEMENT
Following his historic endorsement of same-sex marriage Wednesday, President Obama is headed to Los Angeles for a record-setting fundraising gala Thursday night. The sold-out event will take place at the home of actor George Clooney and is expected to bring in nearly $15 million, with tickets going for $40,000. Obama's support of gay marriage is expected to endear him to the Hollywood crowd as well as donors elsewhere. Earlier in the day, he'll fundraise in Seattle, and on Monday he'll attend a New York fundraising event sponsored by Latino and gay supporters. [Associated Press]
………………………………………………………………………………

2. DAMASCUS BLASTS LEAVE 40 DEAD
More than 40 people were killed and many more wounded after two explosions struck the Syrian capital Thursday in an attack on military intelligence headquarters. No one has thus far claimed responsibility for the attacks, though al Qaeda has taken credit for similar bombings recently. The Syrian regime has said such attacks prove its doubted assertion that terrorists, not the popular uprising, are responsible for upheaval in the country. [Associated Press]
………………………………………………………………………………

3. OFFICIALS FIND RUSSIAN PLANE WRECKAGE 
The wreckage of a Russian-made plane that disappeared from radar screens Wednesday in the middle of a 50-minute demonstration flight over Indonesia has been found on the side of a misty mountain volcano. Fifty people, including press, crew, and airline representatives, were aboard the plane, and no survivors have been found. The cause of the crash is not yet known, and the incident is expected to cast a long shadow over Russia's attempt to reinvigorate and expand its aircraft industry. [New York Times]
………………………………………………………………………………

4. SONY REPORTS RECORD LOSS
Sony Corp. reported a record annual loss of 457 billion yen ($5.7 billion), marking the fourth straight year that the Japanese electronics and entertainment company has been in the red. Sony has been hurt by competition from Apple in the gadget market, while its core TV business has been greatly diminshed by competition from Asian rivals like Samsung. Damage from last year's earthquake and tsunami and production problems related to flooding in Thailand have also hurt Sony's bottom line. [Associated Press]
………………………………………………………………………………

5. ZUCKERBERG'S HOODIE OFFENDS WALL STREET
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has rubbed some on Wall Street the wrong way by wearing a casual hooded sweatshirt for meetings with potential investors. "He's actually showing investors he doesn't care that much," Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter says. "I think that's a mark of immaturity." [Bloomberg]
………………………………………………………………………………

6. PARENTS OF U.S. P.O.W. PLEAD FOR HIS RELEASE
The family of an American soldier captured by the Taliban nearly three years ago is asking the Obama administration to make a deal with the Taliban for his release. The administration says it has been making nonstop, ongoing efforts, including negotiation, to locate and free Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, but an attempted prisoner swap deal with the Taliban fell apart. Peace talks with the Taliban have been stalled since January. [Washington Post]
………………………………………………………………………………

7. WARHOL'S DOUBLE ELVIS SELLS FOR $37 MILLION
Andy Warhol's silkscreen depiction of Elvis Presley as a cowboy sold for slightly more than $37 million at auction at Sotheby's in New York on Wednesday. Warhol created 22 Elvis works in total. [New York Times]
………………………………………………………………………………

8. USPS WILL SPARE RURAL POST OFFICES 
In the wake of a backlash, the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service has decided not to close thousands of rural post offices. Instead, the USPS will reduce hours at 13,000 rural outposts, in an attempt to cut $500 million a year in costs. [CNN]
………………………………………………………………………………

9. VIDAL SASSOON DIES AT 84
Vidal Sassoon, the famous hair stylist, died at the age of 84 with family by his side at his home in Los Angeles. While Sassoon's family hasn't specified the cause of death, the fashion icon had reportedly been battling leukemia. Born poor in London's East End, he got his start as a "shampoo boy" at the age of 14, and is credited with moving women away from high-maintenance beehive 'dos to his precise, "wash-and-wear" cuts, starting in the 1960s. "Women were going back to work, they were assuming their own power. They didn't have time to sit under the dryer anymore," he said. [Associated Press]
………………………………………………………………………………

10. U.S. IS 25TH BEST PLACE FOR MOMS
According to the 13th annual State of the World's Mothers report, the U.S. is the 25th best country in which to be a mother. The rankings take into account a number of measures, including infant mortality rates, maternity leave policies, and the risk of dying from childbirth. Norway is ranked No. 1, thanks to its generous maternity leave policies and high level of education for women. The U.S. improved from its 31st place ranking last year. [USA Today]

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week