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10 things you need to know today: July 30, 2012
Empty seats at the Olympics cause outrage, James Holmes will be charged, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
Accused movie theater shooter James Holmes makes his first court appearance in Centennial, Colo., on July 23.
Accused movie theater shooter James Holmes makes his first court appearance in Centennial, Colo., on July 23.
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1. SYRIAN REGIME, REBELS BATTLE IN ALEPPO
With rebels having taken control of parts of Aleppo, and the regime fighting to regain control, Syrian state television reports that the Syrian army has "purged" parts of the city of opposition fighters, who are accused of "terrorizing" residents and being aided by Yemen, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. Opposition groups report heavy shelling and say the regime is using rocket launchers and tanks to avoid close combat with rebels. Some 200,000 people have fled Aleppo in the past two days, according to a U.N. official. [Bloomberg]
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2. OLYMPICS HAVE EMPTY SEAT PROBLEM
Olympic organizers are scrambling to fill empty seats at popular events, giving away tickets to soldiers and schoolchildren. The empty seats at events like swimming and gymnastics have ignited outrage, as the public was told tickets were sold out. British Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has tried to blame the empty seats on sponsors not using their allocated tickets, but the International Olympic Committee and the sponsors themselves have said that isn't accurate. A spokesperson for the IOC says there are a number of reasons for the empty seats, including that some of the empty seats belong to the media and different countries' delegations. [Washington Post]
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3. COLORADO SHOOTING SUSPECT TO BE CHARGED
On Monday morning, Colorado prosecutors are expected to formally charge James Holmes in the Aurora theater shooting that left 12 dead and 58 wounded. The case is expected to be dominated by arguments over Holmes' sanity. "This is not a whodunit," says Craig Silverman, who served as a chief deputy district attorney in Denver. "The only possible defense is insanity." [Associated Press]
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4. ROMNEY RAISES CASH, OFFENDS IN ISRAEL
In Israel Monday, Mitt Romney courted wealthy Jewish donors and told them that their culture was one of the reasons they have been more successful than their Palestinian counterparts. Palestinian leaders were incensed by the comments, calling them racist and out of touch. The World Bank and International Monetary Fund have repeatedly said that the Palestinian economy is severely hampered by Israeli restrictions. Romney has also angered Palestinians by saying that Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv, is the true capital of Israel. [Associated Press]
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5. APPLE, SAMSUNG TO FACE OFF IN U.S. COURT
A closely watched trial between Apple and Samsung gets underway in federal court Monday. Apple filed a $2.5 billion lawsuit against Samsung last year, claiming that the South Korean company's tablets and smartphones are knockoffs of iPads and iPhones. This is just the latest legal battle between the two tech giants over product design in the U.S. and abroad. Last month, a U.S. district judge ordered Samsung to stop selling its Galaxy 10.1 tablets in the U.S. pending the outcome of the trial but barred Apple's legal team from informing jurors of the ban. [Associated Press]
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6. ROMANIAN PRESIDENT SURVIVES IMPEACHMENT VOTE
According to preliminary election results, Romanian voters have failed to impeach embattled Romanian President Traian Basescu. While about 87.5 percent of those who voted cast ballots to impeach Basescu, less than 50 percent of registered voters went to the polls, making the vote invalid. Prime Minister Victor Ponta says Basescu should consider resigning anyway. [New York Times]
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7. BILL CLINTON TO PLAY KEY ROLE AT DNC
The former president will reportedly play a significant role at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in September. Sources say Clinton will give a primetime speech on Sept. 5 in which he'll stress the difference between President Obama's economic policies and those of Mitt Romney. [CNN]
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8. CHENEY SAYS PALIN WAS A MISTAKE
In an ABC News interview, former Vice President Dick Cheney says John McCain made "a mistake" when he chose Sarah Palin as a running mate, and he urged Romney to choose more wisely. Cheney says that while he likes Palin, she wouldn't have been capable of being president if McCain had been elected and something happened to him. [ABC News]
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9. HSBC PUTS ASIDE $2 BILLION FOR LEGAL TROUBLES
The banking giant has put aside $700 million to cover potential fines and other legal expenses that may arise from a money laundering investigation, with another $1.3 billion set aside for a regulatory settlement related to consumer borrowing. The pricey legal troubles are weighing on the company's bottom line; HSBC has seen profit fall almost 9 percent in the first half of the year. [New York Times]
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10. WIEBER ELIMINATED FROM GYMNASTIC ALL-AROUND
In a stunning upset, defending world champion Jordyn Wieber failed to advance to the women's gymnastics all-around finals. While Wieber finished in fourth place overall, a controversial rule dictates that only two gymnasts from each country's team can advance to the all-around finals, and two of Wieber's U.S. teammates, Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman, scored higher than her. Russia's Victoria Komova had the highest score in the preliminary individual all-around competition. [San Jose Mercury News]

 

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