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10 things you need to know today: July 22, 2012
Police clear James Holmes' apartment, Penn State's Paterno statue comes down, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
Police surround the apartment of James Holmes, the suspect in the Aurora, Colo., theater shooting. Numerous explosive devices were found in the apartment and successfully disarmed. 
Police surround the apartment of James Holmes, the suspect in the Aurora, Colo., theater shooting. Numerous explosive devices were found in the apartment and successfully disarmed. 
Chris Schneider/Getty Images

1. POLICE CLEAR SHOOTING SUSPECT'S APARTMENT
With the help of a robot, bomb experts in Aurora, Colo., have successfully disarmed and removed all explosives from the "booby-trapped" apartment of James Holmes, the alleged gunman in The Dark Knight Rises shootings, which left 12 dead and more than 50 people injured. Authorities say the unit, outfitted with trip wires and explosives, was rigged to kill the first person who opened the front door, presumably a police officer. The police say they hope to let the people who were evacuated from Holmes' building and neighboring complexes to return to their homes starting Sunday. Meanwhile, more details about Holmes have emerged, including evidence that he had planned the attack well in advance, receiving deliveries of ammunition and explosive-making materials for at least four months. On Sunday, President Obama will visit the survivors and families of slain victims of the shooting. [Fox News]
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2. STUDIOS DELAY RELEASE OF BOX OFFICE NUMBERS
Sony, Fox, Disney, Universal, Fox, Paramount, and Lionsgate banded together with Warner Bros. — the distributor of The Dark Knight Rises — in delaying the release of weekend box office numbers until Monday, out of respect for the victim's of Friday's movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo. Before the tragedy, the Dark Knight debut was expected to challenge the record $207.4 million first-weekend returns brought in by The Avengers. Box-office experts still expect the film's weekend box office to reach about $165 million. [Associated Press]
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3. PENN STATE WILL REMOVE PATERNO STATUE
Calling a bronze statue of the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno an "obstacle to healing in our university and beyond," the university's President Rodney Erickson announced Sunday that the statue would come down. Workers have apparently already begun dismantling it. Calls for the removal of the statue had reached a fever pitch since the release of a report earlier this month that clearly implicated Paterno in a widespread cover-up of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse of children. Sandusky, who was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse of children in June, is awaiting sentencing. [Patriot-News]
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4. MURDOCH STEPS DOWN FROM NEWS CORP. BOARDS
A spokeswoman for News International, the British arm of News Corp., has confirmed that chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch resigned as director of several News Corp. subsidiary boards. It was not immediately clear which of News Corp.'s U.S. boards Murdoch had left. The company played down the resignations as merely "a corporate housecleaning exercise prior to the company split." On June 28, News Corp. announced that it would separate its publishing business from its much more profitable media and entertainment business — forming two distinct, publicly traded companies. [Associated Press]
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5. SYRIAN REBELS SEIZE ON ALEPPO
Syrian opposition forces are battling government forces in Aleppo, Syria's largest city, after seizing some of the country's border crossings with Turkey and Iraq. The escalating conflict has caused thousands to flee to neighboring countries. Rebels have already gained control of three neighborhoods in Aleppo, and government forces intensified shelling of the city, Al Jazeera television reported. [Bloomberg]
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6. TORRENTIAL RAINS KILL 10 IN BEIJING
The heaviest rains to hit Beijing in more than six decades have killed 10 people and forced the evacuation of some 50,000 others. More than 80,000 travelers are also stranded, as Beijing's international airport has canceled hundreds of flights. An average of 17 centimeters (6.6 inches) of rain has fallen, but in some areas the deluge has amounted to about 46 centimeters (18 inches). [Voice of America]
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7. MUKHERJEE ELECTED INDIA'S NEW PRESIDENT
Pranab Mukherjee, who resigned as India's finance minister to seek the presidency, has been elected the country's 14th president, officials said Sunday. Though India's ruling Congress party has relied on him heavily as its "political Mr. Fix-It," Mukherjee is expected to be even more influential as president, even though under the constitution, the prime minister, currently Manmohan Singh, wields most of the executive power. "With the upsurge of regional parties in an increasingly fractious political landscape, and the possibility of a hung Parliament after the 2014 elections, Mukherjee could have a pivotal role in deciding the next government, analysts say." [Hindustan Times]
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8. GEORGE W. WON'T ATTEND GOP CONVENTION
Former President George W. Bush declined an invitation to attend the Republican National Convention to be held in Tampa. Fla., next month, where Mitt Romney will officially become the GOP presidential nominee. "President Bush was grateful for the invitation," his spokesman, Freddy Ford, said Friday in an email. He added that the 43rd president "is confident that Mitt Romney will be a great president. But he's still enjoying his time off the political stage and respectfully declined the invitation to go to Tampa." [Associated Press]
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9. AIR FORCE INSTRUCTOR GETS 20 YEARS FOR RAPE
U.S. Air Force instructor Luis Walker was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Saturday, a day after a military jury convicted him of 28 charges of rape and sexual assault. The staff sergeant was based at Texas' Lackland Air Force Base, and is among 12 Lackland instructors investigated in connection with sexual misconduct involving at least 31 female trainees. Six instructors have been charged, on counts including rape and adultery, and Sergeant Walker was the first to stand trial. [Associated Press]
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10. ROB PORTMAN DANCES AROUND VP RUMORS
After rumors had surfaced that he had withdrawn from consideration to become Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate, Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said nothing has changed in terms of the importance he puts on serving his Ohio constituents. Romney had been expected to announce his running mate last week, but no announcement materialized. [Plain Dealer]

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