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10 things you need to know today: February 22, 2014
Ukraine's president flees, Canada knocks off the U.S. men's hockey team, and more
 
Canada knocked off the U.S., 1-0.
Canada knocked off the U.S., 1-0. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

1. Ukrainian protesters seize presidential palace as Yanukovych flees
After days of violent protests in Ukraine, opposition groups reportedly seized control of Kiev and the presidential palace Saturday, with embattled President Viktor Yanukovych reportedly fleeing the capital entirely. Ukraine's Parliament has already elected a new speaker, Oleksander Turchynov, an ally of Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minister whose imprisonment several months ago first sparked the protest movement. Tymoshenko has reportedly now been freed from prison. [New York Times]

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2. Al-Shabaab claims responsibility for attack on Somalia's presidential palace
At least two senior officials and nine al-Shabaab fighters are dead following an attack on Somalia's presidential palace by the terrorist organization. The al-Qaeda-linked fighters detonated a car bomb at the palace's gate, then engaged in a gun battle with government guards. Somalia's president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, informed the UN envoy to Somalia that he was safe. The complex houses the president, prime minister, speaker of parliament, and other senior officials. [BBC]
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3. Canada holds off the United States' men's hockey team
Jamie Benn scored the lone goal of Friday's game between Canada and the U.S., sending America's northern neighbors to Sunday's gold-medal championship against Sweden. The U.S. faces off against Finland for the bronze medal today. Friday's game was a rematch of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, when Canada defeated the U.S. in overtime. [Bloomberg]
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4. Detroit files bankruptcy exit plan
With an estimated $18 billion in debt and liabilities, Detroit plans to reduce that number by slashing pension checks to city retirees while investing more than $1 billion in public protection and restoration services. Not everyone is pleased with the proposal; union leader Al Garrett called out the proposed pension cuts, saying the adjustments would be "a gut punch to Detroit city workers and retirees." [Detroit Free Press]
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5. Syria submits new chemical weapons removal timeline
After failing to meet a February 5 deadline, Syria submitted a new 100-day plan for the removal of its chemical weapons. The United Nations is pushing for a faster timeline. Citing security concerns and a lack of equipment, Syria has only released a little more than 10 percent of its declared chemical weapons stockpile. [Reuters]
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6. American Mikaela Shiffrin makes history in the women's slalom
Mikaela Shiffrin scooped up a gold medal and became the youngest woman to win the Olympic slalom on Friday. Shiffrin, 18, is also the first American woman to win the event since Barbara Cochran's 1972 victory. The event favorite after dominating this year's slalom World Cup circuit, Shiffrin nearly fell on her run. "It was a pretty crazy moment there," Shiffrin said. "I went out of the start, and I was like, 'I'm going fast.'… It scared me half to death." [USA Today]
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7. Cook County scraps same-sex marriage delay, begins issuing licenses
U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman ruled on Friday that Cook County gay couples need not wait until June 1 for Illinois' same-sex marriage law to go into effect. "There is no reason to delay further," she said. Cook County's downtown Chicago office stayed open an extra two hours on Friday to accommodate couples who wanted to get a marriage license after work. All Cook County offices will begin issuing licenses on Monday. [Chicago Tribune]
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8. Researchers discover emotion detector in dogs' brains
Man's best friend really does recognize when his human is feeling happy, sad, or somewhere in between, scientists reported in the journal Current Biology. Pups were placed in an MRI brain scanning machine for 10 minutes, wearing headphones that emitted three types of sound: human noises, dog noises, and environmental noises. Scientists found the dogs' brains responded to emotional tones from humans and dogs in the same part of the brain as has been observed in humans. [NPR]
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9. Beijing issues rare smog alert
Raising the city's air pollution alert to orange, Beijing officials advised the elderly and young to remain inside this weekend. Smog was topping out at more than nine times the recommended levels set by the World Health Organization. The second-highest level alert bans barbecues, fireworks, and demolition works. [Time]
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10. Steve Jobs will soon grace a postage stamp
Hoping to make the postage stamp hip again, the United States Postal Service is tapping into pop culture for its lineup of forthcoming subjects. While Apple legend Steve Jobs won't appear until 2015, the public can be on the lookout this year for music icons such as Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, along with basketball star Wilt Chamberlain. [The Washington Post]

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Sarah Eberspacher is the assistant photo editor for TheWeek.com. She has previously worked as a sports reporter at The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus and The Arizona Republic. She graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

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