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10 things you need to know today: July 17, 2013
Senators strike a filibuster deal, Putin warns Snowden against hurting Russia's U.S. ties, and more
Russian President Vladimir Putin has a warning for NSA secret-spiller Edward Snowden.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has a warning for NSA secret-spiller Edward Snowden. Peter Muhly - WPA Pool/Getty Images

1. SENATORS REACH A DEAL AND END THE FILIBUSTER FIGHT
Senate leaders struck a deal on Tuesday to preserve the filibuster. The Democratic majority agreed to drop a push to eliminate the rule allowing the minority to block presidential appointments with just 40 votes in the 100-seat chamber. Republicans agreed to allow votes on President Obama's seven stalled executive branch nominees. The Senate promptly confirmed Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Board by a 66 to 34 vote. His nomination had languished for months. [New York Times]
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2. PUTIN SAYS HE WON'T LET SNOWDEN'S ASYLUM BID HURT U.S. TIES
Fugitive National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden applied for temporary asylum in Russia on Tuesday. Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would not let the request damage Russia's relations with the U.S. Snowden has been holed up in a Moscow airport for three weeks, lacking travel documents he needs to reach countries offering to shelter him. Putin on Wednesday repeated a warning to Snowden that releasing any more damaging secrets would be "unacceptable." [CNN, Reuters]
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3. ROLLING STONE PUTS TSARNAEV ON ITS COVER
Rolling Stone magazine put Dzhohkar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect, on the cover of its latest issue. The accompanying story explores how the 19-year-old one-time UMass Dartmouth student went from being a popular kid to allegedly carrying out an attack that killed three people and injured hundreds. The article says Tsarnaev once played down his Muslim faith, and told a friend terrorism could be justified due to U.S. policies toward Muslim countries. Critics have accused the magazine of glamorizing terrorism. [Rolling Stone]
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4. FOUR ZIMMERMAN JURORS SAY JUROR B37 DOES NOT SPEAK FOR THEM
Four jurors in George Zimmerman's trial for Trayvon Martin's death issued a statement on Tuesday distancing themselves from statements a fellow member of the panel — juror B37 — made to CNN. Juror B37 said the actions of both Zimmerman and Martin contributed to the unarmed 17-year-old's fatal shooting. The other jurors said B37 did not speak for them. "The death of a teenager weighed heavily on our hearts," they said, "but in the end we did what the law required us to do." [Associated Press]
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5. CUBA ADMITS IT PUT OLD WEAPONS ON NORTH KOREAN SHIP
The Cuban government admitted Tuesday that it was behind a stash of weapons found on a North Korean ship seized in the Panama Canal. The ship's main cargo was sugar, but Cuba's foreign ministry said it was also carrying 240 tons of obsolete Soviet-era weapons, including two anti-aircraft missile complexes, missile parts, and two MiG fighter planes, that were to be repaired in North Korea and returned to Cuba. A United Nations resolution bans sending weapons to or from North Korea. [BBC News]
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6. CORONER SAYS GLEE STAR DIED OF AN OVERDOSE
The coroner's office in Vancouver concluded Tuesday that actor Cory Monteith died of a toxic mix of alcohol and heroin. The 31-year-old Glee star, recently out of rehab, reportedly returned to his room at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel room alone after going out with friends on Saturday. His body was found by a hotel employee who went to his room after he failed to check out. Local police said they did not suspect foul play, and that their investigation had concluded. [CBC]
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7. INDIAN SCHOOL CHILDREN DIE AFTER EATING TAINTED LUNCHES
Twenty-one primary-school children died in India on Tuesday after eating free lunches of rice, beans, and potato curry that were tainted with insecticide. More than two dozen other students were hospitalized. The children had complained that the food tasted odd, and were stricken with severe vomiting and diarrhea soon after eating it. The cook tasted the food and became ill, too. Police are investigating and searching for the school's headmistress, who fled. [New York Times]
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8. YEMENI AL QAEDA'S NO. 2 KILLED BY DRONE STRIKE
The Yemen-based branch of al Qaeda announced Wednesday that its second-in-command, Saudi-born Saeed al-Shihri, had been killed in a U.S. drone strike. Militant websites reporting the news gave no date for his death. Yemeni officials said al-Shihri, a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner, died from severe injuries he suffered in November 2012. The al Qaeda affiliate's chief theologian said al-Shihri was hit while talking on his cell phone north of the capital, Sanaa. [Associated Press]
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9. LIZ CHENEY ANNOUNCES SENATE CAMPAIGN
Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, announced Tuesday that she was launching a primary challenge against Republican Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming, setting the stage for a fractious intra-party fight next year that GOP officials had hoped to avoid. In a brief video, Cheney framed herself as a firebrand conservative determined to rein in a federal government that had "grown far beyond anything the pioneers of our great state could have imagined or tolerated." [New York Times]
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10. ASIANA DROPS SUIT AGAINST TV STATION OVER BOGUS PILOT NAMES
Asiana Airlines is reportedly dropping its plan to sue an Oakland, Calif., TV station for broadcasting false, racist names identified as the pilots of the airline's jetliner that crash-landed in San Francisco this month. An Asiana spokesman told CNBC early Wednesday that the decision was made after the station, KTVU, made a public apology. KTVU said it had confirmed the names with the NTSB, which blamed an intern who reportedly has been fired. [Politico]

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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