Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: March 24, 2013

John Kerry touches down in Baghdad, Quantico shooter and victims are identified, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion

1. JOHN KERRY ARRIVES IN IRAQ IN UNANNOUNCED VISITSecretary of State John Kerry arrived in Baghdad on Sunday on a surprise visit, the first by an American secretary of state since Hillary Rodham Clinton went to Iraq in 2009. Kerry is expected to tell Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki that Iraq must take steps to stop the shipment of Iranian arms to Syria if it wants to participate in broader discussions about Syria's future after President Bashar al-Assad leaves, according to a senior State Department official. The air corridor over Iraq has emerged as a main supply route for weapons, including rockets, antitank missiles, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars, as well as Iranian personnel, according to American intelligence officials. [New York Times]

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2. PAKISTAN'S MUSHARRAF RETURNS AFTER FOUR-YEAR EXILEFormer Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has arrived back in Pakistan amid death threats, ending four years of self-imposed exile. A protection detail of heavily armed commandos met him after his plane from Dubai touched down in Karachi airport on Sunday. General Musharraf is said to be plotting his next political step and plans to lead his party in the May general election. A protest rally connected to Musharraf was canceled. Musharraf resigned from the presidency in August 2008 amid impeachment threats and had been living in London since. [BBC]

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3. CYPRUS, EUROGROUP MEETING ON BAILOUT DEAL IN BRUSSELSEight days after hashing out a failed bailout deal, the Eurogroup of finance ministers and Cyprus officials plan to meet in Brussels tonight. They have until Monday to devise a plan; the European Central Bank has said that it will cut off the financing that is keeping Cyprus's teetering banks from collapsing on that day. Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades was flying to Brussels on Sunday after mapping out a tentative outline of a deal late Saturday with representatives of the negotiators involved in the bailout, the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund. Anastasiades had also briefed Cypriot political leaders on the outline, which is said to call for imposing a hefty one-time tax on bank deposits above 100,000 euros. [New York Times]………………………………………………………………………………

4. QUANTICO SHOOTER, VICTIMS ARE IDENTIFIEDMilitary officials have identified the victims and the Marine who shot two of his colleagues to death and then killed himself Marine Corps Base in Quantico. The shooter, 25-year-old Sgt. Eusebio Lopez, was a tactics instructor at an officer candidates school, a center that tests Marines who want to become officers, military officials said Saturday. Lopez fatally shot 19-year-old Lance Cpl. Sara Castromata and Cpl. Jacob Wooley, 23, on Thursday night inside barracks at the base in northern Virginia. Officials have not described their relationship in detail or released a motive for the shooting. Lopez joined the corps in May 2006 and was deployed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. [Huffington Post]

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5. REBELS SEIZE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC CAPITALRebels in Central African Republic seized control of Bangui, the capital, on Sunday, forcing President Francois Bozize to flee into neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, government officials said. The rebels resumed hostilities this week in Central African Republic, vowing to oust Bozize, whom they accused of breaking a January peace agreement. The landlocked country has been racked by rural rebellions for more than a decade, and the rebel advance added to instability in the heart of Africa. [Reuters]

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6. BLOOMBERG UNVEILS GUN CONTROL AD CAMPAIGNNew York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a $12 million television ad campaign urging U.S. senators to support legislation that would expand background checks for gun purchases. The ads running in 13 states are intended to encourage people "to call their senators if they believe that we should have gun checks that stop criminals and people with mental illnesses from getting guns," Bloomberg said in an interview on Meet the Press that aired this morning. [Bloomberg]

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7. APPLE ACQUIRES GPS COMPANY WIFISLAMApple has acquired indoor-GPS company WifiSLAM, a sign that Apple and Google's war over indoor mobile location services is heating up. Apple paid around $20 million for the Silicon Valley-based company, and an Apple spokesman confirmed the deal, but declined to discuss further plans. WifiSLAM has developed ways for mobile apps to detect a phone user's location in a building using Wi-Fi signals. The move comes as Apple continues to build its arsenal against Google in mapping, and a year after its own mapping service debuted to poor reviews and user complaints about inaccurate data. Google already offers indoor mapping in certain locations like airports, shopping centers, and sports venues. [Wall Street Journal]

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8. TILDA SWINTON HOLDS ONE-DAY PERFORMANCE ART AT MOMAActress Tilda Swinton held a one-person performance piece called "The Maybe" at New York City's Museum of Modern Art on Saturday. The Moonrise Kingdom actress napped in a glass box at the museum as part of her unannounced exhibit that surprised visitors and even museum employees. The exhibit will move locations within the museum every time Swinton performs. There is no published schedule for the piece, which will occur about a half dozen more times through the end of the year. Swinton first performed the piece at the Serpentine Gallery in London in 1995. In 1996, she performed it in the Museo Barracco in Rome. [USA Today]

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9. NASA CONFIRMS EAST COAST METEORThe internet lit up with reports of a bright flash in the sky along the East Coast on Friday night that NASA has confirmed was caused by a "boulder-sized space rock" that was a yard in diameter. The meteor was seen from Maine to North Carolina and as far inland as Ohio, according to the American Meteor Society, which has reported more than 600 sightings. Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environments Office told ABC News that the meteor is not cause for alarm. "People have no reason to be scared, this is normal activity for this time of year," said Cooke. "This is not a portent for an asteroid." [ABC News]

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10. WINNING POWERBALL TICKET SOLD IN NEW JERSEYA winning ticket for Saturday night's $338 million Powerball jackpot was sold in New Jersey, lottery officials said early Sunday. The ticket matched all six numbers drawn: 17, 29, 31, 52, 53 and 31. The largest Powerball jackpot in history was $587.5 million. A ticket purchased in Arizona and another in Missouri shared the prize in November. [CNN]

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