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10 things you need to know today: June 22, 2012
The Taliban attacks a hotel in Afghanistan, the Miami Heat win an NBA title, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
Miami Heat small forward LeBron James holds his MVP trophy after the Miami Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-106 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals to win the championship.
Miami Heat small forward LeBron James holds his MVP trophy after the Miami Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-106 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals to win the championship.
Mark Halmas/Icon SMI/CORBIS

1. TALIBAN LAUNCHES DEADLY ATTACK IN AFGHAN RESORT
On Friday outside of Kabul, Taliban militants stormed a hotel and took dozens of hostages. A gunfight between the Taliban and NATO and Afghan troops ensued, leaving at least 26 dead. In an 11-hour standoff, the militants killed 15 civilians, three security guards, and one policeman. All seven militants were killed. Police say it appears some of the attackers donned burqas and entered the hotel dressed as women. The attack comes after bombings in two eastern provinces Wednesday left at least 29 dead. [CNN]
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2. MOODY'S DOWNGRADES 15 GLOBAL BANKS
Moody's Investors Service issued a slew of downgrades late Thursday, downgrading some of the world's largest banks. Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase all saw their credit ratings lowered, as did some of Europe's largest banks, such as Barclays, HSBC, and Deutsche Bank. Moody's explained the downgrades with a statement saying that the banks "have significant exposure to the volatility and risk of outsized losses inherent to capital markets activities." [Associated Press]
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3. MIAMI HEAT WINS NBA CHAMPIONSHIP
LeBron James captured his first NBA title Thursday, leading the Miami Heat to a 121-106 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5. James had 26 points, 13 assists, and 11 rebounds. His big win comes two years after he left the Cleveland Cavaliers, who had drafted him out of high school. After much fanfare, including a much-derided TV special called The Decision, James announced he was going to Miami. [CNN]
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4. SANDUSKY SON SAYS HE WAS ALSO ABUSED
As the jury deliberates the sex abuse case against former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, the defendant's adopted son has issued a statement saying that he too was abused. Matt Sandusky had supported his father during the investigation, but, in the middle of the trial, he requested a meeting with prosecutors and told them he had also been a victim. He offered to testify, but he couldn't be called to the stand because he wasn't part of the original charges against Sandusky. Matt attempted suicide in 1995 just months after joining the Sandusky family; he is one of six who were adopted by Sandusky and his wife, Dottie. [ABC News]
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5. BUS MONITOR DONATIONS TOP $450,000
Online donations continue to pour in for Karen Klein, the New York bus monitor who was brutally bullied on the bus by middle school kids. A video of Klein, a 68-year-old grandmother, being harassed went viral, spurring outrage and support. More than $450,000 has been raised for Klein through the crowd-funding site, Indiegogo. The original goal was to raise just a few thousand dollars to send Klein on vacation. [CNN]
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6. PAKISTAN'S RULING PARTY REPLACES P.M. NOMINEE
Pakistan's ruling party, the Pakistan People's Party, has picked a new candidate for prime minister after an anti-narcotics court issued an arrest warrant for its first nominee, Makhdoom Shahabuddin. The new nominee is Raja Pervez Ashraf, a former water and power minister. Earlier this week, Pakistan's Supreme Court disqualified current prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani for failing to launch a corruption investigation against President Asif Ali Zardari. [Reuters]
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7. DOW HAS SECOND-BIGGEST DROP OF THE YEAR
The Dow Jones Industrial fell 251 points Thursday, its second-biggest loss of the year, following reports of a slowdown in manufacturing in the U.S. and China. [Associated Press]
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8. CRITICS PAN THE NEWSROOM
Aaron Sorkin and HBO seem like a winning combination, but critics are down on The Newsroom, the new series from The West Wing and The Social Network scribe that premieres on the HBO this Sunday. One critic says it starts out promisingly only to descend "into a baffling free-fall in which plot exists almost solely to support the political and cultural points Sorkin wants to make, often in non sequitur monologues." [Los Angeles Times]
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9. DOCS PERFORM FIRST IN-UTERO SURGERY
Surgeons at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital saved the life of an unborn baby by performing a surgery on her while she was still in the womb. After a potentially fatal tumor coming out of the fetus' mouth was detected with an ultrasound, doctors made a small incision in the mothers stomach and then used a laser beam to cut out the tumor in a first-of-its kind operation. The surgery took place in 2010, but the hospital has just gone public with the news. The stricken fetus is now a healthy 20-month-old girl. [Guardian]
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10. PIXAR'S BRAVE HITS THEATERS
Brave opens Friday, bringing Pixar's first female protagonist to multiplexes. Reviews are fairly mixed. One critic calls it "a lively, psychologically astute tale filled with humanity, wit, and charming performances." Another deems it "a subpar story that seems to exist mainly to sell a new Disney Princess in the form of wild-haired Merida." [USA Today, Dallas Morning News]

 

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