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10 things you need to know today: August 13, 2012
Egypt's Morsi sacks his military chiefs, the London Olympics come to a close, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
The Spice Girls perform during the closing ceremony of the London Olympics.
The Spice Girls perform during the closing ceremony of the London Olympics.
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

1. EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT FORCES OUT MILITARY CHIEFS
On Sunday, Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi ousted the country's top two military chiefs — Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, the defense minister and top military chief, and his deputy, army Chief of Staff Sami Anan — in what is seen as a bold move to wrest power from the armed forces and isolate key holdovers from imprisoned former leader Hosni Mubarak's regime. Morsi then appointed Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sissi as defense minister and commander of the armed forces. The president also announced that he had suspended a constitutional amendment the generals had passed on the eve of Morsi's election giving themselves vast powers and weakening the presidency. Morsi ran for the presidency as a candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group, which now, with these sweeping changes, has "full control of state institutions," says Zeinab Abul-Magd, a history professor at the American University in Cairo. [Washington Post]
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2. OLYMPIC CLOSING CEREMONY CELEBRATES BRIT MUSIC
In an arguably hipster take on the closing ceremony tradition, the London Olympics wrapped up with an anything-but-fusty tribute to Britain's pop music, one of the nation's most influential exports. With the field of Olympic Stadium transformed into a gigantic Union Jack, musical acts arrived by car, motorcycle, taxi, semi-trailer, and — in the case of Freddie Mercury and John Lennon — video transmissions from the past. From millennial acts like Jessie J. and One Direction to more established artists such as Annie Lennox and the (reunited) Spice Girls, "Britain bid a lyrical farewell to the Olympics... with a bit of self-deprecation, an exhibition of national pride, and a genuine desire to show the world a good time." [Chicago Tribune]
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3. PAUL RYAN FACES OFF AGAINST OBAMA IN IOWA
As Mitt Romney continues a bus tour in Florida, his newly tapped vice presidential contender Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will be meeting voters Monday at the Iowa State Fair — just as President Obama begins his own bus tour there. Ryan's first solo campaign event "may help determine whether conservative excitement for the Wisconsin congressman — and his controversial budget plans — will overshadow Romney's own economic message," which Democrats are hoping for. [Associated Press]
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4. IRAN GOV'T CRITICIZED OVER EARTHQUAKE RESPONSE
Members of Iran's parliament who represent areas affected by two large earthquakes in the northwest of the country, which killed some 300 people and injured thousands on Saturday, are complaining about the lackluster disaster relief the government has provided. Lawmakers said that not enough tents were provided to those affected, and residents were skeptical after search and rescue operations were called off less than 24 hours after the quakes, with villagers expressing disbelief that authorities could have reached some of the most remote affected villages in that span of time. [Reuters]
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5. EURO CLIMBS SLOWLY, BUT STILL VULNERABLE
The euro has inched up 0.4 percent on the day to $1.2335 because of the prospect that the European Central Bank may take action to lower exorbitant Spanish and Italian borrowing costs. Still, the euro remains vulnerable to selling on rallies and any signs of disagreement among euro zone politicians. [CNBC]
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6. JUNK FOOD LAWS MAY CURB CHILDHOOD OBESITY 
A new study in the journal Pediatrics finds that children gained less weight in fifth through eighth grades if they lived in states with strong, consistent laws — versus no laws — governing the kinds of snacks available in schools. The study isn't proof that the laws influenced kids' weight, but obesity researchers are optimistic that such laws are "likely to have an impact." Laws about snacks in schools have caused heated debate about what some call "a nanny state" in which the government has too much say about people's personal choices. [Associated Press]
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7. GABRIELLE GIFFORDS MOVES BACK TO TUCSON
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is moving back to Tucson from Houston, where she has been recovering from a gunshot wound to the head she suffered at the hands of Jared Lee Loughner in January 2011. Giffords was one of 13 people injured in the shooting; six people were killed. [Arizona Daily Star]
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8. JENNIFER ANISTON GETS ENGAGED
Actress Jennifer Aniston is engaged to actor-screenwriter Justin Theroux, whom she's been dating for more than a year. Theroux proposed to Aniston on Friday, his birthday. [People]
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9. PARASITES GET NASTIER WITH CLIMATE CHANGE
In an upcoming report to be published in the journal Nature Climate Change, researchers suggest that parasites — like tapeworms, which cause malaria and funguses — could become more virulent because of climate change. In the experiment, the scientists exposed Cuban tree frogs in 80 laboratory incubators to varying temperatures and infections of a fungus. They found that frogs suffer more infections from a fungus when exposed to unexpected swings in temperatures. The larger implication is that global warming could eventually worsen human suffering by spreading the range of some diseases. [Reuters]
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10. MIAMI DOLPHINS RELEASE CHAD JOHNSON 
The Miami Dolphins terminated the contract of wide receiver Chad Johnson (who recently changed his name from Chad Ochocinco) on Sunday, just hours after he was arrested for allegedly head-butting his wife, Evelyn Lozada. Johnson was let out of jail on $2,500 bond after being charged with simple domestic battery, a misdemeanor. The couple was married in July. [Associated Press]

 

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