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10 things you need to know today: August 16, 2012
Ecuador grants asylum to WikiLeaks' Assange, Arizona defies immigration order, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
Julian Assange arrives at the Supreme Court on February 1 in London: The WikiLeaks founder is seeking asylum at Ecuador's embassy in London, which is a violation of the terms of his bail.
Julian Assange arrives at the Supreme Court on February 1 in London: The WikiLeaks founder is seeking asylum at Ecuador's embassy in London, which is a violation of the terms of his bail.
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

1. WOUNDED FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL GUARD HAILED AS HERO
Police charged Floyd Lee Corkins II, 28, with assault with a deadly weapon on Wednesday after he allegedly walked into the Washington, D.C., lobby of the conservative Family Research Council (FRC) carrying a 9mm handgun, and, when confronted, shot a security guard in the arm. D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier praised the guard, Leo Johnson, with preventing a tragedy by stopping the gunman from reaching the organization's upstairs offices. "The security guard here is a hero, as far as I'm concerned," Lanier said. Police and FBI are trying to discern Corkins' motive to see if he should be charged with a federal hate crime. He reportedly entered the building spouting opposition to the FRC's social conservatism, and was carrying a bag or promotional materials from Chick-fil-A, whose top executive opposes gay marriage. [Washington Post]
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2. JAN BREWER COUNTERS OBAMA IMMIGRATION ORDER
On Wednesday, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) tried to block the effects of President Obama's two-year legal reprieve for up to 1.2 million young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally before age 16. Brewer, who gained national prominence after signing Arizona's hard-line immigration law in 2010, issued her own executive order barring state agencies from giving driver's licenses or benefits to the estimated 80,000 illegal immigrants in Arizona who qualify for Obama's program, which took effect Wednesday. Across the country, tens of thousands of people lined up seeking deportation deferrals and work permits under Obama's initiative. [Bloomberg, New York Times]
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3. FACEBOOK SHARES HIT MARKET
Investors are eagerly awaiting the release of a new wave of Facebook shares, which become available Thursday as insiders and early employees are allowed to sell some of their stock for the first time. This first lockup will make 271.1 million shares available for trading. That's more than half as many as were sold in the social-networking powerhouse's IPO. "You're going to see a lot of volatility," says Scott Kessler of S&P Capital. IQ. "People could sell, and investors are worried about that." [USA Today]
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4. ECUADOR GRANTS ASYLUM TO WIKILEAKS' ASSANGE
Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa announced Thursday that Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, can stay in Ecuador's London embassy as long as he likes. Assange has been hiding there for two months, seeking asylum. He's trying to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces sexual assault allegations. Assange reportedly fears he'll also be charged with crimes in the U.S. over WikiLeaks' release of thousands of American diplomatic cables and other secret documents. Britain is vowing to fulfill its duty to extradite Assange, even it if has to revoke the Ecuador embassy's diplomatic status so it can barge into the building and take the WikiLeaks founder. [New York Times, Reuters]
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5. LEBANESE CLAN THREATENS TO KIDNAP MORE SYRIANS
In a sign of rising tensions between Syria and its neighbors, members of a powerful Shiite Muslim clan in Lebanon are vowing to abduct more Syrians to retaliate against Syrian rebels, who reportedly captured one of their relatives this week. Armed members of the al-Mikdad clan on Wednesday took 20 Syrians and a Turk hostage after rebels arrested Hassane Salim al-Mikdad, accusing him of being a member of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which Hezbollah and the al-Mikdads deny. The dispute prompted several Gulf nations to start evacuating their citizens from Lebanon on Thursday. [Associated Press]
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6. TALIBAN FIGHTERS STRIKE PAKISTANI BASE
Pakistan has put its military bases on high alert, after a small band of Taliban militants stormed an air base near the capital, Islamabad, wearing military uniforms and suicide belts, and firing rocket-propelled grenades. Government forces repelled the attack in a firefight that lasted several hours, killing eight militants and starting a search for others who escaped. The U.S. said this week it's expecting Pakistan to launch an assault on Islamist fighters in the North Waziristan tribal region, but some analysts say the attack on one of the country's biggest air bases — the third such strike in as many years — raises concerns about Pakistan's ability to keep militant groups from threatening security all over the country. [BBC News]
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7. MARINERS' HERNANDEZ PITCHES PERFECT GAME
Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners pitched a perfect game on Wednesday, leading his team to a 1-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays without letting a single player reach first base. "I don't have words to explain this," said Hernandez, 26. It's one of the rarest feats in baseball — Hernandez's was only the 23rd perfect game in major-league history, and the first ever for the Mariners. There have been a record three perfect games this year. In other baseball news, San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera has been suspended without pay for 50 games after testing positive for testosterone, which Major League Baseball considers an illegal performance-enhancing substance. [USA Today, CBS Sports]
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8. MORGAN STANLEY FINED OVER $1.3 BILLION BET
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, the brokerage venture of Morgan Stanley and Citigroup, was fined $450,000 for failing to control a trader, 31-year-old Jared Weinryt, who bet $1.3 billion on futures one night in 2009, even though he was supposed to have a $116 million trading limit. Once the brokerage realized what was going on, it cut off Weinryt's access to the trading system, and liquidated his trades, leading to $14.9 million in losses. A spokesperson says Morgan Stanley Smith Barney promptly reported the case to regulators and "has since added new controls designed to prevent a reoccurrence." [Bloomberg]
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9. U.S. SOCCER TEAM WINS IN MEXICO, A FIRST
The U.S. men's soccer team beat Mexico, 1-0, at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, ending 75 years of successive losses on Mexican soil. The first-ever win in Mexico also ended a 24-game losing streak by the U.S. defender Michael Orozco Fiscal, who scored the game's only goal in the 80th minute. U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard blocked Mexico's stepped-up efforts to even the score in the final 10 minutes. "It's huge for, I think, all American fans, it's huge for the team, and it's historic," said U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann. [New York Times]
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10. IKEA GETS INTO THE HOTEL BUSINESS
Ikea, the world's largest furniture retailer, is planning to build a chain of budget hotels in Europe. The first of the 100 hotels will probably open in Germany in 2014. Ikea is hoping to capitalize on rising demand for stylish but inexpensive lodging for financially strapped business and vacation travelers, says Harald Muller of Inter IKEA, the company that owns the IKEA brand and concept. But don't expect Ikea's hotels to look or feel like an Ikea store — they won't bear the company's name, and they'll be run by an established hotelier. "There is no IKEA furniture in it," Muller said. [Reuters]

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