Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: February 20, 2012

Santorum offers no apologies, nuclear inspectors return to Iran, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion

1. SANTORUM DEFENDS COMMENTS ON OBAMA'S FAITHAfter telling a crowd in Ohio on Saturday that President Obama adheres to "some phony theology" and "not a theology based on the Bible," Rick Santorum defended the remarks on Sunday. "I accept the fact that the president's Christian," he told CBS's Face the Nation, framing Obama's environmentalism and "worldview that elevates the Earth above man" as problematic. An Obama adviser said Santorum's comment went "well over the line." [Los Angeles Times]

………………………………………………………………………………

2. U.N. NUCLEAR INSPECTORS RETURN TO IRAN As tensions increase in the Middle East, United Nations inspectors arrived Monday in Tehran for another round of talks with Iranian officials about the country's nuclear program. On Sunday, Iran cut off crude exports to France and Britain in response to new economic sanctions, while British and U.S. officials urged Israel not to attack Iran. [CNN]………………………………………………………………………………

3. SOUTH KOREA HOLDS MILITARY DRILLSDespite threats from North Korea, South Korea proceeded with live-fire military drills near a disputed boundary in the Yellow Sea on Monday. On Sunday, a North Korean officer told the Associated Press that the country would respond to any provocation with a "merciless retaliatory strike." [Associated Press]………………………………………………………………………………

4. FOUR PEOPLE DIE IN WASHINGTON AVALANCHESIn Washington state, an avalanche in an out-of-bounds area near a popular ski resort claimed the lives of three veteran skiers Sunday. That same day, a snowboarder was killed in another avalanche at a separate ski area in the state. Experts say the dry winter and weak base layer of snow could increase the risk of avalanche throughout the ski season in the region. [CBS News/Associated Press]………………………………………………………………………………

5. MEXICO PRISON RIOT KILLS 44In what may be the country's deadliest prison riot in history, 44 inmates were killed when cell-block fighting broke out between two rival drug cartels on Sunday in Apodaca, Mexico. A similior riot at another Mexican prison last month claimed the lives of 31 inmates. [Wall Street Journal]………………………………………………………………………………

6. GREEK BAILOUT LIKELY TO GET APPROVALMonday could be a big day for Greece, with seniors officials saying eurozone finance ministers are likely to finally approve a 130 billion euro ($170 billion) bailout deal to save the country from default. [Associated Press]………………………………………………………………………………

7. ESPN EDITOR FIRED OVER LIN HEADLINEOn Sunday, ESPN fired editor Anthony Federico for using the phrase "chink in the armor" in a headline about New York Knicks star Jeremy Lin and the end of the team's winning streak. Federico says he never intended it as a racial slur and called it an "honest mistake." [New York Daily News] ………………………………………………………………………………

8. SPACE ANNIVERSARY PROMPTS REFLECTIONMonday marks the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking flight that saw John Glenn become the first American to orbit the earth, effectively catching up with the Russians in the the space race. With the shuttle program having ended and NASA no longer able to fly astronauts into space, Glenn, now 90, told a crowd at Kennedy Space Center on Saturday, "I regret that this is the way things have developed." [Reuters]………………………………………………………………………………

9. LOHAN TO HOST SNLFallen starlet Lindsay Lohan is set to host Saturday Night Live on March 3. That news, along with the fact that Lohan's probation restrictions soon end, are spurring hopes of a turnaround for the troubled tabloid fixture. She has hosted SNL three times before. [CNN]………………………………………………………………………………

10. LEGENDARY ADVENTURER DIES AT 74John Fairfax was known for crossing both the Pacific and the Atlantic in a rowboat. His New York Times obituary reads: "At 9, he settled a dispute with a pistol. At 13, he lit out for the Amazon jungle. At 20, he attempted suicide-by-jaguar. Afterward, he was apprenticed to a pirate." [New York Times]

Recommended

DHS says it 'is not and will not send' Haitian migrants to Guantanamo Bay
Haitian migrants at southern border
Haitian migrants

DHS says it 'is not and will not send' Haitian migrants to Guantanamo Bay

Kabul's holdover mayor says he finds Taliban 'more tolerant'
Taliban fighters.
afghanistan

Kabul's holdover mayor says he finds Taliban 'more tolerant'

Macron and Biden patch things up
Biden and Macron.
friends again

Macron and Biden patch things up

Boris Johnson says French should 'prenez un grip'
Boris Johnson.
not lost in translation

Boris Johnson says French should 'prenez un grip'

Most Popular

Jimmy Fallon and Nicole Kidman almost make it through interview without awkwardness
Jimmy Fallon and Nicole Kidman
Last Night on Late Night

Jimmy Fallon and Nicole Kidman almost make it through interview without awkwardness

Did Theranos Lose Afghanistan?
Elizabeth Holmes and James Mattis.
Samuel Goldman

Did Theranos Lose Afghanistan?

Depp says 'no one is safe' from cancel culture
Johnny Depp
'out of hand'

Depp says 'no one is safe' from cancel culture