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Friday's Mini-Report

Today's edition of quick hits:

* The Secret Service is expected to announce the departures of "as many as five more people implicated in the Colombian prostitution scandal."

* From the witness stand, George Zimmerman apologized to Trayvon Martin's parents today, saying, "I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. I did not know if he was armed or not." Zimmerman was released on $150,000 bail.

* Not much of a ceasefire in Syria: "At least 23 people were killed, 10 of them in a roadside bomb targeting security forces and most of the others in shelling by President Bashar al-Assad's forces on the city of Homs, further undermining the truce."

* Egypt: "Tens of thousands of Egyptians packed into central Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday in a spasm of last-minute concern that Egypt's ruling generals might be trying to sabotage the promised transition to civilian democracy after the presidential election beginning next month."

* The case of Marcus Reymond Robinson: "Concluding that racial bias played a significant factor in the sentencing of a man to death here 18 years ago, a judge on Friday ordered that the convict's sentence be reduced to life in prison without parole, the first such decision under North Carolina's controversial Racial Justice Act."

* Mitt Romney's new foreign policy spokesperson, Richard Grenell, seems to have a problem with women (including, incidentally, my boss).

* Two years after the BP oil spill, "research into the disaster's environmental effects is turning up ailing fish that bear hallmarks of diseases tied to petroleum and other pollutants."

* Why you should care about the French election.

* "Breaking news" just isn't what it used to be.

* The right makes direct and indirect efforts to gut Dodd-Frank.

* And Newt Gingrich may not be making any real effort to win the GOP nomination any more, but Americans are still paying $40,000 a day for his Secret Service protection.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.