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10 things you need to know today: March 16, 2013

Samantha Rollins
Frances R. Catanio
Mitt Romney speaks at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday — his first public speech since Election Night. Alex Wong/Getty Images
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1. ROMNEY TO GOP: LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES
Defeated presidential candidate Mitt Romney appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday to deliver his first speech since election night. Romney told conservatives to learn from his campaign's mistakes. "As someone who just lost the last election, I'm probably not the best person to chart the course for the next election," he said. Romney went on to urge the party to embrace successful Republican governors, especially those who represent the states in which he lost to President Obama. "Yes, they are winning elections," Romney said of the governors. "But more importantly, they are solving problems." [Politico]
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2. MARYLAND POISED TO BAN THE DEATH PENALTY
The Maryland House of Delegates voted 82-56 on Friday to ban the death penalty in their state. If Gov. Martin O'Malley signs the bill into law, as is expected, Maryland will become the 18th state in the U.S. to ban the death penalty. "To govern is to choose, and at a time where we understand the things that actually work to reduce violent crime, when we understand how lives can be saved, we have a moral responsibility to do more of the things that work to save lives," O'Malley said at a news conference. Previously, a 2009 law in the state allowed a judge to impose a death sentence if there was a videotaped murder, a videotaped confession, or DNA evidence. [CNN]
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3. FACEBOOK COPIES TWITTER'S HASHTAG
Facebook is copying Twitter and working on letting users flag their posts with hashtags, so they'll be categorized with other material related to the same topic, according to The Wall Street Journal. The change could enhance Facebook's newly released Graph Search, allowing users to call up material by subject — say, #Pope or #Harlem Shake — instead of just by their location, friends, and Likes. That, the Journal says, could keep the social network's billion-plus users logged in longer and therefore see more ads, helping the company boost its revenue. [The Week]
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4. U.S. BEEFS UP MISSILE DEFENSE TO DETER NORTH KOREA
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Friday that America will spend $1 billion to set up new ballistic missile interceptors intended to deter North Korea. Currently, there are 30 "ground-based interceptors" in Alaska and California. By 2017, there will be 44. North Korean missiles are currently unable to hit the west coast of the United States, but analysts worry that North Korean technology could improve in the coming years, extending the nuclear-armed nation's reach. America's ballistic missile interceptors have a mixed record — hitting targets just half the time in testing. [New York Times]

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5. OBAMA PUSHES CLEAN FUEL INVESTMENT
President Obama is proposing using $2 billion raised through federal oil and gas leases to pay for research on cleaner fuels for the nation's fleet of cars and trucks. The idea, which Obama talked up in his State of the Union address, is expected to face resistance from Congressional Republicans, who consider it a tax on energy producers. A White House official said the money wouldn't be a new tax, and would help the president keep a promise to make America "a magnet for the jobs of future" by ensuring that the country "is and remains at the cutting edge of breakthrough technologies that will get our economy off oil." [New York Times]
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6. GUNMEN KILL SIX AT CANCUN-AREA BAR
At least six people were killed at The Mermaid bar on the outskirts of the Mexican resort town of Cancun on Thursday, when two armed men opened fire in a bar in a working class neighborhood. Most of the victims belonged to a taxi drivers union. Cancun, on the northeast coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, has largely escaped the drug violence that has become rampant in other parts of Mexico. Last month, in the resort area of Acapulco, on the Pacific coast, six Spanish tourists were raped by hooded men at a beach house. [USA Today]
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7. FULL-FAT DAIRY MAY WORSEN BREAST CANCER PROGNOSIS
Eating full-fat dairy products after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis is associated with a higher mortality, say researchers in a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. A 12-year study of more than 1,800 breast cancer survivors found eating one or more portions of full-fat milk, cream, cheese, or yogurt a day increased the risk of death. But eating low-fat dairy was not found to reduce the risk of death or the chance of the cancer returning. "Switching to low-fat dairy is an easy thing to modify," said Dr Bette Caan, co-author of the study. [BBC News]
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8. REPORT: MATT LAUER FRONTRUNNER TO REPLACE TREBEK ON JEOPARDY!
New York's Daily News reported that according to "knowledgable sources," Today's Matt Lauer currently tops the shortlist of TV personalities fit to replace a soon-to-retire Alex Trebek on Jeopardy!. Trebek is expected to step down from his legendary hosting gig in 2016, while Lauer's deal with Today, which he is not expected to re-sign, expires in 2015. Sony Pictures Television reportedly has also been eyeing Anderson Cooper for the position, although Lauer seems to be the favorite. [New York Daily News]
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9. ONE-THIRD OF AMERICANS STILL TEXT WHILE DRIVING
According to a new study of drivers between 18 and 64 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 percent of U.S. drivers said that they read or text on their phones while driving. The study also found that 69 percent of U.S. drivers talked on their mobile phone while driving compared to 21 percent in the U.K. Younger drivers, unsurprisingly, were more likely to use their phones while driving as compared to older motorists. [SlashGear]
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10. BOLSHOI BALLET CHIEF VOWS TO RETURN AFTER ATTACK
Sergei Filin, the artistic director of Russia's Bolshoi Ballet, said Friday he is determined to return to a normal life after suffering an acid attack that badly damaged his eyes. A masked assailant splashed acid in Filin's face as he returned home from the Bolshoi on Jan. 17. "I will do everything, and the doctors who work with me, they will do everything possible too, so I think together we will get great results," Filin said at  a news conference. Police have charged Pavel Dmitrichenko, a top dancer at the world-renowned theater, along with two alleged accomplices. [Reuters]

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