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10 things you need to know today: September 27, 2012
More than 300 die in Syria's bloodiest day, the NFL reaches a deal with refs, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
A protester in New York City holds a sign against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad: On Wednesday bomb attacks and firefights left more than 300 dead in Syria. 
A protester in New York City holds a sign against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad: On Wednesday bomb attacks and firefights left more than 300 dead in Syria. 
Mario Tama/Getty Images

1. SYRIA'S BLOODIEST DAY LEAVES MORE THAN 300 DEAD
Human rights groups say more than 300 people were killed across Syria on Wednesday, making it the deadliest day of the 18-month-old civil war. Two bombs struck the Syrian army headquarters in Damascus, and gunfire ensued between regime forces and rebel fighters trying to topple President Bashar al-Assad. Outside the capital, at least 40 bodies, including those of women and children, were found in the village of Diabeya. More than 30,000 people have been killed in violence since the revolt began in March 2011. [Telegraph]
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2. NFL, REFS REACH DEAL
Goodbye, replacement refs. The NFL's regular crew will start working Thursday night, ending a three-month lockout between the league and the union over pay and pensions. The replacement refs were criticized for being inexperienced and missing big calls during games, most recently between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers. The tentative deal must be ratified by 51 percent of the union's 121 members. They will vote this weekend in Dallas. [Associated Press]
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3. ROMNEY: DON'T EXPECT A 'HUGE TAX CUT'
Mitt Romney is changing his tune on taxes. The Republican presidential nominee told Ohio voters on Wednesday that they shouldn't expect a "huge cut in taxes because I'm also going to lower deductions and exemptions." Romney has long said that he'd cut all income-tax rates 20 percent and would lower the top corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent. Analysts say Romney might be trying to win independent voters in the Buckeye State who are worried about government debt. [Wall Street Journal]
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4. GREEKS, SPANIARDS PROTEST AGAINST AUSTERITY
Many Greeks and Spaniards are taking to the streets to protest austerity measures being considered by the governments in the debt-ridden countries. Demonstrations became violent in Athens when police fired tear gas at rioters throwing gasoline bombs and chunks of marble. In Madrid, thousands marched as close as they could to Parliament, where they were met with riot police. There were no reports of violence across Spain, but protesters cut off traffic on one of Madrid's major thoroughfares. [Associated Press]
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5. AKIN GAINS GOP SUPPORTERS 
Struggling Republican Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin, under fire for his remarks about "legitimate rape," is beginning to pick up support from his fellow GOPers. He picked up two big endorsements Wednesday, from former presidential candidate Rick Santorum and Tea Party star Sen. Jim DeMint. In addition, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which had previously pulled millions of dollars of planned advertising for the candidate, said it hopes Akin beats Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. Tuesday was the last day Akin could be removed from the November ballot. [CNN]
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6. PROTESTS ERUPT AT U.S. EMBASSY IN BANGKOK
Muslim protesters pushed barricades and confronted police in front of the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, furious over the anti-Islam video produced by a filmmaker living in the U.S. Approximately 300 police were sent to maintain order as about 200 men and boys surrounded the building. Protesters said they wanted the U.S. government to punish the filmmaker. They later retreated. [Associated Press]
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7. U.S. ARMY GENERAL CHARGED WITH SEX CRIMES
Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair has been charged with forcible sodomy, inappropriate relations, and possessing alcohol and pornography while he was a senior commander in Afghanistan earlier this year. Sinclair, who served two tours in Iraq, will now face a hearing where evidence will be presented, and it will be determined if his case should proceed to a court martial. No date has been set for the hearing. The general is currently at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. [ABC News]
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8. COPS TO DIG FOR JIMMY HOFFA'S REMAINS
Michigan cops will re-open the famous cold case involving Jimmy Hoffa, the union boss who mysteriously vanished in 1975. Roseville Police Chief James Berlin said he received a "credible" tip that Hoffa may have been buried under a driveway in a residential neighborhood in his small city. Berlin says he plans to alert the FBI about the new information. [Detroit Free Press]
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9. RECORD 1 IN 5 HOMES HAS STUDENT DEBT
A study by the Pew Research Center shows that nearly 1 in 5 U.S. households has college loan debt, and the majority of them are young and poor. Nearly 22.4 million households, or 19 percent, had college debt in 2010. That's an all-time high and nearly double the amount in 1989. It's also up 15 percent since 2007. The increase is being attributed to higher tuition costs and rising college enrollment during the economic downturn. [Associated Press]
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10. SINGER ANDY WILLIAMS DIES AT 84
"Moon River" crooner and Emmy-winning television host Andy Williams died Tuesday at the age of 84 after losing a battle with bladder cancer. Williams had 18 gold records and three platinum hits. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, he hosted a number of awards shows, including the Grammys, the Golden Globes, and the People's Choice Awards. His Andy Williams Show won three Emmy Awards. [Los Angeles Times]

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