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10 things you need to know today: March 12, 2014
Republicans win a preview of November's midterms, Malaysia says plane turned around before vanishing, and more
 
Searchers for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight started looking in new directions Tuesday. 
Searchers for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight started looking in new directions Tuesday.  (AP Photo/Jeri Huanda)

1. Republican wins closely watched Florida special election
Republican David Jolly beat Democrat Alex Sink in a Tuesday special election to fill a vacant congressional seat in Florida. The vote was seen as a bellwether ahead of November's midterm elections, partly because Florida is a major swing state. GOP leaders said the vote was a condemnation of ObamaCare, although the seat on Florida's Gulf Coast was held for more than 40 years by Jolly's late boss, Republican C.W. Bill Young. [Reuters]
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2. Plane that disappeared flew off course
The Malaysia Airlines plane that vanished Saturday with 239 people on board changed course sharply before disappearing from radar screens, Malaysia's air force chief said Wednesday. Air force chief Gen. Rodzali Daud said the turn was tracked on radar. Investigators still had no solid clues on what happened to the airliner after five days, and they expanded the already vast search area from the South China Sea to India's territorial waters. [The Associated Press]
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3. Feinstein accuses CIA of spying on Senate panel
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Tuesday accused the Central Intelligence Agency of unlawfully searching her committee's computers. Feinstein said the CIA "violated the separation-of-powers principles embodied in the United States Constitution" by trying to undermine her panel's investigation of a controversial CIA spying program. CIA Director John Brennan promptly disputed the claim. [The Washington Post]
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4. Huge fire engulfs San Francisco apartment project
A massive, five-alarm fire destroyed a quarter-billion-dollar apartment complex under construction in San Francisco's Mission Bay neighborhood on Tuesday. The fire started during the afternoon, and by evening was sending flames 40 feet into the air, forcing the evacuation of 100 people from neighboring buildings. There were no reports of injuries as night fell. [San Jose Mercury-News]
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5. Bachelet sworn in as Chile's president
Michelle Bachelet was sworn in as president of Chile on Tuesday, after being officially declared the winner of a December 15 runoff. Bachelet, of the center-left New Majority coalition, defeated conservative Evelyn Rose Matthei with 62 percent of the vote. Bachelet's father, air force Brig. Gen. Alberto Bachelet, died in 1974 after being tortured by the government for opposing military ruler Augusto Pinochet. [ABC News]
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6. Prosecutors investigate GM's delay in revealing cars' fatal flaw
The Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation of General Motors over deadly safety problems that persisted for years before a big recall last month. Prosecutors are accusing the car company — the biggest in the U.S. — of failing to comply with federal laws requiring automakers to promptly report defects. Faulty ignitions switches in Chevy Cobalts and other cars have been linked to 13 deaths. [The New York Times]
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7. Men's Wearhouse announces it is buying Jos. A. Bank
Men's Wearhouse said Tuesday that it is buying Jos. A. Bank Clothiers for $1.8 billion. The deal marks the end of five months of wrangling that started when Jos. A Bank tried to buy its larger rival for $2.3 billion. The Men's Warehouse offer amounted to a 5.1 percent premium over Jos. A. Bank's Monday closing stock price. "It's a second Christmas for Jos. A. Bank shareholders," said one merger expert. [Reuters]
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8. Man allegedly mailed bomb addressed to Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Federal authorities said Tuesday that an Oklahoma man mailed explosives to Arizona sheriff and immigration hawk Joe Arpaio last year. The package was discovered in a collection box in northern Arizona. Investigators at first thought the device could have been deadly, but they later realized it wasn't operable. A 55-year-old Oklahoma man, Gregory Lynn Shrader, is accused of putting the device in the mail. [The Associated Press]
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9. Louisiana inmate freed after 30 years on death row
Glenn Ford was released from a Louisiana prison on Tuesday after spending nearly 30 years on death row. Ford was sentenced for the November 5, 1983, murder of Isadore Rozeman, a Shreveport businessman. Ford was the longest serving death-row inmate, but was finally exonerated with the help of lawyers from the Capital Post Conviction Project of Louisiana. "It feels good," Ford said. [USA Today]
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10. FDA approves device to curb migraines
The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that it had approved the first medical device to prevent migraines. The device, called Cefaly, resembles a tiara worn on the head. It has a battery-powered electrode that stimulates nerves beneath the forehead, just above the eyes. In a study published last month in the journal Neurology, 38 percent of chronic migraine sufferers reported a 50 percent drop in migraine episodes. [CNN]

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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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