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10 things you need to know today: February 24, 2013
NASCAR accident injures 28 people, Pistorius' brother is facing a homicide charge, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
Kyle Larson, driver of the #32 Clorox Chevrolet, is involved in an incident on the last lap of the NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 on Feb. 23.
Kyle Larson, driver of the #32 Clorox Chevrolet, is involved in an incident on the last lap of the NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 on Feb. 23. Jerry Markland/Getty Images

1. NASCAR CRASH INJURES 28
NASCAR driver Kyle Larson's car hit a fence at the Drive4COPD 300 race at Daytona Speedway in Florida on Saturday after he was involved in a 12-car wreck, injuring 28 spectators, including two critically. Daytona Speedway president Joie Chitwood said Daytona would conduct a safety review of its fencing and is replacing the section that was hit by Larson's car. A mesh crossover gate in the fencing won't be replaced for Sunday's Daytona 500. "We don't anticipate moving any fans," Chitwood said. "We had our safety protocols in place. Our security maintained a buffer that separates the fans from the fencing area." [USA Today]
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2. ITALIANS VOTE IN CRUCIAL ELECTION
Italy voted on Sunday in one of the most closely watched and unpredictable elections in years. The vote is being followed closely by investors, whose memories are "still fresh of the potentially catastrophic debt crisis that saw Mario Monti, an economics professor and former bureaucrat, summoned to serve as prime minister in place of Silvio Berlusconi 15 months ago." Opinion polls give the center-left a narrow lead but the prospect of a huge protest vote against the austerity measures imposed by Monti's government could shift the result of the election. Berlusconi's center-right has also revived. [Reuters]
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3. PISTORIUS' BROTHER FACES CULPABLE HOMICIDE CHARGE
Carl Pistorius, the brother of Olympic double-amputee runner Oscar Pistorius, is facing a culpable homicide charge stemming from a 2008 car crash that left a female motorcyclist dead. Carl was in court last Thursday as his brother Oscar was facing a bail hearing for the charge of premeditated murder for shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to death on Feb. 14. Oscar says that he shot Steenkamp because he believed her to be an intruder who was locked inside the bathroom of his home. Prosecutors allege that the Olympian had been arguing with Steenkamp before he intentionally shot her. Oscar Pistorius was released on bail on Friday.  [Associated Press] 
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4. VATICAN DENIES RUMORS SWIRLING IN ITALIAN MEDIA
The Vatican issued a stern denial of rumors in Italian media that say a three-year investigation revealed a series of scandals involving sex, money, and power that touch cardinals, priests, and lay people that work in the Vatican. Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone said the report was "deplorable." Such unfounded stories "cause serious damage to persons and institutions," he said. The rumors include allegations that gay clergy may have made themselves vulnerable to blackmail by male prostitutes, setting off speculation that a brewing scandal may have triggered Benedict's resignation, which will become official Feb. 28. The denial came a day before Pope Benedict's final Angelus blessing on Sunday, in which he said that "the Lord is calling" him "to dedicate myself once more to prayer and meditation." [CNN]
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5. POLICE NAME SUSPECT IN LAS VEGAS SHOOTING
After locating a black SUV that was allegedly involved in a deadly shooting and ensuing car crash on the Las Vegas strip on Thursday, police named 26-year-old Ammar Harris as the prime suspect on Saturday. Police believe Harris opened fire from the black Range Rover shooting at a silver Maserati being driven by 27-year-old Kenneth Wayne Cherry Jr. at the busy intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road. Cherry, a rapper who performed under the name "Kenny Clutch," was killed and his car veered out of control, smashing into a taxicab. The driver of the cab, Michael Bolden, 62, and passenger Sandra Sutton-Wasmund, 48, of Maple Valley, Wash., were both killed. [Associated Press]
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6. MIT BRIEFLY LOCKED DOWN AFTER REPORT OF GUNMAN
The campus of MIT in Cambridge, Mass., was briefly locked down on Saturday after authorities got a report that a gunman was on campus — which turned out to be a hoax. At 10:19 a.m., police in Cambridge posted on Twitter that the "scene is clear." The police said the report described a man with a long rifle and body armor walking into a building on the campus and prompted a massive police response. [Boston Globe]
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7. LINDSEY VONN SAYS WEATHER CONDITIONS LED TO INJURY
After a big crash on Feb. 5 that forced her to have knee surgery, Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn has given her first comments on the dangerous conditions that caused her injury. "It was not safe," Vonn said of the super-G in Schladming, Austria, which was delayed multiple times because of fog and irregular conditions. "We were waiting for hours. I was ready to go, but the snow conditions had changed." She said that she flew off a jump and landed in unexpectedly soft snow. "That loose snow was 100 percent the reason I crashed," she said. [New York Times]
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8. TWILIGHT: BREAKING DAWN PART 2 CLEANS UP AT RAZZIES
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 won the honor of worst movie of the year at the annual Razzie awards. The movie also took home the prize in other categories, including worst actress (for Kristen Stewart); worst supporting actor (Taylor Lautner); worst screen ensemble; worst director (Bill Condon); worst remake, ripoff or sequel; and worst screen couple (for Mackenzie Foy and Taylor Lautner). [Nola.com]
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9. TED CRUZ DOUBLES DOWN ON COMMUNIST COMMENT
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has confirmed that a report from The New Yorker — which says that the senator accused Harvard Law School of having had 12 Communists "who believed in the overthrow of the U.S. government" on its faculty when Cruz attended in the '90s — is true. His spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told The Blaze that the "substantive point" in Cruz' charge, made in a speech in 2010, "was absolutely correct." She explained that "the Harvard Law School faculty included numerous self-described proponents of 'critical legal studies' — a school of thought explicitly derived from Marxism — and they far outnumbered Republicans." Cruz' former professor Charles Fried, a well-known Republican, has taken issue with the claim, saying that there were at least four Republicans on the faculty, including himself, though Cruz claimed in the speech that there was only one. [New Yorker, The Blaze]
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10. SETH MACFARLANE SET TO HOST 85TH ACADEMY AWARDS
Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is set to host the Oscar ceremony Sunday evening at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. The idea to have MacFarlane host the awards show was met with equal parts excitement and worry due in part to the raunchy brand of comedy the writer, producer, and actor employs on his shows (Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show). MacFarlane has said of his hosting duties, "We want it to feel like an old-style Oscars, but content-wise, we want it to also feel relevant." [Newsday]

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