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10 things you need to know today: February 6, 2014
The Northeast contends with another winter-weather emergency, Texas executes the 14th woman put to death since 1976, and more
 
A death chamber gurney in Texas. 
A death chamber gurney in Texas.  (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

1. New York and New Jersey declare winter-weather emergencies
Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Chris Christie of New Jersey declared states of emergency as the latest in a series of brutal winter storms hammered the Northeast after covering much of the nation's midsection with a foot of snow. Public transit was disrupted and roads were closed as winter-weary communities ran out of salt to pour on ice-covered streets. The storm also left 1 million homes and businesses without power. [Los Angeles Times]
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2. Texas executes Suzanne Basso for a 1998 torture and murder
Texas prison officials executed Suzanne Basso, 59, for the 1998 torture and murder of a mentally impaired man, 59-year-old Louis "Buddy" Musso, whom prosecutors said she lured to Texas with promises of marriage. Basso was convicted of orchestrating Musso's murder to collect his insurance and Social Security benefits. Basso was the 14th woman executed since the Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976. [The Associated Press]
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3. Health experts expect CVS cigarette ban to reduce smoking rates
CVS' decision to stop selling cigarettes could help reduce smoking rates, health experts said Wednesday. The drugstore chain said it wanted to focus more on being a health-care provider, so selling cigarettes just didn't make sense anymore. The move, according to the American Cancer Society, will reinforce pressure on the tobacco industry and make cigarettes a little less accessible. "It is a big deal," the society's Thomas Glynn said. [USA Today]
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4. Sony sells its PC unit as it faces a $1.1 billion loss
Sony Corp. announced Thursday that it was selling its personal computer business and cutting 5,000 jobs as it forecast an unexpected $1.1 billion loss. Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai also said he was splitting the struggling Japanese tech giant's TV business into a separate unit, and hadn't ruled out selling that, too. Sony sales have dropped as consumers shift to smartphones and tablets made by Apple, Samsung, and other rivals. [Bloomberg]
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5. U.S. alerts Russia to possible terrorist plot during Sochi Olympics
The U.S., citing new intelligence information, is warning airlines with direct flights to Russia that terrorists might try to sneak onto airliners with explosives concealed in toothpaste or makeup tubes during the Sochi Olympics. Russia this week banned liquids in carry-on luggage. With the opening of the Winter Games just two days away, more than half of Americans polled by CNN/ORC said a terrorist attack was likely during the Olympics. [CNN]
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6. Fluke opts to run for California state Senate
Women's rights activist Sandra Fluke has decided to run for California state Senate instead of the congressional seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.). Fluke vaulted onto the national stage with congressional testimony advocating contraception coverage through ObamaCare. She said she seriously considered a run for Congress but that "there is a better way for me to advance the causes that are important to our community." [U.S. News & World Report]
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7. Clay Aiken announces he is running for Congress
Former American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken announced Wednesday that he is running for Congress in North Carolina's 2nd District. Attorney Houston Barnes promptly bowed out of the Democratic primary to support Aiken, 35. The singer turned special-ed teacher said his personal story — his family was torn up by domestic violence — made him want to be a voice for the powerless and challenge Rep. Renee Ellmers (R). [Raleigh News & Observer]
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8. Teen with "affluenza" again avoids jail time
A Texas judge rejected prosecutors' renewed request to send a wealthy Texas teenager, Ethan Crouch, to jail for his drunken-driving conviction for killing four people and severely injuring two others in a crash. Crouch instead was ordered to enter a rehabilitation facility. Before Crouch's December conviction, a defense expert argued his wealth left him with "affluenza," unable to see the consequences of bad behavior. [Los Angeles Times]
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9. Oregon chub is no longer endangered
The Oregon chub has become the first fish ever to be taken off the endangered species list. The tiny minnow, which lives in Oregon's backwaters, was placed on the list 21 years ago but has slowly recovered and is no longer on the verge of extinction. Still, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to monitor it for nine years to make sure its numbers grow. [The Associated Press]
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10. David Beckham to start a soccer team in Miami
Soccer star David Beckham confirmed Wednesday that he would own and run a Major League Soccer expansion team in Miami. The city has been without an MLS team since the league folded the Miami Fusion in 2001. Beckham assured the city the team would build a stadium with private financing, but didn't say who would pay for it. It also is unclear whether the team will debut in 2016, 2017, or later. [The New York Times]

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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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