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10 things you need to know today: June 8, 2013
Obama defends the NSA, the U.N. asks for $5 billion in aid for Syria, and more
The NSA "struck the right balance," President Obama said.
The NSA "struck the right balance," President Obama said. Stephen Lam/Getty Images

1. OBAMA DEFENDS ACTIONS OF THE NSA
In response to reports that the National Security Agency has been collecting the phone records of millions of Verizon customers and accessing the servers of nine internet companies, President Obama told reporters that the NSA's program "struck the right balance" between protecting Americans' privacy and keeping them safe, adding that "modest encroachments on privacy" were necessary to fight terrorism. [Reuters]
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2. U.S. EMPLOYERS ADD 175,000 TO PAYROLLS
Employers in the United States added 175,000 workers in May, far better than the 149,000 added in April. Despite the increases, the average hourly wage stood stagnant at $23.89, up only a penny from the month before. [Bloomberg]
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3. U.N. ASKS FOR $5 BILLION FOR SYRIA
The United Nations asked for $5 billion in humanitarian aid to help the millions in Syria affected by the country's civil war and for the 200,000 refugees who flee to neighboring countries every month. The U.N. says that one third of Syria's 20 million people need assistance. [New York Times]

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4. CALIFORNIA SHOOTING LEAVES 5 DEAD
Four people were killed Friday in Santa Monica, Calif., by a heavily armed gunman who was finally shot and killed by police at a Santa Monica College library. The names of the gunman and victims have not been released, nor has any possible motive. [Los Angeles Times]

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5. RICHARD RAMIREZ DIES IN JAIL
Richard Ramirez, the serial killer known for leaving satanic symbols at his murder scenes in southern California, died of liver failure on Friday. He had been taken to the hospital from San Quentin's death row, where he had been locked up since 1989 after being convicted of 13 murders. [Associated Press]
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6. TURKISH PRIME MINISTER CALLS E.U. HYPOCRITICAL
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan called European Union countries hypocritical for criticizing the police crackdown on protesters in Istanbul, saying that police in the E.U., United States, and U.K. have acted similarly. "Those who demand freedom and democracy should also act democratically," he said. [The Guardian]
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7. HOUSE REPUBLICANS VOTE TO HALT PROGRAM TO STOP DEPORTATION
The House voted to prohibit funding for a program that temporarily prevented young immigrants from being deported if they attended college or served in the military. The amendment, proposed by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), was an attempt by Republicans to halt a program they thought was too similar to Obama's Dream Act. [Los Angeles Times]
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8. WOMAN ARRESTED IN RICIN CASE
The pregnant wife of a man earlier suspected of sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was arrested by Texas police for allegedly sending them herself. Last month, Shannon Guess Richardson, 36, told FBI agents that it was her husband, Nathaniel Richardson, who sent the tainted letters. [Associated Press]
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9. CALIFORNIA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT TO CLOSE
Southern California Edison announced that the San Onofre nuclear power plant, located north of San Diego, Calif., will remain closed permanently. The plant powered 1.4 million homes before a small radiation leak halted operations 18 months ago. San Onofre was made famous as a punchline in the Naked Gun. [BBC]
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10. NADAL BEATS DJOKOVIC IN EPIC FRENCH OPEN SEMIFINAL
Rafael Nadal beat top-ranked Novak Djokovic in an extremely close, five-set semifinal Friday at the French Open. That sets up an all-Spaniard final on Sunday between Nadal and David Ferrer. If Nadal wins, he would become the first player to win the same Grand Slam event eight times.
[ESPN]

Keith Wagstaff is a staff writer at TheWeek.com covering politics and current events. He has previously written for such publications as TIME, Details, VICE, and the Village Voice.

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