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10 things you need to know today: July 21, 2013
Israel plans to release Palestinian prisoners, Belgium's King Albert abdicates, and more
 
Queen Mathilde, Princess Paola, Prince Albert II, and King Philippe of Belgium greet the audience during King Albert II's abdication in Brussels.
Queen Mathilde, Princess Paola, Prince Albert II, and King Philippe of Belgium greet the audience during King Albert II's abdication in Brussels. Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

1. ISRAEL TO FREE SOME PALESTINIAN PRISONERS AHEAD OF TALKS
A top Israeli government minister said Saturday that Israel will release an unspecified number of Palestinian prisoners to help Secretary of State John Kerry launch peace talks, but added that it would not accede to other key Palestinian demands, including a freeze on new construction in Jewish settlements. Israel and the Palestinians have tentatively agreed to resume peace talks for the first time in three years, Kerry said in Amman, Jordan, on Friday. [Washington Post]
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2. JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON RALLIES SWEEP U.S.
One week after a jury found George Zimmerman not guilty in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, people gathered in protest in 101 U.S. cities Saturday. The "Justice for Trayvon" rallies and vigils were organized by Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network. [Huffington Post]
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3. MCCAIN CALLS FOR REVIEW OF "STAND YOUR GROUND" LAWS
Arizona Sen. John McCain says his home state should review its "stand your ground" law in the wake of George Zimmerman's acquittal. The Republican senator said Sunday on CNN's State of the Union he does not share Sen. Ted Cruz's view that President Obama's remarks on "stand your ground" laws represented another administration approach to gun control. [Politico]
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4. DISGRUNTLED DISABLED MAN SET OFF BEIJING AIRPORT BOMB
A man in a wheelchair set off a homemade explosive inside the Beijing Capital International Airport on Saturday. Only the perpetrator, identified as 34-year-old Ji Zhongxing, was injured. Officials said Ji set off the explosives just outside the arrivals exit after he was stopped from handing out leaflets about his complaints over treatment that resulted in his paralysis. [CNN]
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5. FOUL PLAY NOT TO BLAME IN TEXAS ROLLER COASTER DEATH
Initial investigations show no foul play at hand after a woman fell to her death from the tallest steel-hybrid coaster in the world Friday night at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington. A witness who was waiting in line as the victim was being secured in for the ride told The Dallas Morning News the woman had expressed concern to a park employee that she was not secured correctly in her seat. [USA Today]
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6. STRONG EARTHQUAKE STRIKES NEW ZEALAND
A 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck central New Zealand near the capital on Sunday, prompting flights in and out of the nearby airport to be suspended, according to local reports. Initial reports indicated damage was light and the Pacific tsunami warning center did not issue a tsunami warning. [NBC News]
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7. BELGIUM'S KING ALBERT ABDICATES
King Philippe I became Belgium's seventh monarch on Sunday's national day after his father Albert abdicated as the head of the fractured nation. After he took the oath at the parliament filled with representatives of the 6 million Dutch-speaking Flemings and 4.5 million Francophones, Philippe insisted "the wealth of our nation and our institutions consists in turning our diversity into a strength." [New York Times]
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8. LONGTIME WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT DIES
Veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas died Saturday at the age of 92. Over the decades, she made her mark as a barrier-shattering female journalist who invariably spoke her mind. She retired in 2010 after comments on Jews in Israel ignited controversy. [NPR]
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9. ITALIAN COURT CONVICTS FIVE COSTA CONCORDIA CREW MEMBERS
A court in Italy convicted five people of manslaughter over the Costa Concordia shipwreck, which killed 32 people in January 2012. Two officers, the helmsman, the head of cabin service and the head of the crisis team were given up to two years and 10 months in jail for multiple manslaughter, negligence, and shipwreck. Captain Francesco Schettino will be tried separately in September. [BBC]
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10. GLEE CO-CREATOR TO WRITE MONTEITH'S DEATH INTO SHOW
Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter that, with the help of star Lea Michele, the show will address Cory Monteith's death through his character Finn dying on the show. After filming the first three episodes of the fifth season in August, Murphy intends to take a hiatus to figure out what to do with the show and how to come back. [The Hollywood Reporter]

 
Terri is a freelance writer at TheWeek.com. She's a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, and has worked at TIME and Brides.

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