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10 things you need to know today: August 28, 2012
Isaac takes aim at New Orleans, the GOP holds the first full day of its convention, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus bangs the gavel to start the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Aug. 27: Tuesday's schedule will include speeches from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ann Romney, and House Speaker John Boehner (Ohio).
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus bangs the gavel to start the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Aug. 27: Tuesday's schedule will include speeches from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ann Romney, and House Speaker John Boehner (Ohio).
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

1. ISAAC PICKS UP SPEED, TAKES AIM AT NEW ORLEANS
Tropical Storm Isaac may well become a full-blown hurricane on Tuesday. Overnight, the storm barreled over the Gulf of Mexico toward New Orleans, and clocked sustained winds of 70 mph. Meteorologists predict the storm will turn into a hurricane later in the day, and be at least a Category 1 hurricane by the time it hits the southeast coast of Louisiana on Wednesday. That would be seven years to the day since deadly Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. This time, however, the storm is nowhere near as strong. Katrina at one point reached Category 5 status, with winds blowing roughly 160 mph. [Associated Press]
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2. GOP TO HOLD FIRST FULL DAY OF CONVENTION
The convention is finally on. While the Republican Party officially kicked off its nominating convention on Monday, most of the scheduled events were delayed because of Tropical Storm Isaac. The Republican National Convention on Tuesday will kick off with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn welcoming the delegates to the city. The delegates will later make an official presidential nomination for Mitt Romney and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. Tonight, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will give the keynote address, speaking after Romney's wife, Ann. [ABC News]
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3. THOUSANDS OF SYRIANS WAIT AT TURKEY BORDER
Approximately 10,000 Syrian refugees, plagued by their country's civil war, are waiting to be let into neighboring Turkey. Officials in Turkey said they are rushing to build more camps to provide for the influx of refugees waiting on the Syrian side of the border. So far, Turkey has taken in 80,000 Syrians and hopes to expand capacity to 100,000. Authorities have seen more and more Syrians fleeing since President Bashar al-Assad revved up his bloody crackdowns on dissenters. [CBS News]
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4. ISRAEL: U.S. ACTIVIST'S DEATH WAS ACCIDENTAL
An Israeli court ruled Monday that its army wasn't to blame for the death of Rachel Corrie, a U.S. activist who was crushed by a military bulldozer during a pro-Palestinian demonstration in 2003. The court threw out the lawsuit brought by Corrie's family, who argued that the killing was deliberate. Corrie, 23, was standing between the bulldozer and Palestinian homes in the Gaza Strip when she was run over by the vehicle. Judge Oded Gershon said evidence showed the army had no plans to destroy homes that day and that Corrie was not seen by the bulldozer driver. The Washington state woman's family plans to appeal the ruling. [Bloomberg
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5. ARCTIC ICE AT A RECORD LOW
The sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has melted to an all-time low, scientists said Monday. The chilling announcement by the National Snow and Ice Data Center is the latest evidence of global warming's effects on the planet. According to the agency, sea ice is covering less than 30 percent of the ocean's surface this summer, less than the previous record low in 2007. Scientists, who described parts of the area as a "giant Slushee this time of year," are concerned the ocean could be ice-free during summers by the end of the decade. [New York Times]
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6. REPORT: ARLEN SPECTER HOSPITALIZED
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter has been hospitalized with a "serious illness," according to a report on Philly.com, which cited anonymous friends of the lawmaker. The reason for the Republican-turned-Democrat's admittance into the hospital is not known, but the 82-year-old announced in 2005 that he had Hodgkin's disease. He underwent chemotherapy and was treated again for it in 2008. [Philly.com]
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7. U.S. PUNISHES TROOPS FOR KORAN BURNING
U.S. troops involved in two separate controversial incidents this year that sparked outrage in Afghanistan have been punished, although they will not be prosecuted, officials said. One incident involved a video depicting Marines urinating on the dead bodies of Taliban fighters. The other involved Koran burning, which U.S. officials say was unintentional. The troops involved were given administrative punishments, which could include things like reduced rank or forfeiture of pay. The sentences, however, may not quell Afghan demands for justice. [Reuters]
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8. ROMNEY: ABORTION OKAY FOR VICTIMS OF RAPE
Mitt Romney said during an interview with CBS that he believes abortion should be an option for women who have been raped or the victims of incest. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee said he would also allow for abortions if the mother's health is at risk. His remarks go against the GOP's 2012 platform, the views of vice presidential pick Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and huge swathes of social conservatives. [Associated Press]
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9. SECOND YOSEMITE VISITOR DIES OF RARE ILLNESS
Yosemite National Park officials said a second visitor has died of a rare, rodent-borne illness, and they are warning those who toured the park to be aware of flu-like aches and symptoms. Both victims died of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a respiratory illness spread by infected mice. Both individuals who died came to the park in June. Officials said those infected may have all visited Curry Village, a popular camping area in Yosemite. [Associated Press]
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10. BILL NYE: CREATIONISM INAPPROPRIATE FOR KIDS
Bill Nye, known as "the Science Guy," is ripping creationism in a new online video, calling the view "inconsistent" and "untenable." In the clip, the popular TV scientist declares, "I say to the grown-ups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world — your world that's completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe — that's fine, but don't make your kids do it, because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future." The video has already been viewed more than 1 million times. [CNN]

 

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