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10 things you need to know today: August 19, 2013
An Egyptian court acquits Mubarak, Obama returns from vacation, and more
Supporters of Hosni Mubarak chant slogans and carry his portrait during his trial in February 2012.
Supporters of Hosni Mubarak chant slogans and carry his portrait during his trial in February 2012. Carsten Koall/Getty Images

1. MUBARAK MAY BE FREED THIS WEEK
An Egyptian court on Monday acquitted Hosni Mubarak on corruption charges, according to the former leader's attorney. The lawyer said Mubarak could be freed within 48 hours, although he still faces charges linked to the deaths of protesters. Also on Monday, suspected Islamist militants killed 24 Egyptian police officers in an ambush in the Sinai peninsula. A day earlier, authorities confirmed that 36 Muslim Brotherhood members had died in government custody, suffocated by tear gas in a thwarted prison break. [CBS News, Reuters]
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2. BRITAIN DETAINS PARTNER OF JOURNALIST WHO REVEALED SNOWDEN LEAKS
The partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has published U.S. government secrets leaked by Edward Snowden, was detained for nine hours at Heathrow Airport under a British counter-terrorism law, Greenwald said Sunday. David Miranda, who lives with Greenwald, was traveling home after a trip to Berlin, where he visited filmmaker Laura Poitras, who has been helping Greenwald with the Snowden files. British police called the detention lawful; Greenwald said it was an attack on press freedom. [New York Times, Guardian]
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3. PISTORIUS CHARGED WITH PREMEDITATED MURDER
South African prosecutors indicted Olympic track star Oscar Pistorius on Monday for murder in the Valentine's Day shooting death of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, in his Pretoria home. Pistorius, a double amputee who runs using blade-like prosthetic legs, said he shot Steenkamp thinking she was a home invader. Prosecutors charged him with planned and premeditated murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence. The trial is scheduled to start March 3, 2014. [CNN]
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4. OBAMA WRAPS UP VACATION
President Obama returned to the White House Sunday night after a nine-day vacation on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard. Obama appeared publicly just once during the break — making a statement denouncing the recent outbreak of deadly violence in Egypt. Back in Washington, Obama has a meeting with regulators Monday to discuss ways to strengthen the financial system, and in coming weeks he will be negotiating with Republicans on getting a new spending plan in place by a Sept. 30 deadline. [Associated Press]
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5. FILNER OPPONENTS LAUNCH RECALL PETITION
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is returning to work on Monday after two weeks of therapy. Sixteen women have accused him of making unwanted sexual advances. On Sunday, a bipartisan group began collecting signatures on a petition to force the 70-year-old Democrat into a recall election. Filner's critics hope to get a vote on the March ballot, but it won't be easy, as they will have to collect 102,000 valid signatures within 39 days to meet the deadline. [Reuters]
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6. JAPANESE CITY COVERED IN VOLCANIC ASH
Residents of the city of Kagoshima in southern Japan are washing away a layer of ash that fell on the streets after the nearby Sakurajima volcano erupted, sending a plume of smoke and ash three miles high. It was the highest plume observed since the Japan Meteorological Agency started keeping records in 2006. Sunday's eruption was Sakurajima's 500th this year. "The smoke was a bit dramatic," a local official said, "but we are kind of used to it." [Associated Press]
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7. RESEARCHER HACKS ZUCKERBERG'S WALL TO DEMONSTRATE FACEBOOK BUG
A Palestinian security researcher, Khalil Shreateh, hacked his way onto Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook wall to alert the social network's engineers to a bug letting people post to anyone, even if they're not friends. Shreateh tried to demonstrate the vulnerability by sharing a link on the wall of Sarah Goodin, a college friend of Zuckerberg's, but a Facebook official brushed him off. Posting on the Facebook founder's wall got the security team's attention. [International Business Times]
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8. CHRISTIE SET TO SIGN BAN ON GAY CONVERSION THERAPY
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) plans to sign a bill Monday that will ban therapists in the state from trying to turn gay minors straight. New Jersey will be the second state, after California, to ban gay conversion therapy. In prepared remarks, Christie says he believes people are born gay, and does not consider homosexuality to be a sin, a view at odds with his Catholic faith. [Associated Press]
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9. A RARE STRING OF BEAR ATTACKS IS REPORTED ACROSS THE U.S.
A 12-year-old girl, Abigail Wetherell, was released from a Michigan hospital on Sunday, three days after she was clawed by a bear while jogging. Wetherell is one of seven people who have been mauled in five states since Thursday in a rare flurry of bear attacks. Wildlife officials blame the fact that vacationers are out in force this time of year in areas where bears are foraging for food. [Grand Rapids Press, CNN]
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10. BOLT HAULS IN THREE GOLD MEDALS AT TRACK WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt took his third gold medal in the world championships in Moscow on Sunday with a win in the 4x100-meter relay. With the victory, Bolt joined American Carl Lewis as the most decorated male athlete ever at the world championships. Bolt has collected eight golds and two silvers at the high-profile meet, while Lewis won eight golds, a silver, and a bronze over his career. [Jamaica Gleaner]

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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