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10 things you need to know today: October 15, 2012
A skydiver breaks the sound barrier, the feds investigate Jesse Jackson Jr., and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) speaks at a town hall meeting in Chicago in 2009: Jackson has been under investigation by the federal government for alleged financial improprieties.
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) speaks at a town hall meeting in Chicago in 2009: Jackson has been under investigation by the federal government for alleged financial improprieties.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

1. ROMNEY, OBAMA CONSUMED BY DEBATE PREP
Mitt Romney and President Obama are staying out of the public eye on Monday, pouring all their energy into the second presidential debate, at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., on Tuesday. A lot of pressure is on Obama, who has been heavily criticized for performing poorly during the last face-off. The president has been trying to regain focus at a three-day "debate camp" in Williamsburg, Va. Romney is practicing near his home in Massachusetts. [Associated Press]
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2. ARMS TO SYRIAN REBELS GOING TO JIHADISTS
The bulk of weapons shipped by Saudi Arabia and Qatar to Syrian rebels trying to oust President Bashar al-Assad are going to Islamic jihadists and not more secular groups the West wants to help, American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats told The New York Times. The information "casts into doubt" the White House's strategy of minimal intervention and whether it's helping a democratic-minded opposition topple an oppressive government, or is instead sowing the seeds of future insurgencies hostile to the United States." [New York Times]
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3. MENINGITIS INFECTION COUNT HITS 205
The number of people infected with fungal meningitis has increased to 205 and spans 14 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 13,000 may have been infected via tainted steroid injections made by the New England Compounding Center, which recalled its products and voluntarily shut down earlier this month. Fifteen people have died from the outbreak. [Reuters]
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4. 14-YEAR-OLD GIRL SHOT BY TALIBAN SENT TO U.K.
The 14-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in the head and neck by the Taliban last week has been airlifted to Britain to receive medical treatment. Malala Yousafzai's move will give her access to specialized care, while also protecting her from further attacks threatened by militants. Yousafzai had been internationally recognized for promoting the education of girls and criticizing the Taliban. [Voice of America]
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5. FEDS INVESTIGATE JESSE JACKSON JR.
The feds are probing Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) for alleged "suspicious" activity involving the lawmaker's finances related to his House seat, and the possibility of inappropriate spending. The investigation was underway in the weeks before Jackson took medical leave from Congress in June to seek treatment for bipolar disorder. Jackson's attorney's would not comment. [Chicago Sun-Times]
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6. TURKEY BANS SYRIAn PASSENGER PLANES
Turkey is prohibiting all Syrian passenger planes from Turkish airspace. The move comes just four days after Turkey forced a Syrian aircraft en route from Moscow to Damascus to land under suspicions that the plane was carrying weapons. Syria has imposed similar restrictions on Turkey. Tensions have been increasing between the two countries following several days of firing across the border, after five Turkish civilians were killed by Syrian shelling. [BBC]
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7. SOFTBANK BUYS MAJORITY OF SPRINT FOR $20B
Japanese mobile operator Softbank Corp. will buy up to 70 percent of America's Sprint Next Corp. for $20.1 billion. The deal is the most a Japanese firm has spent on an overseas acquisition. The move will "provide Softbank entry into a U.S. market that still shows growth, while Japan's market is stagnating." [Reuters]
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8. SKYDIVER BREAKS SOUND BARRIER IN RECORD JUMP  
Felix Baumgartner broke the sound barrier on Sunday while making the highest jump from a balloon to a safe landing spot in the New Mexico desert. He reached speeds in excess of 800 miles per hour, becoming the first person to reach such speeds without traveling in a jet or spacecraft. "The only thing you want is to come back alive," said Baumgartner after the jump, which spanned 24 miles. [Associated Press]
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9. RUSSELL CROWE SEPARATES FROM WIFE 
Hot-tempered, Academy Award-winning actor Russell Crowe and his musician wife Danielle Spencer are separating after nine years of marriage, according to Australian media. Don Spencer, the wife's father, confirmed the split to Australian TV station Ten Network. [Reuters]
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10. LILO TO SIT DOWN WITH BARBARA WALTERS
Troubled actress Lindsay Lohan will sit down with legendary journalist Barbara Walters for a one-on-one interview. Walters reached out to Lohan after reports emerged that the young star would be playing Elizabeth Taylor in the biopic Liz & Dick. Lohan, who has largely shied away from interviews, agreed to the sit-down because she believes it will be done with respect, according to sources. [E! News]

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