RSS
10 things you need to know today: October 1, 2012
Most Americans say Obama will win the first debate, the Supreme Court reconvenes, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
Obama gives a thumbs up after speaking to supporters at the Stroh Center on Sept. 26 in Bowling Green, Ohio. The president gets the thumbs up from most Americans, who say he'll win the first presidential debate, according to a new poll.
Obama gives a thumbs up after speaking to supporters at the Stroh Center on Sept. 26 in Bowling Green, Ohio. The president gets the thumbs up from most Americans, who say he'll win the first presidential debate, according to a new poll.
J.D. Pooley/Getty Images

1. THREE NATO TROOPS KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN
A suicide bomber driving a motorcycle packed with explosives crashed his bike into a patrol of Afghan and international forces on Monday in Afghanistan, killing at least 14 people, including three NATO troops. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in text messages to the media that the group was responsible for the attack, which took place in the Khost province. The latest killings come on the heels of what's being described as an "insider" attack on Saturday, when five people were killed at a checkpoint in the Saidabad district. [Associated Press]
………………………………………………………………………………

2. U.S. DRONE STRIKE LEAVES TWO DEAD IN PAKISTAN
A U.S. drone strike has killed two people in northwestern Pakistan, the country's intelligence officials said Monday. The strike hit a vehicle in North Waziristan, home to several extremist groups. The identities of the victims were not immediately known. The drone program is an extremely contentious issue in Pakistan, where many argue it results in civilian deaths and breaches the country's sovereignty. U.S. authorities say it's crucial to fighting insurgent groups that threaten America. [Voice of America]
………………………………………………………………………………

3. MOST AMERICANS SAY OBAMA WILL WIN DEBATE
The majority of registered voters, by a 2-to-1 margin, think President Obama will win Wednesday's debate against challenger Mitt Romney, in addition to securing another term in the White House. According to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, potential voters said Obama will outshine Romney in the debate, 56 percent to 29 percent. Those surveyed also said they think Obama will win re-election, 63 percent to 31 percent. The results come as both candidates try to tamp down debate expectations. [ABC News]
………………………………………………………………………………

4. SUPREME COURT BACK IN SESSION
It's back to work for the Supreme Court justices. The court is back in session on Monday after summer recess. The justices will start their day by reexamining a lawsuit alleging complicity in acts of torture against Dutch oil company Shell in Nigeria. Big social issues are expected to be ruled on this year, including one about affirmative action at the University of Texas and possibly same-sex marriage. [Associated Press]
………………………………………………………………………………

5. PAUL RYAN: WE'VE HAD SOME MISSTEPS
Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan admitted that his ticket has made some "missteps" over the past few weeks, but said he is confident he and Mitt Romney will win come Election Day. The Wisconsin lawmaker told Fox News Sunday that the campaign has had trouble framing clearly that Americans have a choice between more of the same with President Obama or a "pro growth" solution with the Republicans. Ryan also pointed to Romney's remarks on the 47 percent of Americans who pay no federal income tax. He described the comments as "an inarticulate way to describe what we're trying to do to create prosperity and upward mobility." [USA Today]
………………………………………………………………………………

6. CALIFORNIA BANS GAY 'CONVERSION' THERAPY
California has become the first state to outlaw a controversial form of psychotherapy aimed at making gay teens straight. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB1172, which bans sexual-orientation change efforts for children under the age of 18. Brown said in a statement that the therapies "have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery." [San Francisco Chronicle]
………………………………………………………………………………

7. U.S. MILITARY DEATHS HIT 2,000 IN AFGHANISTAN
The latest killing of a U.S. serviceman, who died while exchanging fire with allied Afghan soldiers over the weekend, pushed the number of U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan to 2,000. The death toll has spiked in recent months, largely due to an increase in insider attacks by Afghanistan army and police. Gen. John Allen, a top American commander overseeing troops in Afghanistan, said he was "mad as hell" about the increase during an interview on 60 Minutes on Sunday night. "We're willing to sacrifice a lot for this campaign, but we're not willing to be murdered for it." [Associated Press, CBS News]
………………………………………………………………………………

8. GLOBAL DIAPER SUPPLY IN DANGER
Parents will not be pleased. The world could face a shortage of disposable diapers following an explosion Saturday at a Japanese plant that produces a fifth of the global supply of an acrylic acid used in diapers. The explosion at Nippon Shokubai left one dead and 33 wounded. Operations are likely to be halted for a long time, according to local media reports. [Reuters]
………………………………………………………………………………

9. EUROPE RALLIES TO WIN RYDER CUP
Europe beat the U.S. in the Ryder Cup on Sunday in what's being seen as the "biggest choke" in the history of the golf competition. While the U.S. led during the first two days of the competition, they "self-destructed" on the last day, allowing Europe to win, 14.5 points to 13.5. No home team has "ever surrendered a lead of this magnitude," with experts saying the gap of four points heading into Sunday should have been enough to guarantee a win for the Americans. "We are in shock," said Europe's Justin Rose, whose win against Phil Mickelson was a crucial turning point. [Yahoo Sports]
………………………………………………………………………………

10. LOHAN SCUFFLES WITH CONGRESSIONAL STAFFER
Troubled actress Lindsay Lohan is claiming she was assaulted after having a fight with a man at a New York City hotel because she discovered he had secretly taken photos of her. The Mean Girls star invited Christian LaBella, a staffer for Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), along with some other friends to her hotel room at the W Hotel in Union Square. LaBella then reportedly took photos of Lohan on his phone, which made the actress furious. Lohan tried to take the phone, and LaBella allegedly grabbed her. That caused Lohan to flee and pull the fire alarm at the hotel. LaBella was taken into custody on an assault charge, but charges were later dropped. Lohan and LaBella are suing each other for harassment. [Associated Press]

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week