10 Things to know for Thursday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday:

1. HOW OBAMA AIMS TO BRIDGE THE BUDGET GAP

His plan would raise taxes on smokers and the wealthy, as well as trim Social Security benefits for millions.

2. CAMERA WORK

As a precursor to the immigration overhaul, a bipartisan bill in the Senate would require surveillance of the entire Mexico border.

3. PC SALES PLUMMET

Microsoft's newest version of Windows, designed to work with touch-sensitive screens, appears to be driving buyers away from personal computers.

4. HOSTAGE TAKER SHOT DEAD

SWAT team storms a home and frees four firefighters who had been held captive by a Georgia man facing foreclosure.

5. TURNS OUT, CUBA'S A FRENEMY

Prompt return of a wanted Florida couple shows the Cold War enemy is capable of remarkable cooperation with the U.S.

6. AMEN TO THAT

Israel wants to establish a new section of the Western Wall in Jerusalem where men and women can pray together.

7. A BREAKTHROUGH IN PAIN MANAGEMENT

Doctors say they've been able to use brain scans to "see" pain and tell whether a drug is relieving it.

8. MALAWI NOT SO STARSTRUCK

The president blasts Madonna for "expecting" VIP treatment during a recent tour. The entertainer denies it.

9. WHY STEPHEN HAWKING IS PUSHING SPACE TRAVEL

Humans, the scientist believes, can't survive another 1,000 years "without escaping beyond our fragile planet."

10. NO SHOO-INS AT THE MASTERS

"Tiger is the favorite," Nick Faldo notes. "But he's going to be chased by a lot of really good players."


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