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10 things you need to know today: February 9, 2013
A blizzard blankets the Northeast, the LAPD widens its search for a cop-killer, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
Two residents of Portland, Maine, ski down the road during the early stages of snowstorm Nemo.
Two residents of Portland, Maine, ski down the road during the early stages of snowstorm Nemo. AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

1. BLIZZARD HITS NORTHEAST
One of the worst blizzards in recent memory struck the Northeast on Friday, causing a virtual shutdown of transportation in several states. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut were all in a state of emergency, while thousands of flights were grounded in Boston and New York. Some areas of the Northeast were cloaked in two feet of snow, while officials reported that four people had died from storm-related incidents. [Fox NewsThe New York Times]
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2. ALLEGED COP KILLER MAY HAVE SLIPPED DRAGNET
Police have so far failed to apprehend Christopher Dorner, a former Los Angeles police officer suspected of killing three people, despite encircling him in a valley in the San Bernardino Mountains outside L.A., raising concerns that Dorner may have slipped the dragnet. Dorner left a chilling and bizarre manifesto on Facebook in which he pledged to go on a killing spree, and is considered to be armed and extremely dangerous. [The New York Times]
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3. HACKER PUBLISHES PRIVATE PHOTOS, PAINTINGS OF GEORGE W. BUSH
A hacker, known by the pseudonym Guccifer, hacked into the email accounts of several members of the Bush family, including President George W. Bush's sister, and published a cache of private emails and photographs online. The emails reveal that the Bushes were highly concerned about the health of George H.W. Bush, who was recently released from the hospital following a week of intensive care. The most intriguing images, which have been the subject of some easy mockery, are of painted self-portraits done by George W. Bush, including one of him in the shower and one of him in the bath, both utterly safe for work. The Secret Service says it has opened an investigation into the matter. [The Week]
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4. HILLARY CLINTON MORE POPULAR THAN OBAMA
According to a Quinnipiac University poll of 1,772 registered voters, Hillary Clinton is the most popular political figure in America. Clinton notched a favorability rating of 61 percent to Obama's 51 percent. [Associated Press]
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5. BOEING COULD DELAY DREAMLINER DELIVERIES
Boeing warned airlines that it could delay scheduled deliveries of the company's 787 Dreamliner, the troubled aircraft that has been grounded worldwide due to battery problems. Government investigations into the aircraft are expected to take weeks, and Boeing has reportedly proposed changes to the battery's design intended to prevent the outbreak of fires. [Wall Street Journal]
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6. U.S. TRADE DEFICIT FALLS
The Commerce Department on Friday reported that the U.S. trade deficit fell 20.7 percent in December, to $38.5 billion, its lowest level in two years. The plunge was largely attributed to surging U.S. exports of petroleum, more evidence of the economic impact of the U.S.'s booming energy industry. [Bloomberg]
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7. 9/11 TRUTHER DEFACES FAMOUS FRENCH PAINTING
French police have detained a woman who allegedly defaced the famous Delacroix painting "Liberty Leading the People," which was on display at the newly-opened Louvre branch in Lens, France. The woman, whose identity has not been released, was seen scrawling a graffiti tag on the iconic painting, which is said to have served as inspiration for the Statue of Liberty. While officials will not disclose what the woman wrote, they said it was a reference to a 9/11 conspiracy theory. Museum officials said they believed the painting could be easily cleaned and restored. [BBC]
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8. WOMAN BURNED ALIVE FOR 'SORCERY' IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA
According to local media reports, a 20-year-old woman in Papua New Guinea who was accused of using witchcraft to kill a young boy was tortured and burned alive. The woman, Kepari Leniata, was reportedly stripped, tied up, and doused in gas by the boy's relatives in Mount Hagen in the Western Highlands. She was then thrown into a fire in front of hundreds of people, and police and firefighters were allegedly unable to intervene because they were outnumbered by the crowd. Newspapers published graphic photos of the burning, which the U.S. embassy in the capital Port Moresby condemned as "brutal murder." [BBC
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9. CONSUMER ADVOCACY GROUP BLASTS MARKETING OF GIRL SCOUTS MANGO COOKIE
The Center for Science in the Public Interest has fired off an angry letter to the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. over claims the organization makes about its new Mango Crème with Nutrifusion cookies, which the Girl Scouts says are "a delicious new way to get your vitamins." In the letter sent on Friday, the consumer advocacy group says, "It's bad enough that the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. sells cookies to raise money, but it shouldn't pretend that its new 'Mango Crèmes with NutriFusion' are nutritionally equivalent to fruit." The CSPI demanded that the Girl Scouts stop marketing the cookies as "healthful." The Girl Scouts has not yet commented on the matter. [Adweek]
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10. COMMUNITY RATINGS SLIGHTLY HIGHER
Upon its return Thursday, NBC's beleaguered sitcom Community was simultaneously written off as catering to a broader audience to boost ratings and lauded for expertly weaving its behind-the-scenes drama into its storyline. But the producers of the show and its dedicated stars seem to have emerged victorious: Community delivered 4 million viewers and a 1.8 rating among adults 18-49 at 8 p.m., up 6 percent from its previous debut in September 2011. The show improved on NBC's average in this slot this season by 38 percent and boosted 8:30 p.m.'s Parks and Recreation to a season high. [The Week, Entertainment Weekly]

 

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