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10 things you need to know today: September 24, 2012
Indian floods displace 1 million, Romney's support among the elderly crumbles, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
Mitt Romney addresses the crowd at the 134th National Guard Association Convention at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center on Sept. 11 in Nevada: Romney's support among seniors has plummeted in recent weeks.
Mitt Romney addresses the crowd at the 134th National Guard Association Convention at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center on Sept. 11 in Nevada: Romney's support among seniors has plummeted in recent weeks.
David Calvert/Getty Images

1. IRAN: ISRAELI ATTACK COULD TRIGGER WORLD WAR III
A top military commander in Iran, Amir Ali Hajizadeh, says his country would launch a pre-emptive strike on Israel if it were positive the Jewish state was preparing to attack. He added that any assault on Iranian soil could trigger "World War III." The alarming rhetoric comes as the U.S. Senate passed a measure this weekend to continue diplomatic and economic pressure on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to halt Iran's uranium enrichment programs. [NBC News]
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2. FLOODS IN INDIA DISPLACE 1 MILLION, KILL 33
Floods and landslides triggered by ruthless rain in northeast India have left at least 33 people dead and more than a million without homes. Government officials said Monday that the states hardest hit were Sikkim, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh. In Assam alone, nearly 1 million residents have been displaced and eight have been killed. In July, flooding in the same area killed 110 people. [Reuters]
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3. REPORT: LIBYA ATTACK A BLOW TO CIA EFFORTS
The deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was a major blow to U.S. intelligence, according to a report in The New York Times.  Of the two dozen personnel evacuated from Libya since the assault, about 12 were CIA operatives who were tasked with keeping an eye on militant groups. "It's a catastrophic intelligence loss," said one American official. "We got our eyes poked out." [New York Times]
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4.  POLL: MITT'S SUPPORT AMONG ELDERLY CRUMBLES
It's more bad news for Mitt Romney. The Republican presidential nominee is losing support among older Americans, a pivotal demographic that consistently votes in high numbers. According to a poll by Reuters/Ipsos, in less than two weeks, Romney's support among voters age 60 and older has slid from a 20-point lead over President Obama to less than four points. The survey also found that Romney's previous advantage among older voters on the issue of Medicare has crumbled. Older voters oppose Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan's health-care plan for the elderly by a 2-to-1 ratio. [Reuters
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5. CHINESE WORKERS BRAWL AT IPHONE FIRM'S DORM
Taiwan's Foxconn Technology Group, which assembles Apple iPhones, has temporarily closed a plant in China's Shanxi province after a brawl broke out Monday among 2,000 workers at a company dormitory. At least 40 people were taken to hospitals for medical attention, and several were arrested, Foxconn said in a statement. The company said the fight began because of a "personal dispute." However, there are reports that the violence started after a guard severely beat up a worker and insulted people from Henan province. [Los Angeles Times
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6. MANY LATINOS COULD BE DETERRED FROM VOTING
New voting laws in 23 states could disenfranchise more than 10 million Latino voters, a key demographic that tends to vote Democratic. According a study by the Advancement Project, such restrictions, including photo-identification laws and requirements to prove citizenship, will have a "disproportionate effect" on Latinos and minorities. Republican governors pushing the legislation insist the move is to prevent voter fraud. [USA Today
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7. SARS-LIKE VIRUS DETECTED IN MIDDLE EAST
The World Health Organization is urgently seeking more information after British authorities alerted it to a new respiratory illness resembling SARS in a critically ill patient who recently traveled to Saudi Arabia. The 49-year-old Qatari resident was sickened by coronavirus, which causes most common colds but also SARS. In 2003, SARS killed hundreds of people in a short-lived outbreak. The U.N. said virus samples closely resemble those of a 60-year-old Saudi national who died earlier this year. [Associated Press
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8. HOMELANDMODERN FAMILY RAKE IN EMMYS
Showtime's Homeland and ABC's Modern Family were the big winners at Sunday night's Emmys, with each show taking four awards. Claire Danes of Homeland won best lead drama actress, while her co-star Damian Lewis won best lead actor in a drama. The psychological thriller's wins were a major upset for AMC's Mad Men, which has previously dominated the drama category.  [CNN
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9. PANDA CUB DIES AT NATIONAL ZOO
The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is mourning the loss of a much-anticipated panda cub born earlier this month. Panda-keepers were alerted to the tragedy after hearing sounds of distress from the cub's mother, Mei Xiang. The cause of death is not yet known. The baby panda was the first panda cub to be born at the zoo since 2005. "These bears are so critically endangered that every cub is important," Dennis Kelly, the zoo's director. "This is devastating for all of us here." [New York Times]
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10. BILLIE JOE ARMSTRONG CHECKS INTO REHAB 
Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong has checked himself into rehab for substance abuse, according to the band's representative. The announcement comes after the 40-year-old singer had an expletive-laden meltdown onstage at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas on Friday. The Grammy-winning band, whose new album goes on sale Tuesday, is also canceling some upcoming performances. [Associated Press]

 

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