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10 things you need to know today: October 23, 2012
Obama tries to steamroll Romney, the Giants head to the World Series, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
Mascot Lou Seal holds up a sign reading 'NL Champs' after the San Francisco Giants defeat the St. Louis Cardinals 9-0 to advance to the World Series.
Mascot Lou Seal holds up a sign reading 'NL Champs' after the San Francisco Giants defeat the St. Louis Cardinals 9-0 to advance to the World Series.
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

1. OBAMA AND ROMNEY CLASH IN FOREIGN POLICY DEBATE
President Obama and Mitt Romney wrapped up the last of their three-debate series in an exchange on foreign policy with sharply contrasting strategies. Obama slammed his GOP rival for "wrong and reckless" policies. Romney took a conciliatory stance on foreign policy, only mildly disagreeing with the president on a range of issues, including the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, America's role in the Arab Spring, the West's aid for Syrian rebels, and the U.S.'s approach to Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program. Commentators said Romney was purposely taking modest, middle-of-the-road positions in order to appear more presidential. Obama, for his part, was more than happy to go on offense. In one memorable exchange, he delivered a withering indictment of Romney's allegedly old-fashioned view of military power, saying the U.S. had moved beyond "horses and bayonets." [New York Times, The Week]
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2. LEBANON DEPLOYS ARMY TO QUELL UNREST
The Lebanese army deployed troops in the streets of Beirut and the northern city of Tripoli after violence from neighboring Syria's civil war spilled over into Lebanon. At least five people were killed in gunfights between factions that support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and those that oppose him in Tripoli on Monday. The violence erupted after the Friday car-bombing assassination of Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, a top security official who was an outspoken critic of Assad. [USA Today, BBC News]
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3. QATARI EMIR VISITS GAZA
The Emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, entered the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, becoming the first head of state to visit the Palestinian enclave since Hamas took control of it in 2007. Hamas officials gave the emir a red-carpet welcome as he arrived on what was touted as a humanitarian visit to launch reconstruction projects using $250 million in aid from Qatar. Both Israel and Hamas' rivals in the Palestinian Authority were unhappy about the visit. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas publicly welcomed the visit, but privately his supporters said the emir was undercutting his legitimacy as leader of all Palestinians by showing support for the Islamic fundamentalists of Hamas rather than him. [Jerusalem Post]
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4. AMERICAN INDIAN ACTIVIST RUSSELL MEANS DIES
Russell Means, an American Indian activist who called attention to impoverished Native American tribes for decades, died Monday from throat cancer. He was 72. Means, once a leader of the American Indian Movement, lived his life as a modern American Indian warrior. He was one of the leaders of the 1973 uprising at Wounded Knee, in which two tribal members were killed and a federal agent seriously wounded. The bloody clash raised awareness and sparked a wider protest movement against injustices suffered by Native Americans. After years of headline-grabbing activism, Means began acting in Hollywood films, including 1992's The Last of the Mohicans, in which he played the title role. [Washington Post]
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5. GIANTS EARN SPOT IN WORLD SERIES
The San Francisco Giants shut out the St. Louis Cardinals 9-0 in game seven of the NL championship series Monday night, earning a spot in the World Series against the Detroit Tigers. Two years after winning their first crown in San Francisco, the Giants will square off against the AL champion Tigers to see which team will reign in professional baseball. "We showed up here to win," Giants center fielder Angel Pagan said. "And we're going to carry that over into the World Series." [Associated Press]
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6. BODY LIKELY THAT OF MISSING NEW JERSEY GIRL
Authorities have preliminarily identified a body found in a recycling container as that of Autumn Pasquale, a 12-year-old New Jersey girl who went missing from her home on Saturday and was the subject of a massive two-day search. An autopsy will be performed to confirm the body's identity. The body was found shortly after a candlelight vigil for her was held in her hometown. "Our hearts go out to the family," a local prosecutor said, "and to all the residents of Clayton who stood together in support of this young girl." [Associated Press]
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7. MONSTER ENERGY DRINK COMES UNDER FIRE
The Food and Drug Administration has released reports on five cases over the last three years in which people died after drinking Monster, an energy drink loaded with caffeine. Monster Beverage Corp. is also being sued by the family of of a 14-year-old Maryland girl who had a heart condition and died after downing two large cans of the drink over 24 hours. Shares of Monster Beverage Corp. shot down by 14 percent after the FDA's Monday announcement, although the reports do not definitively link Monster Energy to any of the deaths or other health problems. [New York Times]
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8. APPLE'S EXPECTED MINI-IPAD UNVEILING ARRIVES
Apple is set to announce the arrival of a smaller, cheaper version of its hugely popular iPad tablet at an invitation-only event in California on Tuesday. The iPad has become dominant in the market for full-sized, 10-inch tablets, but Amazon and Google got a jump on it with devices in the 7-inch range. Apple once scoffed at pocket-sized tablets, but the success of its rivals forced it to reconsider. Its mini-iPad has been the subject of speculation and anticipation for months. "It's going to be the go-to holiday gift," said Michael Yoshikami, founder of Destination Wealth Management, which owns Apple shares. [Reuters]
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9. DIRECTOR TONY SCOTT'S DEATH CONFIRMED A SUICIDE
The Los Angeles coroner has officially classified the August death of filmmaker Tony Scott, who directed Top Gun and other blockbusters, as a suicide. Scott died from blunt force injuries and drowning after jumping from a bridge. An autopsy showed he had "therapeutic levels" of the anti-depressant Mirtazapine and the prescription sleep-aid Lunesta in his system. Some had speculated that he had decided to take his own life because he had a terminal illness, but the coroner's report said he didn't have cancer or any other serious illness. [BBC News]
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10. DEGENERES WINS MARK TWAIN AWARD
Comic, talk-show host, and gay-rights activist Ellen DeGeneres received this year's Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center on Monday. The prize is considered the highest U.S. award for achievement in comedy, but several guests said one of DeGeneres' greatest contributions to society was her decision 15 years ago to go public with her sexual identity. "I did it for me," DeGeneres said, "and it happened to help a lot of other people and cause a big ruckus." [Reuters]

 

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