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10 things you need to know today: September 5, 2012
Michelle Obama and Julian Castro shine at the DNC, activists storm a Syrian Embassy, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro delivers the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. The 37-year-old Latino is being hailed as a rising star in the Democratic Party.
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro delivers the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. The 37-year-old Latino is being hailed as a rising star in the Democratic Party.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

1.  MICHELLE OBAMA STARS AT DEM CONVENTION 
First Lady Michelle Obama made a personal pitch to the middle class at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday night, describing her and her husband's personal struggle to achieve the American Dream. She joked about how a young Barack used to pick her up for dates in a car that was so old that she could see the ground below them while they were driving, recounted how his proudest belonging was a coffee table he found in a dumpster, and described how the only pair of decent shoes he owned were too small for him. "We were so young, so in love, and so in debt," she recalled. The First Lady said middle-class voters can trust her husband because of their shared struggles. "For Barack, success isn't about how much money you make. It's about the difference you make in people's lives." [Los Angeles Times]
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2. GUNMAN OPENS FIRE AT QUEBEC VICTORY SPEECH
A gunman brought tragedy to a victory speech by Quebec's new premier on Tuesday night, killing one person and critically wounding another. Pauline Marois, elected as the first female premier in the province, was immediately taken off the stage when gunfire broke out. She wasn't harmed. Police arrested a suspect, whose name has not been released. As he was taken into the police car, he shouted in French, "The English are waking up!" It is not clear who the gunman was targeting. [CNN]
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3. ACTIVISTS STORM SYRIAN EMBASSY IN CAIRO
Egyptian police fired tear gas to disperse about 100 activists who tried to storm the Syrian Embassy and plant a Syrian rebel flag. Activists and cops threw stones at each other, resulting in minor injuries on both sides. About five demonstrators were arrested. The attack on the embassy, one of several this year, came as activists said 5,000 people were killed last month in Syria's bloody civil war — the highest figure ever reported. [Reuters] 
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4. JULIAN CASTRO ZINGS MITT AT DNC
Also at the DNC Tuesday night: San Antonio mayor and rising Latino star Julian Castro ripped Mitt Romney as a son of privilege who can't relate to average working Americans. The 37-year-old lawmaker, who delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, recalled how Romney recently said young people who wanted to start their own business should borrow money from their parents if they have to. "Some people are lucky enough to borrow money from their parents, but that shouldn't determine whether you can pursue your dreams," said Castro. "Not in America, not here, not in the 21st century. I don't think Gov. Romney meant any harm. I think he's a good guy. He just has no idea how good he's had it." Romney, Castro continued, is "perfectly comfortable" with an America in which "some folks won't even get a chance." [CBS News]
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5. NATIONAL DEBT TOPS $16 TRILLION, GOP POUNCES
Talk about bad timing for the Democrats. The total debt of the United States topped $16 trillion for the first time ever on Tuesday, coinciding with the kickoff of the Democratic National Convention. Republicans immediately pounced, pointing to the figure as further evidence that President Obama is ill-equipped to handle the country's economic woes. "Today’s news is a sad reminder of President Obama's broken promise to cut the deficit in half," said House Speaker John Boehner. Team Romney added: "The next generation has been saddled with enormous debt because of President Obama's policies." [USA Today]
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6. FEDS: EX-SEAL'S BOOK REVEALS CLASSIFIED INTEL
Top Pentagon officials are criticizing the ex-Navy SEAL who wrote a controversial book about the Osama bin Laden raid, insisting that the firsthand account reveals classified information that could jeopardize special operations servicemen. The book, No Easy Day by Matt Bissonette (who first went by the pen name Mark Owen), was released Tuesday. Department of Defense press secretary George Little said the department "believe[s] that sensitive and classified information is contained in the book" and called its publication without review the "height of irresponsibility." He wouldn't detail what the classified info entailed, but said it represents a "material breach of nondisclosure agreements" that Bissonette signed. [ABC News]
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7. TENSIONS MOUNT ON CLINTON'S CHINA TRIP
Hillary Clinton and Chinese officials publicly reaffirmed their friendship during talks in Beijing, but the U.S. secretary of state is facing criticism from other Chinese leaders after she called for a multilateral solution to territorial conflicts in the South and East China Seas. The China Daily newspaper said in a blazing editorial that the U.S. has "deservedly evoked curses on the street" while another told D.C. to "shut up." Xi Jinping, who is expected to become China's next leader, canceled a meeting with Clinton, which some are taking as a snub. [Reuters]
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8. RESEARCHERS: OBESITY MAY HAVE HEALTH BENEFITS
Being fat doesn't necessarily mean you're doomed, according to two new studies that show some obese people are so physically fit that they have no greater risk of dying prematurely than do people with normal weight. The research, by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and Coca-Cola Co., also showed that obese people with heart disease are actually less likely to die early than underweight or normal-weight heart patients. "The prevailing wisdom holds that being slim must be generally good for you," the researchers wrote. "Obesity may carry a benefit up to a certain degree." [Bloomberg]
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9. MTV BUMPS VMAS FOR OBAMA
MTV has moved up the start time of its popular Video Music Awards on Thursday so viewers won't have to "choose between pop stars and President Barack Obama." The show was originally timed to coincide with Obama officially accepting the Democratic nomination for another presidential term. The network said the awards show will now run from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., ending right before Obama's speech. The awards show is very popular among young viewers — the same demographic that helped catapult Obama to victory four years ago. [Entertainment Weekly]
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10. MCDONALD'S PLANS FIRST VEG EATERIES IN INDIA
I'm lovin' it? McDonald's Corp. will open its first vegetarian restaurants in India next year, a major first for the world's biggest restaurant chain. Patrons will find potato sandwiches in place of burgers in two new restaurants near major pilgrimage sites for Hindus and Sikhs. McDonald's already keeps beef and pork products off of their menu in the country, where a majority are Hindus and Muslims who eschew those foods. [Bloomberg]

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