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10 things you need to know today: September 8, 2012
The U.S. calls the Haqqani network terrorists, Romney dings Obama on jobs, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
Jalaluddin Haqqani is the leader of one of the deadliest militant groups in Afghanistan, the Haqqani network, which has now been added to the terror list by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Jalaluddin Haqqani is the leader of one of the deadliest militant groups in Afghanistan, the Haqqani network, which has now been added to the terror list by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
AP Photo/Mohammad Riaz

1. ROMNEY KNOCKS OBAMA OVER GRIM JOBS REPORT 
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wasted no time in attacking President Obama on Friday, using newly released figures from August's discouraging jobs report to make the case that it is time for a new leader in the White House. The Labor Department announced Friday morning that the U.S. economy added just 96,000 jobs in August — well below analysts' expectations of 130,000 or so net new jobs. Still, the unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent in July to 8.1 percent in August. "We're going in the wrong direction," Romney said. President Obama also conceded: "We need to create more jobs, faster." [BusinessWeek]
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2. U.S. ADDS HAQQANI NETWORK TO TERROR LIST
On Friday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton formally designated the Haqqani network, a militant organization responsible for a slew of deadly attacks on U.S. troops in Afghanistan, a terrorist group. The move puts increased pressure on Pakistan to crack down on the group, which has bases near the porous Afghan-Pakistani border. Several members of the Obama administration had reportedly objected to the decision, arguing that it could further strain ties with Pakistan and jeopardize nascent peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government. The Obama administration had been under pressure to make a decision before a Sept. 9 deadline set by Congress. [The New York Times]
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3. EASTWOOD: MY SPEECH WASN'T VETTED
In a candid interview with his hometown newspaper, The Carmel Pine Cone, famed movie star and director Clint Eastwood acknowledged that no one from Team Romney vetted his much-mocked speech at the RNC, in which he addressed an invisible President Obama in an empty chair. "They vet most of the people, but I told them, 'You can't do that with me, because I don't know what I'm going to say,'" Eastwood said. The Dirty Harry star also mentioned his lack of preparation for the event, and his initial surprise with the criticism he received. "I may have irritated a lot of the lefties," he said. "But I was aiming for the people in the middle." [The Week]
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4. MERKEL BACKS EURO BOND-BUYING PLAN
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday publicly backed the European Central Bank's recently announced plan to buy bonds directly from debt-saddled countries. As the head of Europe's largest economy, Merkel's endorsement is seen as crucial to the success of the plan, which aims to finally break a vicious cycle that has kept the euro currency on the brink of collapse for years. However, the plan is unpopular in Germany, and Merkel could pay a high political cost for backing the ECB. [Wall Street Journal]
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5. FAMILY FEUD SUSPECTED IN FRENCH ALPS MURDER
A family feud over money may have played a role in the brutal murders of a British-Iraqi family and a French cyclist, according to French officials searching for a motive in the case. A 4-year-old girl was found alive, hiding beneath the bodies of her mother, father, and an unidentified older woman in their car on Wednesday. A passing French cyclist was also found dead, and the girl's 7-year-old sister is alive but sustained severe injuries. Officials suspect that the murders may be related to a recent family inheritance and a feud between two brothers. [Associated Press]
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6. OBAMA'S SPEECH BREAKS TWITTER RECORD
President Obama's speech on the last night of the Democratic National Convention spawned the most amount of tweets ever for a political event, Twitter reported on Friday. The speech led to 52,756 tweets per minute as soon as it was over, a rate that was partly fueled by celebrity tweets. The final day of the DNC inspired 4 million tweets, roughly equal to the amount of tweets the entire Republican National Convention generated. [Reuters]
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7. SAINTS BOUNTY PLAYERS WIN APPEAL
An NFL collective bargaining panel on Friday overturned suspensions against two New Orleans Saints players who had been accused of participating in a bounty ring that offered players cash rewards for injuring opponents. Linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith are now eligible to play in the Saints' opening game on Sunday. However, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell can still suspend the players if he cites different violations related to the incident. [USA Today]
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8. 'HOPE' POSTER ARTIST AVOIDS JAIL TIME
Shepard Fairey, the artist famous for creating the iconic Obama "Hope" poster popular during the 2008 election, was sentenced in federal court to two years probation and fined $25,000 for tampering with evidence on Friday. Fairey's poster, which became a symbol of Obama's optimistic 2008 campaign, also became the subject of a bitter copyright battle after it was discovered that Fairey modeled his art off of an Associated Press photograph of the soon-to-be president. The ruling mostly spared Fairey, who faced up to 6 months of jail time. [The New York Times]
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9. THIRD YOSEMITE VISITOR DIES OF HANTAVIRUS
A West Virginia resident is the third person to die of the rare hantavirus after visiting Yosemite National Park, according to officials. Seven out of the eight people infected with the virus since June stayed in Yosemite's "signature" tent cabins in Curry Village, which have since been closed in order to protect the public from the mouse-borne disease. In the wake of the latest death, park officials have raised the number of people potentially exposed to the virus to 22,000. [Mercury News]
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10. REPORT: HEALTH-CARE SYSTEM WASTES $750B A YEAR
The health-care system wastes $750 billion per year, or nearly 30 cents of every medical dollar, according to a new report released by the Institute of Medicine. The report found that money was squandered mostly on unneeded care and unnecessarily complicated paperwork. "The past 50 years have seen an explosion in biomedical knowledge, dramatic innovation in therapies and surgical procedures, and management of conditions that previously were fatal," the panel of doctors, businesspeople, and public officials concluded in the report. "Yet, American health care is falling short on basic dimensions of quality, outcomes, costs and equity." [Christian Science Monitor]

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