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10 things you need to know today: April 7, 2013
U.S. delays missile test amid North Korea tensions, Michigan and Louisville advance to the NCAA championship, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making the news and driving opinion
 
University of Michigan's Jordan Morgan and Blake McLimans celebrate after their victory over Syracuse in the NCAA Men's Final Four.
University of Michigan's Jordan Morgan and Blake McLimans celebrate after their victory over Syracuse in the NCAA Men's Final Four. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

1. U.S. DELAYS BALLISTIC MISSILE TEST  
Amid reports that South Korea expects North Korea's missile launch to be "days away," a senior U.S. defense official confirmed that the Pentagon delayed an intercontinental ballistic missile test that was scheduled for next week at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The official says Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel decided to postpone the test because of ongoing tensions with North Korea. According to the source, the test was "long planned and was never associated with North Korea to begin with," but "given recent tensions on the Korean Peninsula, it's prudent and wise to take steps that avoid any misperception or chance of manipulation, so the test has been postponed." The U.S. will conduct another test soon, the senior defense official said, adding that the U.S. "remains strongly committed to our nuclear deterrence capabilities." [NBC News]
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2. SEVERAL STATES CONSIDER NEW GUN TAXES
Cook County, Ill., this month began collecting a $25 tax on gun purchases, and at least six states are considering new taxes on firearms or ammunition as a way to help pay for the consequences of gun violence. These states are studying whether to tax gun and ammunition purchases as a deterrent to gun ownership, a measure that detractors denounce as a violation of Second Amendment rights. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says the tax won't necessarily serve as a deterrent to gun buyers, but "it's an acknowledgment that we as a society pay a terrible price for the proliferation of guns." Other states testing similar taxes and regulations include California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Maryland. [Reuters]
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3. SIX AMERICANS KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN ATTACKS
Six Americans and an Afghan doctor were killed in attacks on Saturday in southern and eastern Afghanistan. This marks the deadliest day for U.S. citizens in Afghanistan this year. Included in the death toll is what is believed to be the first U.S. diplomat to be killed in Afghanistan since the war began. The attacks occurred on the same day that U.S. General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Afghanistan for a visit aimed at assessing the level of training that American troops can provide to Afghan security forces after international combat forces complete their withdrawal at the end of 2014. The deaths bring the number of foreign military forces killed this year to 30, including 22 Americans. [Guardian]
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4. OBAMA WON'T IMPLEMENT ROMNEY-LIKE BUDGET PLAN
President Obama is willing to compromise on the budget, but he won't yield to Republicans who want to enact a plan that looks like Mitt Romney's, White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said on ABC's This Week. It's Obama's hope that Democrats and Republicans can "come together and work to try to find a compromise," whether that happens through talks with House Speaker John Boehner or getting enough Senate Republicans on board to force a deal, Pfeiffer said. Some details of the president's 2014 budget proposal were released Friday ahead of the full rollout on Wednesday and have drawn opposition from the right and the left. But Pfeiffer suggested that's a sign of the president's seriousness. [Politico]
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5. IRAN NUCLEAR NEGOTIATIONS REACH INCONCLUSIVE END
Iran and six world powers failed to reach agreement Saturday on how to reduce fears that Tehran might use its nuclear technology to make weapons during a summit in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Expectations that the negotiations were making progress rose as an afternoon session continued into the evening, but comments by the two sides after they ended made clear that they fell far short of making enough headway to qualify the meeting as a success. "What matters in the end is substance, and we are still a considerable distance apart," Catherine Ashton, the European Union's head of foreign policy, told reporters at the end of the two-day talks. Sec. of State John Kerry has since defined the timetable for continued nuclear talks with Iran as "limited." [Huffington Post]
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6. PASTOR RICK WARREN'S SON COMMITS SUICIDE
Evangelical Pastor Rick Warren's son Matthew committed suicide on Friday, according to the Warren family. Warren delivered the news to his congregation in an emotional letter. "At 27 years of age, Matthew was an incredibly kind, gentle and compassionate young man whose sweet spirit was encouragement and comfort to many," Warren, the popular author of The Purpose Driven Life, said in the letter. "Unfortunately, he also suffered from mental illness resulting in deep depression and suicidal thoughts." As a pioneer of the megachurch movement, Rick Warren looked to translate traditional evangelical messages to a wider audience. The pastor gave the invocation at President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration and penned The Purpose-Driven Life, a Christian self-help guide that became a mainstream best-seller. [CNN]
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7. JINDAL'S POPULARITY DWINDLES IN LOUISIANA
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, one of the nation's most prominent Republicans and a possible 2016 presidential candidate, has fallen out of favor with local voters, and his bold plan to scrap the state income tax is running into trouble. Jindal was re-elected to a second term with two-thirds of the vote in 2011, but his Louisiana approval rating was down to 38 percent in a recent poll, worse than Democratic President Obama in one of the most conservative states. The poll suggested voters think he is spending more time traveling outside the state and burnishing his credentials for a possible White House run than tending to local matters. [Reuters]
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8. NASA PLANS TO LASSO ASTEROID CLOSE TO THE MOON
NASA is planning for a robotic spaceship to lasso a small asteroid and park it near the moon for astronauts to explore, according to Florida Sen. Ben Nelson. The robotic ship would capture the 500-ton 25-foot asteroid in 2019. Then using an Orion space capsule, now being developed, a crew of about four astronauts would nuzzle up next to the rock in 2021 for spacewalking exploration. Nelson, who is chairman of the Senate science and space subcommittee, said Friday that President Obama is putting $100 million in planning money for the accelerated asteroid mission in the 2014 budget that comes out next week. The money would be used to find the right small asteroid, which would help NASA develop the capability to nudge away a dangerous asteroid if one headed to Earth in the future. [Politico
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9. FORMER GEORGE W. BUSH FAITH LEADER, LATER CRITIC, DIES
J. David Kuo, an evangelical Christian who was a leader in President George W. Bush's faith initiative but who later became a critic of it, died on Friday at the age of 44. Kuo's wife, Kimberly, said the cause was brain cancer, which was diagnosed 10 years ago. As deputy director of Bush's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, Kuo helped implement Bush's promise to link the nation's religious groups with the delivery of social services. But Kuo left the administration after two years. He later wrote that the faith office did not receive the billions of dollars that Bush had pledged and said the White House had used the office as a political prop. [New York Times]
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10. MICHIGAN, LOUISVILLE TO PLAY IN NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
The University of Michigan advanced to the NCAA national championship game with a 61-56 victory over Syracuse in the Final Four on Saturday night. Michigan will be going for its first national title since 1989 when it faces Louisville on Monday at the Georgia Dome. Louisville defeated its unexpectedly fierce competitor, Wichita State, earlier in the evening, to advance to the championship game. [ESPN]

 
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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