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10 things you need to know today: June 8, 2012
U.N. monitors are fired at in Syria, Bill Clinton apologizes for tax comments, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
Bill Clinton apologized Thursday for remarks he made that seemed to undermine President Obama's stance on the Bush-era tax cuts.
Bill Clinton apologized Thursday for remarks he made that seemed to undermine President Obama's stance on the Bush-era tax cuts.
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1. SYRIAN GOVERNMENT BLOCKS U.N. MONITORS FROM MASSACRE SITE
United Nations officials say unarmed monitors trying to visit the small town of Qubeir, where activists say dozens of civilians were brutally killed on Wednesday, were fired upon and blocked from entering. "The danger of full-scale civil war is imminent and real, with catastrophic consequences for Syria and the region," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said following 10 hours of talks on Syria on Thursday. Fresh fighting and shelling by government forces in the central city of Homs was reported Friday.  [CNN, New York Times]
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2. BILL CLINTON APOLOGIZES FOR TAX COMMENTS
Former President Bill Clinton said on Thursday that he was "very sorry" for saying earlier in the week that he would temporarily extend all of the Bush tax cuts. Republicans seized on Clinton's comments, which appeared to undermine President Obama, who advocates extending the tax cuts for the middle class but not for those earning more than $250,000. "I support [Obama's] position," Clinton said. "He should just stick with his position and negotiate with the Republicans when possible." [McClatchy-Tribune News Service]
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3. SUPREME COURT APPROVAL RATING KEEPS DROPPING
According to a New York Times/CBS News poll, only 44 percent of Americans approve of how the Supreme Court is doing its job. Seventy-five percent of those polled believe the justices' personal and political views influence their decisions. The court's standing has been on the decline in recent decades. In the late 1980s, the court's approval rating was as high as 66 percent. By 2000, it hovered around 50 percent. [New York Times]
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4. RAND PAUL ENDORSES ROMNEY
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) gave Mitt Romney his endorsement Thursday night, but he said his father, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, was still his "first pick." [ABC News]
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5. SPAIN TO REQUEST BANK AID
European Union and German officials say that Spain is expected to ask for EU aid for its sinking banks this weekend. "The government of Spain has realized the seriousness of their problem," one high-ranking German official said. Spain will be the fourth and largest country to ask for aid since Europe's debt troubles began. [Reuters]
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6. DESIGNERS LINE OBAMA CAMPAIGN POCKETS
Michelle Obama's fashion savvy is proving to be a boon to her husband's re-election bid. Fashion celebs like Anna Wintour and Iman are stumping for President Obama, while a number of designers hanging in the First Lady's closet are making campaign contributions and hosting big-ticket fundraising dinners. Obama is said to be the first presidential candidate to elicit such widespread and generous support from the fashion industry. [Washington Post]
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7. I'LL HAVE ANOTHER READIES FOR TRIPLE CROWN BID
I'll Have Another took a final gallop early Friday in preparation for Saturday's Belmont Stakes. The colt previously won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness; if he wins the Belmont, he'll be the first horse to win the Triple Crown since 1978.  [Associated Press]
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8. FLEETWOOD MAC GUITARIST BOB WELCH DIES
Fleetwood Mac singer and guitarist Bob Welch was found dead on Thursday at his home in Nashville. Police say the 66-year-old appeared to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. His wife, Wendy, said Welch had been struggling with health problems. Welch left the British blues rock band in 1974 and was replaced by Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. [Los Angeles Times]
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9. JAPANESE COAST GUARD RESCUES SOLO ROWER
Sarah Outen, a solo rower attempting to row, kayak, and cycle around the world, has been rescued by Japanese coast guards. Outen's 23-foot boat was damaged and had capsized in a tropical storm off the coast of Japan. The Japanese coast guard is also working to rescue another solo rower, Charlie Martell, making a similar attempt in a similar boat a few hundred miles north of Outen. [Guardian]
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10. JAMES LEADS MIAMI TO GAME 6 WIN
LeBron James had 45 points and 15 rebounds in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals Thursday night, leading the Miami Heat to a whopping 98-79 victory over the Boston Celtics and silencing talk about the MVP's inability to play under pressure. Miami hosts Game 7 on Saturday. [Boston Globe]

 

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