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10 things you need to know today: May 13, 2012
A peace leader is killed in Afghanistan, Greek leftists reject a coalition — and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
An Afghan National Army soldier patrols the gate of the military hospital next to an ambulance in Kabul: Moulavi Arsala Rahmani, an Afghan peace negotiator, was in his vehicle when he was killed by an unknown attacker in another vehicle in western Kabul earlier Sunday.
An Afghan National Army soldier patrols the gate of the military hospital next to an ambulance in Kabul: Moulavi Arsala Rahmani, an Afghan peace negotiator, was in his vehicle when he was killed by an unknown attacker in another vehicle in western Kabul earlier Sunday.
AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

1. TWO NATO TROOPS AND PEACE LEADER KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN 
Two service members with NATO's International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan were killed Sunday, bringing the death toll among NATO troops to eight in three days. The two died following an improvised explosive device attack in eastern Afghanistan, ISAF said. Meanwhile, a key figure in the country's efforts to bring the Taliban to peace negotiations was assassinated Sunday in Kabul. Gunmen killed Moulavi Arsala Rahmani on Sunday morning, the Afghan interior ministry said. Authorities are searching for the attackers. The Taliban said it was not responsible. [CNN]
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2. GREEK LEFTISTS REJECT COALITION GOVERNMENT
Greek conservative leader Antonis Samaras said the country's radical leftist Syriza party has rejected a plan to cobble together a coalition government during talks earlier Sunday with the Greek president. The effort is seen as a last ditch attempt to avoid repeat elections. In elections last Sunday, Greek voters denied Greece's two governing parties — the Socialist and New Democracy parties — an outright majority, hamstringing their efforts to implement unpopular austerity measures. [Dow Jones
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3. RAID ON SYRIAN VILLAGE KILLS 5
Syrian forces killed at least five people in a raid on a farming village in the country's northwest on Sunday, activists said. The continuing violence further undermines a U.N.-backed peace plan that is supposed to bring an end to the country's 14-month-old crisis. The first step of the plan, a ceasefire that began on April 12, has had little effect. [Associated Press]
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4. CALIFORNIA BRACES FOR MORE BUDGET CUTS
California Gov. Jerry Brown warned of more painful spending cuts in the state on Saturday, after announcing that California's projected budget deficit has swelled to $16 billion, much larger than the $9.2 billion estimated in January. The state's financial woes will likely take an even greater toll on welfare and healthcare for the poor; state workers are also bracing for cuts. [Los Angeles Times]
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5. U.S. MAY SCRAP PLAN TO TRAIN IRAQI POLICE 
The U.S has slashed the budget for a multibillion dollar Iraqi police training program, and in the face of spiraling costs, it may do away with the cadre altogether by the end of the year. The training effort, which began in October and has already cost $500 million, was originally envisioned to employ about 350 American law enforcement officers was quickly scaled back to 190 and then to 100. The latest restructuring calls for 50 advisers. [New York Times]
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6. DRONES IN YEMEN KILL 11 MILITANTS
Officials in Yemen say two suspected U.S. drones have killed at least 11 al Qaeda militants in the country's south on Saturday. Washington has not acknowledged whether the U.S. was behind the attacks. Drone attacks have increased in Yemen's south since Yemen's new president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, took power in February. [Voice of America]
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7. OFFICIALS SEARCH FOR RUSSIAN JET'S BLACK BOX
Dozens of Indonesian and Russian investigators scoured the Indonesian ravine where a Russian jet crashed last week during a demo flight in order to locate the plane's black box. All 45 people aboard are presumed dead, and it's still unclear why the aircraft went down, so locating the black box has become a priority. [Associated Press]
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8. RESEARCHERS TRACK MANTA RAYS WITH SATELLITES
An international team has, for the first time, used satellites to track the movements of manta rays, learning valuable new information about the massive rays, which are considered vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Researchers found that that the rays traveled as far as 680 miles over a one- to two-month period searching for food, sticking close to the coastline. They also spent considerable time in shipping lanes, which made them vulnerable to being hit by freighters. [Los Angeles Times] 
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9. NHL CONFERENCE FINALS BEGIN SUNDAY
The Eastern and Western Conference finals are set in the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. In the Eastern Conference the New York Rangers meet the New Jersey Devils. That series will start on Monday. In the Western Conference the Los Angeles Kings meet the Phoenix Coyotes, beginning on Sunday. [SB Nation]
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10. DALAI LAMA TO RECEIVE TEMPLETON PRIZE
On Monday, the Dalai Lama will receive the Templeton Prize in London. The award, and its $1.6 million prize, is given annually to someone who has encouraged common ground between science and religion. The Dalai Lama will announce how he is to spend the money during the ceremony. [Telegraph]

 

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