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10 things you need to know today: February 3, 2013
White House releases Obama skeet-shooting photo, Alabama hostage crisis drags on, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
President Obama shoots clay targets with a shotgun on August 4, 2012, at Camp David, Maryland.
President Obama shoots clay targets with a shotgun on August 4, 2012, at Camp David, Maryland. White House/Getty Images

1. SYRIAN OPPOSITION CHIEF INVITED TO MOSCOW
Moaz al-Khatib, the head of Syria's main opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, has been invited to Moscow after he met with Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of an international security conference in Munich. After meeting Lavrov, Khatib said: "Russia [a major ally of Syria's] has a certain vision but we welcome negotiations to alleviate the crisis. There are lots of details that need to be discussed." More than 60,000 people have been killed since the uprising against President Assad began 22 months ago, the U.N. says. [BBC]
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2. WHITE HOUSE RELEASES PHOTO OF OBAMA SKEET-SHOOTING
The White House has released a photo of President Obama shooting skeet last August at Camp David, backing up a claim he made in a recent interview, which some critics had said wasn't true. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) led that skeptical group of doubters, saying on CNN, "If he is a skeet shooter, why have we not heard of this? Why have we not seen photos? Why hasn't he referenced this at any point in time?" The photo release comes as Obama is advancing a slate of measures intended to combat prevent gun violence, including reinstituting an assault weapons ban, limiting the size of gun magazines, and requiring background checks on all gun sales. He also signed a series of executive actions relating to gun violence. [CNN]
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3. ALABAMA HOSTAGE SITUATION DRAGS INTO FIFTH DAY
The ordeal of a 5-year-old Alabama boy kidnapped from his school bus by a gunman and taken to an underground bunker stretched into a fifth straight day on Saturday. Police believe 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes, a retired trucker and Vietnam War veteran, fatally shot bus driver Charles Albert Poland, 66, on Tuesday and then took one of Poland's more than 20 child passengers hostage during their ride home from school. Efforts to free the boy remained under a shroud of secrecy as FBI officials have declined to comment, referring calls to local authorities who have been extremely tight-lipped. According to neighbors, Dykes was often seen patrolling his property at night with a gun and flashlight and had spent a lot of time building the underground bunker where he is holding the boy hostage. [Reuters
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4. FAMED U.S. SNIPER SHOT DEAD IN TEXAS
Iraq war veteran and the deadliest U.S. sniper Chris Kyle was found shot to death alongside another man at the Rock Creek Lodge shooting range near Glen Rose, Texas. Police say a 25-year-old suspect was apprehended several hours after the bodies were found. Kyle, 38, wrote a best-selling book about his career as a sniper, in which he killed some 250 people. He served four tours of duty in Iraq. According to army intelligence, he was nicknamed "The Devil" by Iraqi insurgents, who put a $20,000 bounty on his head. [BBC]
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5. TENSIONS FLARE AS FOOTAGE EMERGES OF EGYPTIAN POLICE BEATING PROTESTER
Footage of 50-year-old Egyptian protester Hamada Saber being beaten and dragged into a police van emerged on Friday, heightening tension and anger against President Mohamed Morsi. Saber, an unemployed laborer, is seen in the video lying on the ground outside the presidential palace in Cairo, with his pants around his ankles, being beaten with batons and fists by about eight police officers before being dragged into a police van. After a week of civil unrest across the country, in which nearly 60 people died, protesters had gathered outside the palace to intensify calls for Morsi's removal. [Guardian]
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6. DOZENS INJURED IN BUS CRASH AFTER FROM HARVARD VISIT
Dozens of high school students, along with their adult chaperones, were injured in a bus crash on their way back from a visit at Harvard University on Saturday evening. The group was on its way to the Philadelphia area when their charter bus hit an overpass in Boston after the bus driver reportedly failed to heed low-clearance warning signs. At least one of those injured was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries and three with serious injuries. Authorities said the bus did not belong on the road. [Associated Press]
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7. NETANYAHU BEGINS COALITION TALKS
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who won the approval of 82 newly elected lawmakers to form a new coalition government, said on Saturday that he would try to put together as broad a coalition as possible. Netanyahu said his top priorities would be confronting Iran's nuclear development program, and restarting Palestinian peace talks. He also faces a $10 billion budget deficit. The prime minister did not mention Israel's airstrike last week against a Syrian weapons convoy near Damascus. [Los Angeles Times]
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8. BEN AFFLECK WINS DIRECTOR'S GUILD AWARD FOR ARGO 
Ben Affleck won the highest honor from the Director's Guild of America for his Iranian hostage crisis film Argo. The prize normally would make Affleck a near shoo-in to win Best Director at the Feb. 24 Oscars, since the Directors Guild recipient nearly always goes on to claim the same prize at the Academy Awards, but Affleck was not even nominated in the Oscars' directing category. Affleck did, however, win the Golden Globe for Best Director, and Argo won top honors from the Producers Guild and Screen Actors Guild, which, some say, makes Argo a Best Picture frontrunner at the Oscars. [Associated Press]
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9. TWITTER HACKED, 250,000 POSSIBLY AFFECTED
In a blog post, Twitter announced that 250,000 users were affected by a series of attempts to hack user account information including emails and usernames. In an email to affected users, Twitter wrote that it "believes that your account may have been compromised by a web site or service not associated with Twitter. We've reset your password to prevent others from accessing your account." Some are speculating that the affected accounts are early adopters of the service, or accounts created in 2006 and 2007. [CNET]
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10. NEW ORLEANS EXPECTS $432 MILLION BOOST FROM SUPER BOWL
As the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens prepare to face off in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, city officials are estimating that the highly anticipated event will bring in $432 million. More than 150,000 people are expected to descend on the city, which was left in ruins after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Hotel revenue in New Orleans is up 100 percent from the same time a year ago. Ahead of the game, city officials fast-tracked more than $1 billion worth of city, state, and federal infrastructure projects around the city, including a $356 million renovation of the airport, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. [USA Today]

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