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10 things you need to know today: June 25, 2013
Obama addresses climate change, the IRS also targeted liberals, and more
 
Yes, President Obama has made climate promises before...
Yes, President Obama has made climate promises before... Timur Emek/Getty Images

1. THE U.S. AND RUSSIA CLASH OVER SNOWDEN
The Obama administration is stepping up pressure on Russia to hand over Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked secret documents on U.S. phone and internet data mining. Journalists are trying to track down Snowden after he failed to show up for a flight from Moscow to Havana on his way to Ecuador, where he has requested asylum. Russia says it has no grounds to arrest Snowden but isn't helping him dodge U.S. espionage charges, either. [CNN]
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2. OBAMA UNVEILS PLAN TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE
President Obama reportedly will propose a sweeping plan to combat climate change in a speech at Georgetown University on Tuesday. Obama reportedly intends to use a series of executive actions to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and prepare the nation for the impact of rising temperatures. Last week in Berlin, Obama called climate change "the global threat of our time." Opponents in Congress, especially those in coal-producing states, have called pollution-busting measures job killers. [New York Times]
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3. IMMIGRATION MEASURE ADVANCES IN SENATE
A Republican proposal to beef up security along the U.S.-Mexico border cleared a hurdle in the Senate on Monday. Supporters cleared the 60 votes needed to avoid a filibuster and open debate, putting a sweeping bipartisan immigration overhaul closer to Senate approval. The fate of the bill is uncertain in the House, however, where last week's farm bill defeat raised doubt about whether Speaker John Boehner can muster a coalition to pass controversial legislation. [Washington Post]
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4. IRS SCREENING MIGHT HAVE AFFECTED LIBERAL GROUPS, TOO
The IRS might not have just targeted Tea Party and other conservative groups for special scrutiny. The agency's employees also used terms, including "progressive" and "occupy," to single out some liberal groups for special attention when they applied for tax-exempt status, according to an internal IRS document obtained by The Associated Press. [Associated Press]
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5. TALIBAN FIGHTERS ATTACK NEAR AFGHAN PRESIDENTIAL PALACE
Eight Taliban insurgents staged a brazen day-time attack near Afghanistan's heavily fortified presidential palace on Tuesday. The militants used false papers and military uniforms to get past two security checkpoints, then detonated two car bombs and opened fire on security guards. The Taliban said all eight of their fighters were killed. The attack occurred before a scheduled palace gathering where President Hamid Karzai had planned to discuss efforts to start peace talks. [Bloomberg]
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6. BERLUSCONI CONVICTED IN SEX SCANDAL
An Italian court found former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi guilty on Monday for paying for sex with a minor, Karima El Mahroug, and abusing his power to cover it up. Berlusconi, 76, was sentenced to seven years in prison, although legal experts doubt the billionaire media tycoon will spend any time behind bars. Mahroug, a dancer known on stage as Ruby the Heartstealer, admits being paid to attend Berlusconi's infamous "bunga bunga" parties, but denies having sex with him. [Los Angeles Times]
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7. ZIMMERMAN'S TRIAL GETS UNDERWAY
George Zimmerman's murder trial for the killing of Trayvon Martin got off to a perplexing start on Monday, when his lawyer, Don West, began his opening statement with a joke. "Knock, knock," West said. "Who's there? George Zimmerman. George Zimmerman who? Congratulations, you're on the jury." The jury responded with blank stares. On Tuesday, prosecutors are expected to reveal their star witness — the girl the 17-year-old Martin was talking to when he spotted Zimmerman following him. [Slate, Reuters]
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8. BRAZIL'S PRESIDENT PROMISES PROTESTERS REFORM REFERENDUM
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is responding to protests sweeping her South American nation by proposing a referendum on political reforms. Rousseff is also promising to increase spending on public transport. It was a 10-cent fare hike that triggered crowds to fill the streets in cities across Brazil, although the protesters are also venting frustration about poor public services in general, along with rampant corruption. [BBC News]
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9. PAULA DEEN LOSES HAM ENDORSEMENT
Paula Deen, already dropped by the Food Network, suffered more fallout over her admitted use of racist language, when pork producer Smithfield Foods announced Monday that it was ending its endorsement deal with the celebrity chef. Deen — famous for her high-calorie Southern cuisine — has publicly apologized and begged for forgiveness, but Smithfield says it has no tolerance for "the use of offensive and discriminatory language and behavior of any kind." [NBC News]
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10. BLACKHAWKS WIN STANLEY CUP
The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup Monday night with a stunning, come-from-behind victory over the Boston Bruins. With 1:16 left and the Bruins — up 2-1 — on the verge of forcing a final and decisive game seven, the Blackhawks scored a goal to tie it up. Then, 17 seconds later, they scored a second last-minute goal to seal their second National Hockey League championship in four seasons. [Deseret News]

 
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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