10 things you need to know today: April 15, 2014

(Image credit: (Photo by Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP))

1. The Post and The Guardian win a Pulitzer for Snowden stories

The Washington Post and The Guardian were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for public service for their articles on documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, Columbia University announced Monday. The articles resulted in a review of the NSA's mining of telephone and internet communications data, and sparked a debate on balancing private rights with the need to thwart terrorists.

The New York Times

2. Ukraine moves against pro-Russia separatists

Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, told the country's lawmakers Tuesday that an "anti-terrorist operation" was underway against pro-Russia separatists occupying state buildings in the eastern Donetsk region. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Ukraine was "on the brink of civil war." President Obama, by phone, urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to deescalate tensions. Putin said he wasn't meddling in Ukraine.

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Reuters The Associated Press

3. Tax day arrives

Midnight Tuesday is the deadline for filing 2013 federal income tax returns. One in four Americans waited as long as possible, according to a McClatchy-Marist Poll released Monday. Most who filed early were expecting a refund, said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. "Those who have to write another check for their tax bill are more likely to wait until the last minute," said Miringoff.

McClatchy DC

4. Former Klan leader accused of Kansas City murders will face hate-crime charges

Federal prosecutors intend to file hate-crime charges against a 73-year old former Ku Klux Klan leader, Frazier Glenn Cross (a.k.a. Frazier Glenn Miller), who has been accused of gunning down three people outside two Kansas City Jewish community facilities. All three of the people killed were Christian, but prosecutors only have to prove that the crime was motivated by an offender's intent.

The Washington Post CNN

5. Underwater drone cuts short a dive to search for missing airliner

The U.S. Navy's Bluefin 21 robotic submarine aborted its first deep dive to look for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 because the target area in the Indian Ocean was deeper than its 15,000-foot limit, leaders of the search effort said Tuesday. The underwater drone reached its maximum depth just six hours into a 16-hour mission, and its safety mechanisms sent it back to the surface. Another dive was planned for later in the day.

USA Today

6. Judge tells Ohio to recognize gay marriages performed in other states

A federal judge in Cincinnati ruled Monday that Ohio must recognize valid same-gender marriages conducted in other states. Judge Timothy S. Black said Ohio's gay-marriage recognition ban amounted to "arbitrary discrimination" and was therefore unconstitutional. The decision, which Black had announced was coming earlier this month, does not require Ohio to authorize the performance of gay marriages in-state.

The Daily Record

7. Deficit projection shrinks due to reduced ObamaCare subsidy costs

Federal deficits will be lower than previously forecast over the coming decade, largely because ObamaCare health insurance subsidies won't cost quite as much as was once predicted, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said Monday. In February, the 2015 through 2024 deficit was forecast at $7.62 trillion, but now the CBO estimates the cumulative shortfall for the period will be $286 billion less. About $100 billion in savings comes from reduced subsidy costs.


8. Teachers and students ordered to provide DNA in French rape investigation

A French prosecutor has ordered all male students and staff at a French school to provide DNA samples in an effort to catch the person who raped a 16-year-old girl in a school bathroom. As of Monday afternoon samples had been provided by 142 of the 527 boys and men who were at the private Catholic high school in La Rochelle at the time of the September attack. The move raised privacy concerns, but the prosecutor said DNA was all she had to go on.

The Sydney Morning Herald

9. Blood moon appears over the U.S.

The moon turned a coppery red early Tuesday as it slipped into Earth's shadow. The so-called blood moon was visible in different phases from 2 a.m. to 4:30 a.m., Eastern time. Thousands showed up to watch at Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. "Everyone is always looking down at their phones, their iPads," he said. "We want them looking up." This was the first in a series of four lunar eclipses. The next will occur Oct. 8.


10. Phelps fuels talk of an Olympic comeback

Michael Phelps is coming out of retirement to swim with fellow Olympian Ryan Lochte at a meet in Arizona next week, USA Swimming announced Monday. The news fueled expectations that the 28-year-old Phelps, who with 22 medals is the most decorated Olympic swimmer in history, would attempt to compete in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. Coach Bob Bowman said Phelps thought racing "would be fun," but wouldn't confirm what he planned next.


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Harold Maass

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 Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.