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10 things you need to know today: March 11, 2013
Ryan flirts with compromise, Delhi gang-rape suspect found dead, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
Ryan at a presidential campaign rally in October 2012.
Ryan at a presidential campaign rally in October 2012. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

1. TENSIONS CONTINUE TO RISE ON KOREAN PENINSULA
South Korea and the United States launched joint military exercises on Monday as tensions mounted with North Korea. Pyongyang declared its six-decade-old armistice with South Korea to be null and void last week after the United Nations Security Council imposed new sanctions as punishment for the Hermit Kingdom's recent nuclear test — its third. In another troubling sign, North Korea refused to answer two calls on its hotline with Seoul, and called South Korea's annual training exercises "an open declaration of war." [CNN]
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2. REP. RYAN SAYS GOP AND OBAMA CAN COMPROMISE
Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP's leader on budget issues, said Sunday that his party could reach a compromise with President Obama on taxes and spending despite a tense stalemate. Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, acknowledged that the Democratic-controlled Senate would almost certainly reject his budget, which would scrap Obama's signature health care law, but he said on Fox News Sunday that "there are things that we can do that don't offend either party's philosophy, that doesn't require someone to surrender their principles, that make a good down payment on getting this debt and deficit under control." Obama hosted Ryan at lunch on Thursday, and the former GOP vice-presidential candidate said the frank exchange was the "first time I've ever had a conversation with the president lasting more than, say, two minutes." [Journal Sentinel]
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3. KARZAI ACCUSES U.S. OF ENCOURAGING TALIBAN ATTACKS
In a blow to already frayed ties between the U.S. and Afghanistan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said during a visit by new U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel that Taliban fighters are killing civilians "in service to America." Karzai said that the "Taliban are every day in talks with America" and "set off bombs to show strength to America," which wants instability so it won't have to withdraw in 2014 as planned. U.S. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, who took command of coalition forces last month, called the charge "categorically false." [Wall Street Journal]
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4. SUSPECT IN DEADLY GANG RAPE FOUND DEAD IN DELHI JAIL
One of the six alleged attackers in a December gang rape and murder that sparked protests across India was found dead in his Delhi jail cell on Monday. Police said Ram Singh, who drove the bus in which the attack occurred, appeared to have hanged himself, using his clothes. V.K. Anand, Singh's lawyer, said he doubted his client had committed suicide. Singh shared a cell with other inmates, and it was not clear how he could have killed himself without anyone noticing. "I suspect there is foul play," Anand said. [New York Times]
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5. INTRADE SHUTS DOWN WITH NO ADVANCE NOTICE
Famed Ireland-based predictions market Intrade abruptly shut down on Sunday, citing possible "financial irregularities." Intrade was actively taking bets on who would be the next pope and whether the Democrats would keep the White House in 2016 up to the moment when it posted a message on its website saying that "due to circumstances recently discovered we must immediately cease trading activity." Intrade said the circumstances "require immediate further investigation," and it closed all customer accounts at fair market value, to be paid out after the investigation is concluded, but said it hoped to "resume operations as promptly as possible." [Bloomberg]
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6. SIX TEENS KILLED IN OHIO WRECK
Six teenagers, all friends from the same Warren, Ohio, neighborhood, were killed and two others injured when their Honda Passport SUV hit a guardrail and flipped into a pond in northeastern Ohio early Sunday. Police said the vehicle, which is only supposed to seat five people, was traveling faster than the 35 mph speed limit when it overturned. The car submerged, but two of the teens managed to escape and call for help. A dive team was unable to reach the others in time to save them. [CNN]
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7. ISLAMIST KIDNAPPERS KILL SEVEN HOSTAGES IN NIGERIA
Islamist militants killed seven foreign hostages in Nigeria over the weekend, European diplomats confirmed on Sunday. The victims were kidnapped on Feb. 16 from a Setraco construction company compound. Four were Lebanese, one was British, one Greek, and one Italian. Nigeria has been plagued with extremist attacks for years, but this was the worst such kidnapping in decades. "This was an act of cold-blooded murder," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement. Nigerian militant group Ansar al-Muslimeen claimed responsibility, and released images of some of the bodies. [Associated Press, CNN]
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8. TIGER WOODS TAKES DORAL IN VINTAGE FORM
Tiger Woods continued his comeback march on the way to next month's Masters, winning the World Golf Championship tournament at Doral's Blue Monster course in Florida on Sunday with a 19-under-par, two-stroke victory. Woods displayed flashes of the brilliance that made him the sport's dominant star before a sex scandal and divorce pushed him into a slump in 2009. It was Woods' second tournament win of the year. "I'm finally healthy," Woods said. [New York Times, CNN]
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9. PRINCESS LILIAN OF SWEDEN DIES AT 97
Sweden's Princess Lilian, a Welsh-born former model whose romance with the king's uncle captivated Swedes, died at her home in Stockholm on Sunday, at age 97. She and Prince Bertil met in 1943, but kept their love secret for 30 years, because she was a commoner. Finally, when they were both in their 60s, they received the king's blessing and got married. "If I were to sum up my life, everything has been about my love," the princess said when she turned 80 in 1995. [Associated Press]
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10. OZ PREQUEL LEADS BOX OFFICE IN DEBUT
Disney's Oz the Great and the Powerful did even better than expected in its debut, leading the weekend box office with $80.3 million in domestic ticket sales and another $69.9 million overseas. The 3D prequel to the classic L. Frank Baum tale The Wonderful Wizard of Oz tells how the wizard, played by James Franco, wound up in the mystical world of Oz and met three witches, played by Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, and Rachel Weisz. The film, directed by Sam Raimi, reportedly cost $200 million, so it was a high-stakes gamble for the studio. [Associated Press]

 
Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami HeraldFox News, and ABC News.

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