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10 things you need to know today: July 11, 2013
Tsarnaev pleads not guilty, the death toll rises in the Canadian oil-train derailment, and more
Fire from a train explosion is seen in Lac Megantic, Canada on July 6. The death toll may rise to 50.
Fire from a train explosion is seen in Lac Megantic, Canada on July 6. The death toll may rise to 50. REUTERS/Stringer

1. TSARNAEV PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING
Dzhohkar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday in his first public court appearance since his capture in April. The 19-year-old faces 30 charges for the attack, including use of weapons of mass destruction. The twin bombs killed three people and wounded more than 260. About 30 survivors attended the hearing. Mildred Valverde — who was injured, as was her 15-year-old son — said she went "to show my son that life goes on." [Boston Globe]
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2. U.S. STILL SENDING FIGHTER JETS TO EGYPT
Defense officials told Reuters on Wednesday that the U.S. plans to go ahead with the delivery of four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt this summer, despite the Egyptian military's overthrow of Mohamed Morsi, the country's elected president. The Obama administration has resisted calling the ouster of Morsi a coup — a designation that would by law force the U.S. to suspend the more than $1 billion in aid it provides the Egyptian military each year. [Reuters]
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3. HOUSE GOP RESISTS SENATE'S IMMIGRATION OVERHAUL
House Republicans came down overwhelmingly against a sweeping immigration reform proposal on Wednesday in their first meeting to discuss the legislation. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) warned his colleagues that the GOP could pay dearly at the ballot box if it fails to do something in response to a bipartisan bill passed by the Senate, but conservatives flatly rejected a Senate provision that would grant a path to citizenship for the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants. [New York Times]
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4. DEATH TOLL RISES FROM CANADIAN TRAIN WRECK
Canadian officials said Wednesday that the death toll from the fiery crash of a runaway oil train over the weekend will probably rise to 50 — 20 bodies have been found, and investigators fear some of the 30 people still missing were vaporized in the inferno. The head of the rail company said he thinks the engineer failed to set the train's brakes before the tanker cars rolled down a seven-mile incline and slammed into the center of Lac-Megantic, a small town near the Maine border. [Associated Press]
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5. CLOSING ARGUMENTS EXPECTED IN ZIMMERMAN TRIAL
The defense has rested in George Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial for the killing of Trayvon Martin, clearing the way for closing arguments in the racially charged case on Thursday. Although he chose not to testify, Zimmerman, who is white and Latino, has said he shot Martin, an unarmed black teen, in self-defense during a fight. Police around Miami Gardens, Martin's hometown, say they are bracing for protests if Zimmerman is acquitted. [Fox News, Associated Press]
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6. NTSB INVESTIGATES EVACUATION DELAY AFTER ASIANA CRASH
The NTSB said Wednesday the evacuation of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 did not begin until 90 seconds after it crash-landed at San Francisco's airport. Investigators are looking into what caused the delay. The evacuation was hampered because two escape slides inflated inside the plane. Also, crew members said the pilots wanted to contact air-traffic controllers first, but crew members began hurrying the more than 300 people onboard off the Boeing 777 after a flight attendant spotted fire. [Los Angeles Times]
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7. JUDGE SAYS APPLE FIXED E-BOOK PRICES
A U.S. judge ruled Wednesday that Apple colluded with five publishers to drive up prices for e-books. The decision that could undermine Apple's strategy for selling electronic content. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote said Apple orchestrated a conspiracy with the publishing companies to raise prices to $12.99 or $14.99, up from the $9.99 that online retail powerhouse Amazon was charging for e-book bestsellers. Apple says it did nothing wrong and plans to appeal. [Wall Street Journal]
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8. SENATE GOP BLOCKS DEMOCRATS' STUDENT-LOAN FIX
Senate Republicans on Wednesday used a filibuster to block an attempt by Democrats to cut the interest rate on federally subsidized Stafford student loans. The rate on the loans recently doubled to 6.8 percent. Democrats want to retroactively return them to 3.4 percent for one year. A bipartisan group met later Wednesday and backed a long-term alternative linking loan rates to 10-year Treasury bonds, but liberals don't like that plan because it would not cap rates on future loans. [Politico]
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9. SPITZER COMEBACK GETS OFF TO STRONG START
Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's attempt to revive his political career got off to a strong start this week, five years after he resigned over a prostitution scandal. Spitzer has not yet gathered enough signatures to get on the ballot, but a Wall Street Journal-NBC 4 New York-Marist poll shows him already leading Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer by nine percentage points in the Democratic primary for New York City comptroller. [Wall Street Journal]
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10. RANDY TRAVIS SUFFERS STROKE
Country singer Randy Travis, 54, suffered a stroke while being treated for heart failure in a Texas hospital on Wednesday. The Grammy winner underwent emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain, and remained in critical condition. Travis was in good health until three weeks ago, when he got a viral infection that weakened his heart. Doctors have implanted a tiny pump to help his heart function. [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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