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10 things you need to know today: February 9, 2014
Olympic athletes start raking in medals, the Department of Justice makes a big move for same-sex couples, and more
 
Bode Miller flies during the Alpine Skiing event.
Bode Miller flies during the Alpine Skiing event. Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

1. Department of Justice amends same-sex marriage policy
Attorney General Eric Holder announced during a speech Saturday that a new Department of Justice memo will instruct federal government lawyers to give same-sex marriages "full and equal recognition, to the greatest extent possible under the law." The immediate effects of the memo include joint bankruptcy filings and federal prison visitation rights for same-sex couples. [Huffington Post]

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2. USDA recalls 8.7 million pounds of meat
The USDA recalled roughly 8.7 million pounds of meat from Rancho Feeding Corporation, a Northern California company, on Saturday because they came from "diseased and unsound" animals. According to the U.S. agency, Rancho Feeding "processed diseased and unsound animals and carried out these activities without the benefit or full benefit of federal inspection." [CNN]

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3. Lew urges debt limit increase
Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is urging Congress to raise the debt ceiling as soon as possible, saying U.S. borrowing authority may not last past Feb. 27. [Bloomberg]

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4. Israeli airstrike critically wounds Palestinian militant
An Israeli air strike on the Gaza Strip on Sunday critically wounded Abdallah Kharti, a Palestinian member of a small Gaza militant group called the Popular Resistance Committees, whom the military said was responsible for launching rockets at southern Israel. Kharti was hit by a missile while riding a motorcycle in Gaza city. Hospital officials in Gaza said he was in critical condition. [Reuters]

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5. Napolitano: Obama's Olympic absence is not a snub
Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said President Barack Obama's absence at the Winter Olympics doesn't amount to a snub to Russian President Vladimir Putin. "I think the president chose a delegation that represent leaders from various walks of life," she said on CNN's State of the Union. The president has not attended any Olympic games since taking office in 2009, in Vancouver, London, or Sochi. The former secretary added that security within Sochi's so-called "Ring of Steel" seemed to be working well so far. [Politico]

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6. Iran claims warships are nearing U.S.
A report by Iran's semi-official Fars news agency Saturday said Iranian warships have been ordered to sail to U.S. maritime borders in response to the presence of American vessels in the Persian Gulf. An anonymous U.S. defense official brushed off the claim, saying, "We've seen the public pronouncement and we're aware of the press reports," and added that "they've made these claims before but never executed them." The U.S. and its allies regularly stage nonmilitary naval exercises in the Gulf, particularly near Bahrain. [NBC News]

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7. AOL reverses 401(k) changes
After days of pressure, AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong told employees in an email Saturday evening that he was reversing the company's much-maligned 401(k) policy and apologized for his controversial comments. The policy change would have switched 401(k) matching contributions to an annual lump sum, among other things. [Washington Post]

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8. Abe-backed politician elected Tokyo governor
Yoichi Masuzoe, a former welfare minister backed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, easily beat a team of two charismatic former prime ministers in Sunday's Tokyo gubernatorial election, wiping away attempts to turn the election into a referendum on nuclear policy. Though not a clear referendum on Abe's policies, the win is key in his political and personal comeback. [Wall Street Journal]

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9. With Winter Olympics officially underway, athletes begin raking in medals
American snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg won the Sochi Olympics' first gold medal Saturday, making an almost perfect run in the brand-new slopestyle event. Later in the day, Olympic veteran Bode Miller placed eighth in the downhill skiing event, as Austrian Matthias Mayer took the gold. [CBS News]

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10. Flappy Bird creator may remove game from app store
Dong Nguyen, the Vietnam-based creator of the wildly popular free mobile game Flappy Bird, is reportedly planning to take the game down for good. Last week, the game made news for hitting the 50 million download mark and for pulling in $50,000 a day with in-game advertisements. Still, Nguyen tweeted his plans to take the game out of app stores on Saturday, simply saying, "I cannot take this anymore." [NPR]

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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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