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10 things you need to know today: October 29, 2012
The Northeast hunkers down, the Giants sweep the World Series, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
The San Francisco Giants celebrate their World Series win on Oct. 28. The Giants swept the Detroit Tigers in four games, winning the deciding match-up 4-3.
The San Francisco Giants celebrate their World Series win on Oct. 28. The Giants swept the Detroit Tigers in four games, winning the deciding match-up 4-3.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

1. NORTHEAST BRACES FOR MONSTER STORM
Hurricane Sandy gathered strength as it churned through the Atlantic toward the mid-Atlantic coast early Monday, buffeting coastal North Carolina and Virginia with powerful gusts as its top sustained winds increased from 75 mph to 85 mph. Sandy, which has been blamed for 65 deaths in the Caribbean, is expected to hit the most populated part of the U.S. as early as Monday night, affecting 50 million people as it collides with a winter storm, a cold front, and high tides from a full moon to created a so-called Frankenstorm. Airlines have canceled 7,200 flights, trains and subways have shut down from Washington, D.C., to New York City, and hundreds of thousands of people have evacuated low-lying coastal areas, including lower Manhattan and other parts of New York that could be hit by an 11-foot wall of water. "The time for preparing and talking is about over," Federal Emergency Management Administrator Craig Fugate said. "People need to be acting now." [CBS News]
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2. GIANTS SWEEP TIGERS TO WIN SERIES
The San Francisco Giants beat the Detroit Tigers 4-3 Sunday night in a tense, 10-inning game to win the World Series in a four-game sweep. Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval — who made a clutch fielding play in the final game, blasted three home runs in the first game, and got eight hits in 16 at-bats — was named the Series' Most Valuable Player, after being benched when the Giants won the 2010 World Series. "Detroit probably didn't know what it was in for," Giants general manager Brian Sabean said. "Our guys had a date with destiny." [Associated Press]
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3. STOCK MARKETS CLOSE AHEAD OF SANDY
With Hurricane Sandy heading straight toward New York City and, therefore, Wall Street, all American stock and options markets are shutting down on Monday, marking the first time in nearly three decades they've closed due to bad weather. The operators of the New York Stock Exchange and other markets had hoped that some trading could continue, as most of the work has shifted from the traditional frenetic trading-floor specialists to electronic systems. On Sunday, however, the decision was made to play it safe. "The dangerous conditions developing as a result of Hurricane Sandy will make it extremely difficult to ensure the safety of our people and communities," the NYSE said, "and safety must be our first priority." [New York Times]
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4. HURRICANE SHAKES UP PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
With just over a week left before election day, Hurricane Sandy has forced President Obama and his GOP rival, Mitt Romney, to alter their closing campaign plans and prepare their response to a potentially catastrophic storm. Obama had been hoping that conditions would permit him to continue some campaigning, but he canceled a Monday morning Orlando rally with former President Bill Clinton to return to Washington to monitor the federal response to the storm. Romney planned to go ahead with stops in three swing states — Ohio, Iowa, and Wisconsin. [ABC News]
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5. SYRIAN TRUCE DISSOLVES EARLY
Syrian jets reportedly bombed rebel positions around Damascus and other parts of the country on Sunday, as a United Nations-brokered four-day cease-fire unraveled. The regime of President Bashar al-Assad hammered his opponents with air strikes despite a promise to stop the fighting over the Eid al-Adha Muslim holiday. "The cease-fire is practically over," said veteran opposition campaigner Fawaz Tello. "Damascus has been under brutal air raids since day one and hundreds of people have been arrested." [Reuters]
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6. ACTIVISTS SEND NOTES TO NORTH KOREA
Political activists in South Korea used several balloons to float 50,000 leaflets toward North Korea, urging the country's population to rise up against their communist leaders. Authorities blocked an attempt to send the balloons aloft a week ago, after North Korea's military threatened to open fire on South Korean towns in the area, near the demilitarized zone separating the two countries, if the activists went ahead with their plans. The activists dismissed Pyongyang's bluster as "empty threats," but a group of local residents tried to stop the balloon launch, saying that they were the ones who would pay if the North started shooting in retaliation. [BBC News]
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7. COPTIC CHRISTIANS SELECT POPE
A council of Coptic Christians in Egypt is preparing to choose a successor to Pope Shenouda III, who died in March, from a short list of candidates that includes two bishops and three monks. The council will narrow the choices to three. The names will be written on pieces of paper that will be placed in a box at St. Mark's Cathedral in Cairo. Then, a blindfolded child will draw one of the names on Nov. 4, and the person selected will become the 118th head of the region's largest Christian minority. [BBC News]
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8. CREW ABANDONS STORM-RAVAGED TALL SHIP
Seventeen people abandoned a 180-foot replica of the HMS Bounty early Monday after it became stranded 90 miles off the North Carolina coast in 18-foot seas whipped up by Hurricane Sandy. "The 17-person crew donned cold water survival suits and life jackets before launching in two 25-man lifeboats with canopies," the Coast Guard said. The Coast Guard sent out an aircraft to search for the crew after receiving a distress call, saying the three-mast vessel, which has appeared in several movies, was adrift and taking on water. [NBC News]
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9. IRAN SPIES ON ISRAEL
Iran snapped images of Israeli bases and other restricted areas with a drone it sent into Israeli airspace earlier this month, according to an Iranian lawmaker. Israel shot down the drone 25 miles inside its borders. The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah claimed responsibility for sending the aircraft into Israel, and Esmail Kowsari, chair of the Iranian parliament's defense committee, says the drone was manufactured in Iran and assembled in Lebanon. He said the aircraft had transmitted the photos before it was shot down. [Reuters]
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10. STORM KNOCKS OUT FILM PREMIERE
Hurricane Sandy hasn't hit shore yet, but it's already shaking up the entertainment world. Focus Features announced Sunday that it was postponing Tuesday night's planned New York City premiere of the Keira Knightley film Anna Karenina, and Broadway theaters closed their doors early on Sunday, and canceled all Monday performances. Carnegie Hall also announced that its Sunday and Monday concerts were off. [Los Angeles Times]

 

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