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10 things you need to know today: January 24, 2014
A major PAC raises money for Hillary Clinton, the Syrian government finally meets with the opposition, and more
Hillary has reason to smile. 
Hillary has reason to smile.  (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

1. Left-leaning PAC starts raising cash for Hillary Clinton
The biggest liberal political action committee in the U.S., Priorities USA Action, is reportedly raising money for Hillary Clinton, possibly the strongest indication yet that the former secretary of state is gearing up for a second run for the White House in 2016. Jennifer Granholm, a former Michigan governor, will co-chair the PAC along with President Obama's former campaign manager Jim Messina, whose presence suggests Obama and Clinton are putting their bitter 2008 primary battle behind them. [San Francisco Chronicle]
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2. Syrian government and rebels start talks
After two days of preparatory discussions, representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition Syrian National Coalition are launching peace negotiations on Friday in Geneva. But, in a major setback, the first face-to-face talks in three years of civil war were scrapped at the last minute. United Nations mediator Lakhdar Brahimi instead will meet separately with the government, then the opposition. The two sides are already at an impasse over the future of President Bashar al-Assad. [The Guardian]
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3. Prosecutor issues subpoena to Christie campaign in Bridgegate investigation
The U.S. attorney for New Jersey has subpoenaed documents from Gov. Chris Christie's re-election campaign and the state GOP in an investigation into the Bridgegate scandal. The law firm Patton Boggs, which represents both the Christie campaign and the Republican State Committee, said both intend to cooperate. Recently discovered emails suggest Christie aides closed lanes on the George Washington Bridge in September to punish a Democratic mayor for not endorsing his re-election campaign. [Newark Star-Ledger]
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4. South Sudan signs a cease-fire deal with rebels
The government of South Sudan has reached a cease-fire agreement with rebel forces in a bid to end five weeks of fighting that has killed 10,000 people in the world's newest nation. The agreement, signed Thursday in Ethiopia, came after a breakthrough on a stalemate over the fate of 11 political prisoners, who now will get amnesty after an investigation and court ruling on the charges against them. White House spokesman Jay Carney called the agreement the "first critical step in ending the violence." [NPR]
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5. Five charged in 1978 Goodfellas robbery
The FBI arrested five alleged mobsters in New York on Thursday for the 1978 Lufthansa heist described in the Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas. The robbers, using inside information from a JFK airport worker, stole $5 million in cash that was part of a monthly shipment to then-West Germany. Among the suspects arrested were Vincent Asaro, 78, allegedly a ranking member of the Bonanno crime family, and alleged underboss Thomas "Tommy D" DiFiore, the highest-ranking Bonanno family member not in prison. [ABC News]
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6. Talks between Ukraine's government and protesters go nowhere
Ukrainian anti-government protesters returned to the street in Kiev early Friday to erect more barricades after a meeting between opposition leaders and President Viktor Yanukovych ended with no progress. Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko emerged from the talks — the second round held since three protesters were shot dead Wednesday — saying he feared the impasse would result in more violence. [Reuters]
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7. D'Souza accused of making illegal campaign contributions
Conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza was indicted Thursday by a New York grand jury on charges that he made illegal contributions to an unnamed 2012 Senate candidate using other people's names. D'Souza, an outspoken Obama administration critic, allegedly funneled $20,000 to the candidate — the legal limit on contributions to any one campaign was $5,000. D'Souza's lawyer said he and the candidate had been close since college. "At worst," the lawyer said, "this was a case of misguided friendship." [The Wall Street Journal]
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8. Huge pile-up kills three in Indiana
Three people were killed in a massive pileup on Interstate 94 in northwestern Indiana on Thursday. Another 20 people were injured in the series of crashes, which involved 15 tractor-trailers and 15 passenger vehicles. Several cars were reportedly sandwiched between trucks. Police blamed the wrecks on whiteout conditions from a storm. [USA Today]
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9. Opportunity marks 10 years on Mars with a big discovery
The Opportunity rover on Friday is marking the 10th anniversary of its landing on Mars. Ahead of the big day, the aging research vehicle discovered clay minerals indicating that potentially life-sustaining water flowed on the Red Planet early in its history, NASA announced. The findings appeared to be confirmation of Curiosity's discovery last year of clays that could have supported microbes similar to Earth's. [Los Angeles Times]
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10. Bieber charged with DUI after allegedly drag racing
Justin Bieber was arrested and charged with DUI after he was spotted drag racing in Miami Beach on Thursday. The 19-year-old pop star was also charged with resisting arrest and having an expired driver's license. Bieber, driving a yellow Lamborghini, was allegedly racing fellow musician Khalil Sharieff, who was driving a red Ferrari. Police said they were reaching speeds of 55 to 60 mph on a road with a 30 mph speed limit. Bieber was released later in the day on $2,500 bond. [The Hollywood Reporter, CBS News]

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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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