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10 things you need to know today: June 30, 2012
A judge keeps George Zimmerman in jail, Eric Holder avoids prosecution, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
George Zimmerman appears in a Seminole County courtroom in Florida for his bond hearing, during which the judge ordered him to go back to jail.
George Zimmerman appears in a Seminole County courtroom in Florida for his bond hearing, during which the judge ordered him to go back to jail.
Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel-Pool/Getty Images

1. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT WON'T PROSECUTE HOLDER
On Friday, the Justice Department announced that it would not prosecute Attorney General Eric Holder, the head of the department, over his refusal to hand over documents related to "Fast and Furious," a botched gun-walking operation, to a House investigatory committee. The Justice Department said Holder's response to a subpoena from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform did not constitute a crime. On Thursday, the House voted to hold Holder in criminal contempt over the issue, in what Democrats have described as a political witch hunt. [TPM]

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2. CONGRESS OKAYS STUDENT LOAN PACKAGE
In what is being hailed as a rare display of bipartisanship, Congress passed a bill on Friday that will keep interest rates low on student loans. The $127 billion package is also expected to create or save about 3 million jobs — largely by extending federal highway, rail, and transportation programs for more than two years — while also keeping the federal student loan interest rate at 3.4 percent by changing pension laws and restricting some terms of the loans. [The New York Times]

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3. STOCKS SOAR ON EUROPEAN RESCUE PLAN
On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average recorded its second-biggest gain of 2012, after European leaders announced a new plan to resolve their ongoing debt crisis. Among other things, the plan would allow the European Union to use its bailout fund to directly recapitalize tottering banks, easing investor concerns that the continent's fragile banking industry could add to the debt load of nations already deeply in the red. The Dow rose 278 points to close at 12,880, while the larger S&P 500 index climbed 33 points to end the day at 1,362. [CBS]
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4. JUDGE DEFERS RULING ON ZIMMERMAN BOND
The judge in the second-degree murder case against George Zimmerman, who killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February, is holding off on ruling whether Zimmerman should be released from jail on bond a second time. Zimmerman was initially released on $150,000 bond, but was ordered back to jail after prosecutors presented evidence that Zimmerman and his wife Shellie had lied during the first bond hearing to make it appear that they were struggling to pay for legal costs. Prosecutors say the couple raised several hundred thousand dollars through a short-lived website. The judge, Kenneth R. Lester, did not indicate when he would decide whether to release Zimmerman again. [Miami Herald]
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5. TOM CRUISE AND KATIE HOLMES TO DIVORCE
After five years of marriage, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are getting a divorce. "This is a personal and private matter for Katie and her family," Holmes' attorney said. "Katie's primary concern remains, as it always has been, her daughter's best interests." Cruise and Holmes' whirlwind romance began unexpectedly in 2005 when Cruise famously declared his love for the former Dawson's Creek star on The Oprah Winfrey Show, jumping maniacally on the Queen of Talk's couch. Engaged in June 2005, the two welcomed their daughter Suri on April 18, 2006, and married six months later in front of 150 guests at an Italian castle. This was Holmes' first marriage, and the third for Cruise, who was previously married to actresses Nicole Kidman, with whom he has two children, and Mimi Rogers. [People]
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6. FACEBOOK REPORTEDLY TESTS 'WANT' BUTTON
Here's something advertisers will "Like": Facebook is reportedly testing a "Want" button to be used by brands on product pages. The code, which is currently disabled, was introduced to the social network's Javascript SDK on Wednesday and was unearthed by web developer Tom Waddington, who tried to install it on his own site to no avail. Such a button would tell a user's friends what they're currently lusting over (a Volkswagen Jetta, for instance), and would presumably bolster Facebook's arguably ineffective ad strategy if implemented. [Business Insider]
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7. BERNIE MADOFF'S BROTHER PLEADS GUILTY
Peter Madoff, the younger brother of imprisonsed Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff, pleaded guilty to conspiracy Friday in a plea deal with federal investigators for his fraudulent work as chief compliance officer in his brother's company. Bernie is already serving a 150-year sentence for being the architect behind the mega-swindle. Under today's deal, Peter was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and will have to forfeit $143 billion — though that amount is largely symbolic of what could be traced to his involvement in the fraud, and not actually representative of what he'll be able to pay back. [Daily News]
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8. REPORTS OF WEST NILE VIRUS CROP UP IN U.S.
Across the country, people are reporting incidents of being infected with West Nile Virus by mosquitos. Some 80 percent of people infected with the virus never show any symptoms, while others experience mild symptoms like fever, aches, rash, and vomiting for a couple of days. One in 150 people may experience severe symptoms such as high fever, disorientation, coma, tremors, vision loss, paralysis, and other neurological effects. The best way to prevent infection is to use insect repellant, wear long sleeves and pants, or stay indoors at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active. [CBS News]
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9. CBS ESCAPES FINE FOR "WARDROBE MALFUNCTION"
On Friday, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from the Federal Communications Commission about the $550,000 fine it tried to levy against CBS for singer Janet Jackson's infamous breast-baring waldrobe malfunction during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had previously thrown out the fine twice, saying that the FCC's previous policy of excusing fleeting instances of indecent words or images changed without notice in March 2004, after the Super Bowl incident. [Associated Press]
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10. AIDS QUILT RETURNS TO NATIONAL MALL
The AIDS Memorial quilt, which has 8,000 panels memorializing people who died battling AIDS or HIV, is on display at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for the first time in 16 years. [Associated Press]

 

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