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10 things you need to know today: August 5, 2012
Clint Eastwood endorses Mitt Romney, accused Tucson shooter to plead guilty, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
Clint Eastwood endorsed Mitt Romney at a fundraiser this weekend, saying, "The country needs a boost."
Clint Eastwood endorsed Mitt Romney at a fundraiser this weekend, saying, "The country needs a boost."
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for AFI

1. ALLEGED TUCSON SHOOTER TO PLEAD GUILTY
Jared Lee Loughner, the man accused of shooting former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killing six others in January 2011, is expected to plead guilty on Tuesday. A psychologist appointed by the court will reportedly say that Loughner is mentally competent to enter the plea. In January, the psychologist had said that Loughner, a diagnosed schizophrenic, was incompetent to stand trial, but noted that he was making progress. Under a plea deal, the 23-year-old is expected to get a life sentence. [Wall Street Journal]
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2. IRAN ASKS FOR HELP RESCUING KIDNAPPED IRANIANS
Iran has requested help from Turkey and Qatar to rescue 48 Iranians who have been kidnapped in the Syrian capital of Damascus. A video — the authenticity of which couldn't be verified — was broadcast by Al Arabiya television and showed the Iranians sitting under a flag of the rebel Free Syria Army and surrounded by men carrying weapons. One rebel officer said several of the Iranians were members of the Revolutionary Guard. [Bloomberg]
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3. CLINT EASTWOOD ENDORSES MITT ROMNEY
Actor-director Clint Eastwood appeared at a California fundraiser for Mitt Romney on Friday to endorse the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. Eastwood said that he supports Romney because "the country needs a boost," and he believes Romney would restore "a decent tax system" in which people aren't "pitted against one another." The endorsement comes months after Eastwood appeared in a Super Bowl ad for Chrysler that some saw as a nod toward President Obama. At the time, Eastwood denied having any political leanings. [Los Angeles Times]
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4. PHELPS WINS GOLD IN FINAL RACE
The U.S. men's 400-medley relay team won gold Saturday. The race was the final Olympic event for Michael Phelps, who counts this as his 18th gold, and 22nd medal overall. Matt Grevers swam the opening backstroke leg, followed by Brendan Hansen with the breaststroke, Phelps with the butterfly, and Nathan Adrian finishing it off in freestyle. The Americans were second heading into the third leg, but Phelps caught up and gave the U.S. the lead in his final Olympic swim. Anchor swimmer Adrian cruised to victory while chants of "U! S! A!" broke out in the Aquatics Center. [Chicago Tribune]
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5. AMPUTEE SPRINTER MAKES OLYMPICS HISTORY
Oscar Pistorius, the 25-year-old South African sprinter, made history by becoming the first amputee to compete in track at the Olympics. The four-time Paralympic champion, whose legs were amputated below the knee when he was a baby, finished second in his 400m heat in a time of 45.44 seconds to reach Sunday's semi-final. [BBC]
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6. AFGHAN PARLIAMENT DISMISSES MINISTERS
Afghan President Hamid Karzai accepted parliament's dismissal of the nation's defense and interior ministers on Sunday. Interior Minister Besmillah Mohammadi and Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak were criticized for failing to prevent cross-border shelling from Pakistan, and for other security lapses. The two will remain in their posts until replacements are found. [BBC]
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7. CDC ISSUES WARNING ABOUT SWINE FLU
In the season of state and county fairs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned fairgoers to be careful around pigs because of a new flu spreading from the animals to people. Ten of the 12 cases of swine flu confirmed this week were linked to the Butler County Fair in southwest Ohio, which ended last weekend. Officials say 29 human cases, most of them children, of the new strain of swine flu have been confirmed in the U.S. in the last year. [Associated Press]
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8. YEMENI SUICIDE BOMBER KILLS 45 AT FUNERAL
A suicide bomber killed 45 people at a funeral wake in Yemen's southern city of Jaar on Saturday. It was the deadliest attack since the army declared victory over Islamist militants in June. The bombing highlighted the threat of Islamist militancy in Yemen and "may alarm the United States and Saudi Arabia, which increasingly view the impoverished state as a front line in their war on al-Qaeda and its affiliates." [Telegraph]
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9. SERENA AND VENUS WIN DOUBLES GOLD
Serena and Venus Williams teamed up at the Olympics Sunday to win gold in women's doubles in tennis, adding to the gold Serena won on Saturday in the singles event. The American sisters beat Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4. [Associated Press]
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10. OBAMA SPENDS 51ST BIRTHDAY PLAYING GOLF
President Obama celebrated his 51st birthday with a round of golf on Saturday, before he flew to Camp David for the rest of the weekend. According to reports, this was Obama's 104th round of golf since becoming president. [Capitol Column]

 

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