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10 things you need to know today: September 26, 2012
Romney and Obama stump in Ohio, Todd Akin forges ahead in Missouri, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
Some social conservatives are standing by Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), arguing that his position on abortion is actually an integral part of the GOP platform.
Some social conservatives are standing by Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), arguing that his position on abortion is actually an integral part of the GOP platform.
Facebook/Todd Akin

1. AHMADINEJAD CALLS FOR NEW WORLD ORDER
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ripped Western countries in response to President Obama's address at the United Nations. The loose-lipped leader insisted to The Associated Press that America is a bully, adding, "God willing, a new order will come together and we'll do away with everything that distances us." Ahmadinejad also dismissed the notion that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons and claimed that — despite Western sanctions — his country is better off than when he came into office seven years ago. [Associated Press]
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2. TODD AKIN STAYS IN SENATE RACE
Embattled Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin is staying in the race in Missouri, despite calls from the GOP establishment, including Mitt Romney, to drop out. Tuesday was the last day Akin — under fire for his comments about "legitimate rape" — could be removed from the November ballot. Akin told reporters that Missouri voters spoke when they elected him to be the GOP nominee to face once-vulnerable Democrat Claire McCaskill. "It's not really my decision [to stay in the race]" he said. [USA Today]
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3. BOMBS HIT SYRIA MILITARY HQ, REPORTER KILLED
Two bombs rocked one of Syria's military buildings Wednesday in the capital, Damascus, engulfing the building in flames. Iran's state-controlled Press TV said one of its reporters was shot and killed by a sniper as he tried to find out information about the explosions. There was no immediate word on casualties from Syrian authorities. The bombings, near the army and air force command headquarters, were the latest to hit the city as rebels increased their attacks to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad's regime. [CBS News]
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4. OBAMA, ROMNEY CRISSCROSS IN BATTLEGROUND OHIO
President Obama and Mitt Romney will both be in Ohio all day Wednesday, trying to pick up votes in the crucial, battleground state. It's the first time in about two months that the two have been on the same turf. Obama will stop at Bowling Green State University and Kent State University, while his opponent will host a business roundtable in Bedford Heights before heading to Toledo. A new Washington Post poll shows Obama with an 8-point lead against Romney. No GOP candidate has ever won the White House without carrying the Buckeye State. [ABC News]
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5. GREEKS TO STRIKE AGAINST AUSTERITY 
Government officials in Greece are bracing for a big strike by protesters enraged by a new round of austerity measures being considered in the debt-addled country. The two biggest unions, representing nearly 2 million employees, have called for the nationwide strike on Wednesday. Workers are contesting salary, pension, and welfare cuts worth nearly 12 billion euros over the next two years in return for aid from the European Union and International Monetary Fund. In preparation for the strike, flights and trains were suspended, several shops closed, and hospitals called in emergency staff. [Reuters]
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6. NFL ADMITS ERROR BUT UPHOLDS TOUCHDOWN
The Seattle Seahawks beat the Green Bay Packers on Monday night on a Hail Mary touchdown pass that many fans believed was an interception rather than a touchdown. The NFL released a statement upholding the controversial call by the replacement refs. It said the results were final but conceded that Seawhawks receiver Golden Tate should have been called for offensive pass interference before the catch. [Associated Press]
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7. BROWN'S STAFF UNDER FIRE FOR 'TOMAHAWK CHOP'
Republican Sen. Scott Brown's campaign is coming under the microscope in Massachusetts after a video surfaced showing the lawmaker's top staffers chanting Indian "war whoops" and making "tomahawk chops" during a Boston rally last weekend. The offensive footage comes as Brown attempts to make opponent Elizabeth Warren's claimed Native American heritage an issue in the race. Brown told a local station that he didn't "condone" his staffers' actions but insisted the "real offense" was that Warren is white but previously "checked the box saying she is Native American." [The Hill]
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8. 'MANHATTAN MADAM' PLEADS GUILTY 
Anna Gristina, the suburban mother of four charged with running an expensive escort service in New York City, pleaded guilty Tuesday to promoting prostitution as part of a plea deal. The 45-year-old, nicknamed the "Manhattan Madam," had previously argued that she ran a dating service for 15 years, and not a multimillion-dollar prostitution ring. The judge said she'll be sentenced Nov. 20 to time served and probation. The legal U.S. resident, originally from Scotland, could also be deported. [Associated Press]
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9. STUDY: SUICIDE KILLS MORE THAN CAR CRASHES
According to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health, suicide has surpassed car accidents as the No. 1 cause of injury-related death in the United States. From 2000 to 2009, the death rate from suicide increased 15 percent, while the rate decreased a substantial 25 percent for car crashes. Death by unintentional poisoning, which includes drug overdoses, came in third after increasing a whopping 128 percent in the same time period. [LiveScience]
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10. MADONNA CALLS OBAMA A 'BLACK MUSLIM'
Pop star Madonna is raising eyebrows after exclaiming at her Washington, D.C., concert on Monday, "For better or worse, all right, we have a black Muslim in the White House." The singer, who had "Obama" written on her back, urged her fans to vote for Obama in November. Madonna said in a statement on Tuesday that she was being deliberately ironic. "Yes, I know Obama is not a Muslim — though I know that plenty of people in this country think he is. And what if he were? The point I was making is that a good man is a good man, no matter who he prays to. I don't care what religion Obama is — nor should anyone else in America," she said. [NBC News]

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