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10 things you need to know today: October 5, 2012
Romney admits he was wrong about the 47 percent, the jobless rate falls, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
Mitt Romney campaigns in Virginia on Oct. 4: Romney said Thursday that his remarks disavowing the 47 percent of Americans who don't pay income tax were "completely wrong."
Mitt Romney campaigns in Virginia on Oct. 4: Romney said Thursday that his remarks disavowing the 47 percent of Americans who don't pay income tax were "completely wrong."
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

1. ROMNEY: I WAS WRONG ABOUT THE 47 PERCENT
Mitt Romney is admitting he was "completely wrong" when he described 47 percent of Americans as "victims" mooching off of the government. The Republican presidential candidate had previously argued that his remarks were "not elegantly stated." The shift comes after Romney's strong debate performance on Wednesday night. The GOPer changed his tune when asked by Fox News what he would have said if the remarks, which surfaced 17 days ago, had come up during the face-off. Romney said that sometimes while campaigning, thoughts don't come out right, but in this case, "I said something just completely wrong." [CNN]
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2. U.N. CONDEMNS SYRIAN ATTACK ON TURKEY
The United Nations Security Council condemned Syria's mortar attack on a Turkish town on Wednesday that killed five people, demanding that "such violations of international law stop immediately." Turkey, in retaliation, shelled targets inside Syria later that day and Thursday. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country has no desire to start a war with Syria. [BBC]
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3. UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPS TO 7.8 PERCENT
The unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent in September, down from 8.1 percent in August, according to the new monthly report from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. The economy added 114,000 jobs in September. The numbers are surprising, as economists had forecast that the jobless rate would actually rise slightly in September. The 7.8 percent figure is the lowest unemployment rate in nearly four years — and is equal to the 7.8 percent figure for January 2009, the month President Obama assumed office. [The Week]
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4. SCALIA: ABORTION, GAY RIGHTS ARE 'EASY' CASES
Conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says his method of interpreting the Constitution makes some of the country's hot-button issues the easiest to make decisions about. Scalia considers himself a "textualist," meaning he applies what is written in the Constitution as the words were understood by those who wrote it. "The death penalty? Give me a break. It's easy. Abortion? Absolutely easy," Scalia told a group at the American Enterprise Institute. "Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion. Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state." [Associated Press]
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5. AMERICAN OPENS FIRE IN ISRAELI HOTEL
An American man was shot and killed by Israeli forces after he opened fire in a hotel that was packed with tourists. The man, who has not been identified, reportedly grabbed a weapon from a security guard and fatally shot a hotel worker in vacation town of Eliat. He then barricaded himself in the hotel kitchen, where a shootout ensued between him and police. Authorities said the motive of the attack was not clear, but said the attacker had once been employed at the hotel. [Reuters]
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6. MENINGITIS OUTBREAK KILLS FIVE
An outbreak of a rare and deadly strain of fungal meningitis has sickened 26 people and killed five. Those affected received had steroid injections, mostly for back pain, health officials say. Eighteen of the cases were in Tennessee, where a Nashville clinic received a big shipment of the steroid suspected in the outbreak. Cases have also been reported in Virginia, Maryland, Florida, and North Carolina. The FDA is probing the outbreak and the pharmacy center that made the drug has shut down. [Bloomberg]
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7. LEHRER DEFENDS DEBATE PERFORMANCE
PBS' Jim Lehrer is defending how he moderated Wednesday night's presidential debate after being skewered for being too light on the candidates, with some charging that he let Mitt Romney moderate the debate himself. "Part of my moderator mission was to stay out of the way of the flow, and I had no problems with doing so," the 78-year-old told The New York Times. "My only real personal frustration was discovering that 90 minutes was not enough time." [New York Times]
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8. PANEL: MANSON FOLLOWER DESERVES PAROLE
A California parole board is recommending parole for Bruce Davis, a convicted killer who was one of Charles Manson's followers. The 69-year-old is serving a life sentence for the infamous 1969 killings of music teacher Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald Shea. The board's recommendation was due to Davis' "positive adjustment, record of no recent disciplinary problems, and for successfully completing academic and vocational education and self-help programs." A parole request for Davis was rejected two years ago by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. [CNN]
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9. AMERICAN CANCELS FLIGHTS AMID SEAT SNAFU
American Airlines has canceled dozens of flights following reports of loose seats on their Boeing 757s. Thousands of passengers will be inconvenienced while the repairs on 48 planes are underway. Fifty flights were canceled Thursday and 44 on Friday. The planes are expected to be up and running by Saturday. [CBS News]
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10. CHRIS BROWN DUMPS GIRLFRIEND FOR RIHANNA
Bad boy singer Chris Brown has pulled the plug on his relationship with Karrueche Tran in hopes of mending his relationship with ex-girlfriend Rihanna. "I have decided to be single to focus on my career," Brown said in a statement. "I love Karrueche very much, but I don't want to see her hurt over my friendship with Rihanna." The remarks comes as Brown and Rihanna have been spotted getting hot and heavy. Brown is still on probation for the 2009 assault of the "We Found Love" singer. [Los Angeles Times]

 

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