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10 things you need to know today: June 1, 2012
The U.N. meets about Syria, a California teen wins the Scripps Spelling Bee, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
Snigdha Nandipati, 14, of San Diego, Calif., is hugged by her brother, Sujan, 10, after she won the 85th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee. Snigdha won $30,000 in cash, a $2,500 savings bond, a $5,000 scholarship, $2,600 in reference works from the Encyclopedia Britannica, and an online language course.
Snigdha Nandipati, 14, of San Diego, Calif., is hugged by her brother, Sujan, 10, after she won the 85th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee. Snigdha won $30,000 in cash, a $2,500 savings bond, a $5,000 scholarship, $2,600 in reference works from the Encyclopedia Britannica, and an online language course.
Pete Marovich/Zuma Press/CORBIS

1. U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL TO MEET ON SYRIA
The U.N.'s top human rights body will meet Friday to discuss last week's massacre in the Syrian town of Houla. Almost half of the 108 people killed in the slaughter were children. The council will likely say that the Syrian government was responsible for the slaughter, at least in part, and call for an investigation. The Syrian government continues to blame the massacre on armed rebels. On Thursday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for the regime to abide by the peace plan, and said massacres like the Houla atrocity threatened to "plunge Syria into a catastrophic civil war... from which the country would never recover." [Voice of America]
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2. EDWARDS CASE ENDS IN ACQUITTAL AND MISTRIAL
After more than 50 hours of deliberation, jurors acquitted John Edwards of one count and deadlocked on five others. Edwards, the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2004 and a candidate for president in 2008, was charged with one count of falsifying documents, one count of conspiring to conceal campaign contributions, and four counts of accepting illegal campaign contributions over actions he took to conceal his pregnant mistress during his 2008 campaign. [CNN]
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3. HERO EMERGES IN SEATTLE SHOOTING
Seattle police are calling a man a "hero" for hurling bar stools at the gunman who killed four people at a downtown cafe on Wednesday. The hero, Lawrence Adams, 56, attacked shooter Ian Lee Stawicki, even as Stawicki aimed his gun at him. Authorities say the flying stools created a diversion that allowed two or three customers to escape to safety. Adams told The Seattle Times that he was compelled to do something because his brother had died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. Because of that, he said, "I would never hide under a table." [Associated Press]
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4. CALIFORNIA EIGHTH-GRADER WINS NATIONAL BEE
Snigdha Nandipati of San Diego won the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday. The 14-year-old secured her victory by correctly spelling "guetapens," a French word meaning "ambush." [Reuters]
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5. DOW HAS WORST MONTH IN TWO YEARS
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 26.41 points at close on Thursday, capping off a month that saw it lose 820 points — its worst performance since May 2010. Other major indexes also had a dismal month, and erased the strong gains they saw earlier this year as Facebook's botched IPO and Europe's debt crisis weighed on investors' confidence. [Associated Press]
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6. BILL CLINTON CAMPAIGNS AGAINST SCOTT WALKER
Former President Bill Clinton is in Wisconsin Friday campaigning ahead of the state's recall vote. Clinton is lending his support to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who is opposing the state's Republican governor, Scott Walker. Union leaders and Democrats called for Walker's recall after he effectively proposed ending collective-bargaining rights for most state employees last year. Walker is only the third governor in U.S. history to face a recall vote; in both of the other instances, the incumbent was ousted. [Associated Press]
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7. ECONOMY SEEN AS WEAK AHEAD OF JOBS REPORT
There's little optimism ahead of the May jobs report, out Friday, as other economic indicators show slow economic growth. The number of people applying for unemployment hit a five-week high, and private companies are adding a disappointingly small number of jobs — only 69,000, according to early reports. In better news, retailers report better-than-expected sales for May. [Associated Press]
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8. DISNEY STUDIOS NAMES ALAN HORN CHAIRMAN
Walt Disney Co. has tapped Alan Horn to be the new chairman of Walt Disney Studios. Horn is the former president of Warner Bros. Entertainment, where he helped shepherd mega-hit franchises like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings and reinvigorate the Batman series. Disney has struggled recently with highly publicized flops like John Carter, and Horn is seen as a good choice to turn things around at the Mouse House. [New York Times]
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9. NANCY REAGAN ENDORSES ROMNEY
Nancy Reagan gave Mitt Romney her endorsement Thursday, serving him and his wife cookies and lemonade at her Los Angeles home. In a statement, the former First Lady said she believes the Republican nominee has the sort of experience and leadership abilities that "our country so desperately needs." [Associated Press]
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10. NO CHARGES TO BE FILED AGAINST SISTER WIVES
Utah prosecutors say they will not pursue criminal charges against the polygamous family featured on the TLC reality show Sister Wives. Kody Brown and his four wives fled to Las Vegas in early 2011 after Utah authorities launched a bigamy investigation against them. [Associated Press]

 

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