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10 things you need to know today: September 9, 2012
A wave of attacks kill 39 in Iraq, severe storms pummel the Northeast, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
A storm front passes behind the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Queens borough of New York City on Sept. 8.
A storm front passes behind the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Queens borough of New York City on Sept. 8.
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

1. WAVE OF ATTACKS KILL 39 IN IRAQ  
At least 39 people were killed in a string of brazen attacks across Iraq, aimed at the country's security forces. Sunday's violence struck in at least 10 cities, including Dujail, where gunmen stormed an Iraqi Army outpost and killed at least 10 soldiers. Shortly after the attack, a car bomb exploded near a group of police recruits waiting in line to apply for jobs outside the northern city of Kirkuk. In the southern city of Nasiriyah, two car bombs exploded near the French consulate. No one has claimed responsibility for the bloody attacks. [Associated Press]
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2. OBAMA WIDENS LEAD, DESPITE JOBS REPORT
President Obama is picking up steam against Republican challenger Mitt Romney, despite the recent lackluster jobs report. A new Reuters/Ipsos national poll shows Obama leading Romney by 4 percentage points. Forty-seven percent of voters surveyed over the past four days said they'd vote for Obama if the election were held today, versus 43 percent for Romney. A similar poll by Gallup shows Obama at 49 percent support compared to Romney's 45 percent. "We don't have another convention now to turn our attention to, so (Obama's bounce) may maintain," said Ipsos pollster Julia Clark. "How big it'll be and how long it will last remains to be seen." [Reuters, Gallup]
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3. SEVERE STORMS PUMMEL NORTHEAST
Severe weather struck the Northeast and mid-Atlantic on Saturday night, including two tornadoes that touched down in New York City. The twisters struck the edges of Brooklyn and Queens, knocking out power for more than 1,000 residents. Luckily, there were no serious injuries. In addition, two possible tornadoes were reported in the Washington, D.C., area, and there was major flooding in some New England towns. In northern New Jersey, thousands were left without electricity.  [Associated Press]
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4. CLINTON REJECTS RUSSIAN PLAN ON SYRIA
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has rejected a Russian proposal for a U.N. Security Council resolution aimed at stopping the 18-month-old civil war in Syria, calling it pointless and without teeth. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "will ignore it and keep attacking his own people," she said at the end of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum. Moscow opposes stiffer U.S.-backed penalties against Assad's government, perhaps because they would harm Russian commercial interests. [BBC
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5. MAN ARRESTED IN 'FAST AND FURIOUS' KILLING
Mexican federal police say they've arrested a man wanted in the killing of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, whose death is at the center over the botched U.S. gun-smuggling probe known as Operation Fast and Furious. Leonel Sanchez Jesus Meza was arrested 60 miles south of the Arizona border in Puerto Penasco. The probe into the 2010 death of Terry revealed the U.S. was involved in a controversial tactic known as gun-walking, allowing low level buyers to purchase loads of weapons at gun shops with the goal of tracking the guns to major weapons traffickers and drug cartels. [CNN]
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6. OBAMA CRACKS BIRTHER JOKE
President Obama poked fun at birther conspiracy theorists during a stop in Orlando on Saturday, when an adult at a local sports bar told the commander-in-chief that a child at his table was also born in Hawaii. "You were born in Hawaii? You have [a] birth certificate?" Obama joked. Mitt Romney was recently blasted by the Left after making a birther joke at a campaign rally in Michigan, telling the crowd he was proud to be raised in the Wolverine State and that "no one's ever asked to see my birth certificate." [The Hill]
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7. ANDY MURRAY TO PLAY IN U.S. OPEN FINALS
Scotland's Andy Murray will get a second chance at winning the U.S. Open after losing to Switzerland tennis icon Roger Federer four years ago. Murray beat Tomas Berdych in the semifinals on Saturday and will play against either Novak Djokovic or David Ferrer in the finals, which have been postponed due to storms until Monday.  [ESPN]
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8. 29,000 CHICAGO TEACHERS COULD STRIKE
Talks between the Chicago Teachers Union and the country's third-largest school district were coming "down to the wire" on Sunday, as 29,000 teachers and support staff could walk off the job on Monday. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing for sweeping changes, including a longer school day and year, and a new system for evaluating and paying teachers. Both sides expressed "varying degrees of optimism" on a forthcoming negotiation. A deal must be made before midnight or a strike will ensue.  [Reuters]
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9. LARRY FLYNT OFFERS $1M FOR MITT'S TAX RECORDS
Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt is offering a cool $1 million for any information about Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's tax returns and off-shore assets. Flynt took out two full-age ads in The Washington Post and USA Today to publicize the reward. "What is he hiding?" the First Amendment advocate writes in the ads, which include phone and email tip lines to share information. "Maybe, now, we'll find out."  [Forbes]
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10. MAN ARRESTED AT MILEY CYRUS' HOME
A scissor-wielding man was arrested on Saturday after allegedly trying to break into Miley Cyrus' Los Angeles home. The man, Jason Luis Rivera, first allegedly tried to enter by coming to the door and claiming to be the 19-year-old singer's friend. Rivera, clutching the scissors, then allegedly began to throw himself against an outside wall as if he was trying to enter the home, at which point cops were called. Cyrus was not home at the time. [Associated Press]

 

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