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10 things you need to know today: June 13, 2012
Democrats hold on to Giffords' seat, Clinton says Russia is arming Syria's regime, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the World Food Prize ceremony held in Washington on June 12: Clinton says that Russia is supplying the Syrian regime with attack helicopters and other arms, but Russia denies the claim.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the World Food Prize ceremony held in Washington on June 12: Clinton says that Russia is supplying the Syrian regime with attack helicopters and other arms, but Russia denies the claim.
Fang Zhe/Xinhua Press/CORBIS

1. CLINTON: RUSSIA SENDING SYRIA ATTACK HELICOPTERS
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the Obama administration has received information that Russia is providing attack helicopters to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, and that Russia's worrisome actions "will escalate the conflict quite dramatically." In recent months, Russia, with which Syria has long had a military relationship, has continued to ship arms to Syria, claiming that what it is shipping is not being used to quash the uprising. On Monday, Clinton called such claims "patently untrue." Russia, along with China, has repeatedly blocked attempts by the U.N. Security Council to formally condemn the Syrian regime. Clinton expressed her fears soon after a top U.N. peacekeeping official called the Syrian conflict a "civil war," the first time the international body has deemed it as such. [Guardian]
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2. GIFFORDS' AIDE RON BARBER WINS HER SEAT
The Democrats will hold on to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' congressional seat. Ron Barber, a former aide to Giffords, narrowly defeated Republican Jesse Kelly in a special election Tuesday. Giffords stepped down in January to concentrate on recovering from a gunshot wound to the head she suffered in the 2011 shooting rampage in Tuscon that left six dead and 13 wounded. Barber, who was hand-picked by Democrats to take Giffords' seat, was among the wounded. [Associated Press]
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3. CAR BOMBS KILL 63 IN IRAQ
A wave of car bombs in several Iraqi cities on Wednesday killed at least 63 people and left dozens injured. The coordinated attacks targeted religious processions during an annual Shiite pilgrimage and are among the deadliest since U.S. troops withdrew from the country. "The bloodshed was a stark reminder of the political tensions threatening to provoke a new round of sectarian violence that once pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war." [Associated Press]
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4. POLICE CHARGE ZIMMERMAN'S WIFE WITH PERJURY
Shellie Zimmerman, the 25-year-old wife of Trayvon Martin's shooter, George Zimmerman, has been charged with felony perjury. Shellie is facing charges that she lied to a judge about the couple's finances when George sought a release on bond. Earlier this month, a judge said her alleged lies had led to Zimmerman's being released on $150,000 bond; the judge went on to revoke the bond and put Zimmerman back in jail. [Associated Press]
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5. FORMER COACH TESTIFIES IN SANDUSKY TRIAL
Former Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary testified on Tuesday that he had witnessed Jerry Sandusky sodomizing a 10- to 12-year-old boy in a locker room shower late one night. McQueary says he told the late coaching legend Joe Paterno and two university officials about what he'd seen, but they failed to take significant action. An 18-year-old known as "Victim 1" also testified Tuesday, tearfully saying that Sandusky had sexually abused him on numerous occasions when he was in junior high school. [Washington Post]
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6. AUBURN SHOOTING SUSPECT SURRENDERS
The suspect in a shooting near Auburn University that left three dead turned himself in to a U.S. marshall in a Montgomery, Ala., courthouse on Tuesday, ending a three-day manhunt. Desmonte Leonard, 22, had been on the run since Saturday, when, according to authorities, he went on a shooting rampage at a pool party. He is charged with three counts of capital murder. [Associated Press]
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7. OBAMA'S APPROVAL RATING SINKS 
According to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll, President Obama's approval ratings have dropped to their lowest point since January as Americans worry about the economy. According to the poll, just 47 percent of Americans approve of Obama's job performance, compared with 50 percent a month ago. [Reuters]
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8. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER WINS GAME 1
With a game-high 36 points, Kevin Durant drove the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 105-94 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBC Finals Tuesday. LeBron James and the Heat were ahead for most of the first three quarters, but Oklahhoma City surged as Miami tired in the second half. Durant scored 17 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter. [Boston Globe]
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9. JPMORGAN'S DIMON TO TESTIFY ON TRADING LOSS
JPMorgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon is on Capitol Hill Wednesday to explain to the Senate Banking Committee just how JPMorgan lost more than $2 billion on risky trades. According to a prepared statement, Dimon will outline how JPMorgan plans to prevent such losses from occurring in the future. [Associated Press]
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10. NASA LAUNCHING X-RAY TELESCOPE FROM PACIFIC
NASA is preparing to launch an X-ray space telescope from a remote Pacific island. The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, aka Nustar, will use high energy X-rays to get a look at previously unseen parts of the universe. [Associated Press]

 

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