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10 things you need to know today: May 3, 2013
Rhode Island legalizes gay marriage, police say Boston suspects originally planned for July 4 attack, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, left, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, left, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19. AP Photo/The Lowell Sun & Robin Young

1. RHODE ISLAND LEGALIZES SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed legislation Thursday night making Rhode Island the tenth state to legalize gay marriage. "Today, we are making history," Chafee, an independent, told a crowd of 1,000 jubilant supporters. "We are living up to the ideals of our founders." Lawmakers broke into a rendition of "My Country 'Tis of Thee" earlier in the day after passing the law, which takes effect Aug. 1 and permits same-sex couples in civil unions to change their status to married. [Boston Globe]
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2. OBAMA AND MEXICO'S PRESIDENT DISCUSS SECURITY ISSUES
President Obama discussed the thorny issues of immigration and drug violence with Mexico's new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, in a private meeting Thursday in Mexico City. Nieto is trying to scale back U.S. involvement in Mexican security affairs, which expanded under his predecessor, Felipe Calderon. Obama, who is on a three-day Latin America trip, said the U.S. would "interact" with Mexico in "any way that the Mexican government deems appropriate." [Washington Post]
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3. BOSTON BOMBING SUSPECTS REPORTEDLY DISCUSSED JULY 4 ATTACK
Law enforcement officials say Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect, has told interrogators that he and his brother, Tamerlan, originally considered striking on the Fourth of July. The younger Tsarnaev, who is 19, also reportedly said they considered a suicide attack. Unidentified family members reportedly came forward Thursday to claim the remains of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who was killed in a shootout with police. [New York Times, New York Post]
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4. PAKISTANI PROSECUTOR IN BHUTTO CASE SHOT DEAD
Gunmen on a motorcycle killed the lead prosecutor investigating the 2007 assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Police say 12 shots were fired into a car carrying the prosecutor, Chaudhry Zulfikar Ali, from his home in Islamabad to a hearing in the case. He was also investigating the 2008 attacks that killed 166 people in India's commercial capital, Mumbai, which India has blamed on militants based in Pakistan. [BBC News]
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5. WILDFIRE SPREADS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Firefighters worked in the dark early Friday to fight a Southern California wildfire as it advanced toward the upscale coastal city of Malibu, whipped up by fierce Santa Ana winds. The fire had already blackened 12 square miles, and it grew overnight after forcing the evacuation of a university and closed a stretch of the coast highway northeast of Los Angeles. Fifteen homes have been damaged, and thousands of people have been forced to flee threatened homes. [NBC News]
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6. BANGLADESH DEATH TOLL PASSES 500
The death toll from last week's building collapse in Bangladesh has reached 501, authorities said Friday. Hundreds of people are still waiting for word on missing relatives as crews, no longer expecting to find anyone alive, use heavy machinery to pick through the rubble. On Thursday, police unexpectedly arrested an engineer who had spotted cracks and warned that the eight-story complex, where more than 3,000 people worked in five garment factories, was unsafe. [CNN, New York Times]
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7. SHOOTING SPARKS PANIC AT HOUSTON AIRPORT
A man was killed at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport on Thursday after he pulled out a gun in a busy terminal and fired a shot at the ceiling. Panicked travelers dashed for cover, and a Homeland Security officer fired at the man as he turned his gun on himself. Police hadn't publicly identified the man as of early Friday, but said he was 30 years old. It's not clear whether he killed himself, or was fatally wounded by a shot fired by the agent. [Reuters]
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8. FIRST WOMAN ADDED TO MOST-WANTED TERRORIST LIST
The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Thursday added Joanne Chesimard to its "Most Wanted Terrorists" list. The announcement came on the 40th anniversary of the day when investigators say Chesimard, who was a member of a group called the Black Liberation Army, shot a state trooper execution-style on the New Jersey Turnpike. Chesimard is the first woman ever placed on the list, which was created in 2001 and has included Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Osama bin Laden, and Ayman al-Zawahiri. [Slate]
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9. SUICIDE RATE RISES, ESPECIALLY AMONG MIDDLE-AGED WHITES
The suicide rate among middle-aged Americans surged 28 percent higher between 1999 and 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday. The period included the Great Recession and mortgage crisis, and some mental health experts figure that many already struggling people were pushed over the edge by financial setbacks such as losing a job. The hardest hit were middle-aged whites, whose suicide rate jumped by 40 percent. [Associated Press]
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10. SPIRE LIFTED TO TOP OF WORLD TRADE CENTER
Construction crews hoisted the spire of One World Trade Center onto its roof on Thursday. Now iron workers will begin permanently attaching it, giving the centerpiece of the rebuilding effort at the site of one of the 9/11 terrorist attacks a symbolic height of 1,776 feet. That will make it the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. The 408-foot spire will serve as a broadcast antenna and a beacon seen for miles. [USA Today]

 
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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