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10 things you need to know today: October 20, 2012
Obama coins the term "Romnesia," a deadly blast rocks Beirut, and more in our roundup of stories that are making the news and driving opinion
After one of Beirut's worst bombings in years, Lebanese soldiers inspect leftover debris from the blast that killed eight and wounded dozens.
After one of Beirut's worst bombings in years, Lebanese soldiers inspect leftover debris from the blast that killed eight and wounded dozens.
AP Photo/Bilal Hussein

1. BOMB BLAST KILLS EIGHT IN BEIRUT
A bomb tore through a Christian neighborhood in Beirut, Lebanon, on Friday, killing eight and raising fears that the ongoing conflict in Syria is reigniting sectarian tensions in Lebanon. Eighty people were also wounded in the blast, which is thought to be the deadliest to strike the country in four years. Lebanese authorities have yet to identify a culprit, but suspicion immediately fell on factions allied with the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has links to Hezbollah, the Shiite militant group that wields considerable influence in Lebanon's parliament. [New York Times]
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2. OBAMA: MITT ROMNEY HAS 'ROMNESIA'
President Obama "turned his opponent's name into an ailment" on Friday, accusing GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney of having "Romnesia" for suddenly espousing moderate views rather than the conservative ones he put forth during the Republican primary race. "He's forgetting what his own positions are, and he's betting that you will, too," Obama told a crowd of about 9,000 in the battleground state of Virginia. [The Week]
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3. STOCKS FALL ON WEAK EARNINGS
The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday had its worst day in four months, following a string of disappointing earnings reports from Microsoft, General Electric, and McDonald's. The Dow fell 205 points, or 1.5 percent, to close at 13,344, while the larger S&P 500 index dipped 24 points, or 1.7 percent, to end at 1,433. [Associated Press]
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4. REPORT: IPAD MINI COULD HIT STORES NOV. 2
The much-hyped iPad Mini will hit stores on November 2, sources tell TechCrunch. Earlier this week, Apple sent out an invitation for an event on October 23, during which the company will most likely debut the 7.85-inch tablet. The rumored November 2 release date, which has reportedly been confirmed by a major U.K. retailer, would make sense, given that Apple often releases gadgets on Fridays, and also because the speedy turnaround would allow the company to take full advantage of the holiday shopping season. [TechCrunch]
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5. PROSECUTORS WANT GAG ORDER IN ZIMMERMAN TRIAL
Prosecutors in the second-degree murder trial of George Zimmerman, who is charged in the February shooting murder of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin, are asking the judge for a gag order on the case. "This case has continued to have an inordinate amount of media coverage," Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda said. "Unless defense counsel stops talking to the media about the case, in person or by use of the defendant's website, it will be more difficult to find jurors who have not been influenced by media accounts of the case." Zimmerman's lawyer Mark O'Mara has repeatedly taken to television as well as social media to comment on the impending trial. [Reuters]
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6. ROGER AILES SIGNS 4-YEAR DEAL WITH NEWS CORP.
Fox News CEO Roger Ailes inked a four-year deal with News Corporation to continue his oversight of the Fox Business Channel, 20th Television, and the Fox stations group. Ailes joined News Corp. in 1996 and launched Fox News that same year. [Hollywood Reporter]
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7. VIRGINIA MAN ARRESTED FOR TOSSING VOTER FORMS  
Colin Small, a 31-year-old working for the Virginia Republican Party, was arrested in Richmond for allegedly throwing away voter registration forms. The forms were found in a dumpster on Oct. 15, the deadline for voter registration in Virginia. Officials say it's unclear whether the forms were those of Democratic or Republican registrants because Virginia does not register by party. All of the recovered forms were still counted. Small faces 13 felony and misdemeanor counts relating to voter fraud. [CBS News]
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8. JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE MARRIES JESSICA BIEL
Hollywood super-couple Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel confirmed to People magazine that they have married. "It's great to be married, the ceremony was beautiful and it was so special to be surrounded by our family and friends," the couple said in a statement. Timberlake and Biel were married somewhere in southern Italy, though the specific location has been kept under wraps. [Reuters]
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9. MARS CURIOSITY ROVER EATS DIRT
The Mars Curiosity rover has gobbled its first piece of Martian soil, taking in the sample using the CheMin instrument, one of its two big analytical tools. "The most important thing about our mobile laboratory is that it eats dirt," chief scientist John Grotzinger told the BBC. CheMin will use X-ray diffraction to identify and quantify the minerals present in the rocky material that has been swallowed. [BBC]
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10. HANKS DROPS F-BOMB ON GOOD MORNING AMERICA
Appearing on Good Morning America to promote his new film Cloud Atlas, actor Tom Hanks was asked by host Elizabeth Vargas to speak in one of the many accents he uses in the film. Warning Vargas before he began that using the accent involves saying "mostly swear words," Hanks launched into the impersonation and the F-word slipped. He quickly apologized, and told producers: "Never give me a hand-held mic." [Vanity Fair

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