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10 things you need to know today: June 6, 2013
The NSA collects phone records of millions of Verizon customers, a Philadelphia building collapse kills six, and more
 
Rescue workers search for victims after a building at a demolition site collapsed in an apparent accident on June 5 in Philadelphia.
Rescue workers search for victims after a building at a demolition site collapsed in an apparent accident on June 5 in Philadelphia. Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images

1. NSA COLLECTS VERIZON PHONE RECORDS
The National Security Agency has collected telephone records of millions of Verizon customers under a secret court order, according to a report in Britain's Guardian newspaper. The order, granted April 25 by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court under a controversial section of the Patriot Act, requires Verizon to hand over call logs — but not the content of calls — "on an ongoing daily basis," in what could prove to be the broadest surveillance order ever issued. [Guardian, Associated Press]
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2. NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA AGREE TO TALKS ON REPAIRING TIES
North and South Korea announced Thursday that they would hold talks on restarting their joint industrial zone and other commercial projects that have been halted as Pyongyang threatened war. Pyongyang closed the Kaesong factory complex, which is on its side of the border, in April as the U.S. and South Korea conducted joint military exercises, but tensions have eased since the training ended later the same month. [Reuters]
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3. SYRIAN REBELS TAKE CONTROL OF GOLAN HEIGHTS BORDER POST
Syrian rebels seized a Golan Heights border crossing operated by United Nations peacekeepers on Thursday, raising the threat that Syria's civil war could spill onto Israeli territory. Opposition forces had clashed with Syrian soldiers earlier near the Israeli-Syrian cease-fire line in the Golan Heights. The fighting came a day after the Syrian military, backed by Lebanon's Hezbollah militants, retook a key town, Qusair, on Syria's Lebanese border. [New York Times]
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4. PHILADELPHIA BUILDING COLLAPSE LEAVES SIX DEAD
A building that was being demolished collapsed onto a next door Salvation Army thrift store in Philadelphia on Wednesday, killing six people. Fourteen survivors were taken to hospitals after being pulled from the rubble by rescuers removing bricks by hand. Workers at other buildings on busy Market Street said they had worried for weeks that crews taking apart the building had made it unstable. "You could just see it was ready to go at any time," roofer Patrick Glynna said. [CNN]
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5. SUMMER'S FIRST NAMED STORM THREATENS FLORIDA'S PANHANDLE
Tropical Storm Andrea, which formed in the Gulf of Mexico, gained strength early Thursday and headed toward the Florida panhandle, where it's expected to hit late Thursday. The storm — the first of the Atlantic hurricane season to be named — has sustained winds near 60 miles per hour, and could drop as much as eight inches of rain as it barrels across northern Florida and up the East Coast. [Associated Press]
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6. TSA DROPS PLAN TO ALLOW SMALL KNIVES ON PLANES
The Transportation Security Administration announced Wednesday that it is abandoning a plan to allow passengers to carry small knives onto commercial airliners in their carry-on luggage. TSA Administrator John Pistole had argued that baggage screeners should focus on finding explosives rather than small knives. The reversal came after several months of fierce opposition from flight attendants, airlines, and relatives of victims of terrorist attacks. [USA Today]
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7. BALES PLEADS GUILTY TO AFGHANISTAN MASSACRE
Army Sgt. Robert Bales pleaded guilty Wednesday to sneaking off his base and slaughtering 16 Afghan civilians in two villages last year. The plea deal is expected to spare him from the death penalty. A military judge asked Bales, 39, why he did it. He replied: "Sir, as far as why: I've asked that question a million times since then. There's not a good reason in this world for why I did the horrible things I did." [Los Angeles Times]
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8. JUDGE PUTS CHILD ON ADULT TRANSPLANT LIST
A federal judge on Wednesday ordered that a 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl dying of end-stage cystic fibrosis be placed on an adult transplant list, dramatically increasing the chances that she could get a new lung before it is too late. Organ-transplant rules require patients under 12 to get lungs from young donors, but few become available. The child, Sarah Murnaghan, has been at a hospital for three months; now she could receive a donor organ within weeks. [USA Today]
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9. NORWAY EMBRACES A NEW FAVORITE BOOK — THE BIBLE
A new Norwegian-language version of the Bible has become a surprise best-seller in Norway, vaulting past Fifty Shades of Grey to top the sales charts in one of the most firmly secular nations in Europe. Lutheran Church leaders said the Bible's sudden popularity proved that the country's five million people still care about the word of God, even though only 1 percent regularly attends church. [Associated Press]
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10. PARIS JACKSON RUSHED TO A HOSPITAL
Paris Jackson, the 15-year-old daughter of late pop icon Michael Jackson, was rushed to a hospital Wednesday after cutting one of her wrists. The teen called a suicide counseling hotline, and a counselor called 911 to send rescuers to the Jackson home in Calabasas, Calif. Relatives described the incident as a "cry for help." Paris Jackson is expected to be called to testify later this month in a trial related to her father's fatal 2009 drug overdose. [CNN]

 
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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