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10 things you need to know today: March 10, 2013
Obama shares jokes at Gridiron Dinner, protests rage in Egypt, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
Egyptian soldiers guard the Suez Canal after the announcement of the final verdict in the case of the Port Said football massacre.
Egyptian soldiers guard the Suez Canal after the announcement of the final verdict in the case of the Port Said football massacre. Ed Giles / Getty Images

1. OBAMA CRACKS JOKES AT GRIDIRON DINNER
At the annual Gridiron Club Dinner on Saturday night, President Obama made light of the recent spat between White House economic adviser Gene Sperling and journalist Bob Woodward, the government sequester, Marco Rubio's televised water break and the 2016 election, among other topics. "Who knew anybody named Gene could be this intimidating?" Obama joked, referring to Woodward's public accusations that Sperling had intimidated him. He also addressed grievances from the press that his administration lacks transparency. The Gridiron Club is one of Washington D.C.'s most exclusive organizations for journalists. The event features musical skits poking fun at Republican and Democratic lawmakers. [ABC News]
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2. OPPOSITION AT DISADVANTAGE AS VENEZUELA'S PRESIDENTIAL RACE KICKS OFF
Venezuela's highly charged presidential race has begun and is likely to pit acting President Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela's former vice president and Hugo Chavez's preferred successor, against centrist opposition leader Henrique Capriles. The pair have until Monday to register candidacy for the April 14 vote. Two recent polls show the anti-imperialist Maduro winning the election with a large margin. Capriles lost to Chavez in October's election, but garnered the opposition's biggest vote against the incumbent. Maduro urged the snap election to cash in on a wave of sympathy following Chavez's death, and was sworn in as acting president on Friday to the fury of Capriles and opposition members. "They have taken over all of the powers, the courts," said opposition supporter Beatriz Rueda. "The elections must be transparent. We don't want a confrontation. We don't want a civil war." [Reuters]
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3. PROTESTS ERUPT IN EGYPT OVER FOOTBALL VERDICT
Protesters in Port Said tried to block the Suez Canal, and deadly riots erupted in Cairo on Saturday after a judge upheld the death sentences for 21 people involved in Egypt's worst ever football riots, which occurred in 2011 and left at least 40 people dead. Some 24 people were jailed over this weekend's clashes. The unrest follows a month of violence in Port Said, where more than 50 people have already been killed and hundreds injured in clashes with police. [Guardian]
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4. QUINN ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR NEW YORK MAYOR IN VIDEO
Democrat Christine C. Quinn, the New York City Council speaker, declared her candidacy for mayor on Sunday with a five-minute biographical video and a walking tour of the city, a signal that her campaign hopes to attract voters with her outsize, candid personality. In skipping the traditional announcement speech, Quinn is going for a contrast with Mayor Michel Bloomberg's business-like leadership approach. The video shows Quinn in a diner and sharing stories of her middle-class Long Island upbringing. Quinn, who was widely expected to make this announcement, would be New York City's first openly gay mayor. [New York Times]
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5. JEB BUSH DISCUSSES IMMIGRATION ON TALK SHOW CIRCUIT
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush told CBS' Face the Nation that President Obama won a second term in the White House in part by "dividing the country," in an interview that aired on Sunday. The Republican had a five-talk-show blitz Sunday morning to promote his new book on immigration, titled Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution. Bush also discussed his immigration views and dismissed talk of a 2016 presidential run, saying it's too soon to discuss the matter. [Washington Post]
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6. FALKLANDS VOTES ON REFERENDUM SUNDAY AND MONDAY
The people of the Falkland Islands are voting on a referendum Sunday and Monday to decide whether to remain a British overseas territory. Argentina has repeatedly reiterated its claims to the islands, even though Argentina was repelled by a British Task Force in a conflict 30 years ago. The 1,672 eligible voters on the islands, who are expected to choose to remain British subjects, decided to hold the vote in response to Argentine pressure for negotiations over sovereignty. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has said the inhabitants' wishes are not relevant in what is a territorial issue. [BBC]
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7. CHINESE SPACE DEBRIS BREAKS RUSSIAN SATELLITE
A piece of space debris from a 2007 Chinese missile test collided with a Russian satellite earlier this year, rendering the satellite unusable, a researcher said Saturday. The collision appears to have happened Jan. 22, but scientists only just determined the extent of the damage. It's thought a piece of the Feng Yun 1C weather satellite, which was destroyed in the controversial 2007 missile test, accidentally hit the Russian satellite, T.S. Kelso, a senior research astrodynamicist at the Center for Space Standards & Innovation, told CNN, highlighting the danger of space junk in the atmosphere. [CNN]
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8. PAPAL FRONTRUNNERS EMERGE
As senior leaders of the Roman Catholic Church prepare to cast their ballots inside the Sistine Chapel on Tuesday to elect a successor to Benedict XVI, several names have emerged as front-runners. The most buzzed-about names are archbishop of Milan Angelo Scola, Italian cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, and archbishop of Sao Paulo Odilo Pedro Scherer. The person who is chosen to lead the growing church of 1.2 billion followers will be faced with challenges by other religions, notably Islam and evangelical Protestantism, the damaging scandal over clerical sexual abuse, and a management crisis. [Los Angeles Times]
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9. WHOLE FOODS ANNOUNCES GMO LABELING PLAN
Upscale grocery chain Whole Foods Market will be the first major retailer in the United States to require that all genetically modified foods (GMOs) in their U.S. and Canadian stores be labeled by 2018, the company announced Saturday. The move could "radically alter the food industry," notes The New York Times, and could prompt other grocers to follow suit. In explaining the move in the Whole Foods blog, the retailer says it "stood up for the consumer's right to know," and pointed out that "our customers care passionately" about the issue. There are no mandatory labeling laws in Canada and the United States, but more than 60 countries have some form of regulation and several U.S. states are considering the issue. [Slate]
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10. ASHLEY JUDD TO ANNOUNCE RUN FOR U.S. SENATE
Ashley Judd, an actress and social activist, has reportedly told key advisers and political figures that she is planning to announce her candidacy for U.S. Senate in Kentucky this spring. Judd told one close ally that she plans to announce her run for the Democratic nomination for the 2014 race around the Kentucky Derby, which attracts great attention to the state. Reached for comment by email Saturday, Judd offered a vague denial to The Huffington Post. According to sources, she has discussed plans to challenge five-term Republican senator and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell. [Huffington Post]

Terri is a freelance writer at TheWeek.com. She's a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, and has worked at TIME and Brides.

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