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10 things you need to know today: November 4, 2012
Obama and Romney get out the vote, a gas shortage roils the Northeast, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
Obama and Romney crisscrossed the country in the final weekend before the election, urging people to vote early if they still are able to.
Obama and Romney crisscrossed the country in the final weekend before the election, urging people to vote early if they still are able to.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

1. GAS SHORTAGE PLAGUES NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY
Lines for gasoline at stations in New York and New Jersey stretched for blocks and blocks over the weekend, leaving residents frustrated when, in some cases, hours-long waits turned out to be fruitless as most stations ran out of gas before everyone could fill up. State and federal officials made an all-out effort to speed gas to the troubled region, which has seen more drivers than normal because Superstorm Sandy has crippled much of mass transit in the area. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ordered odd- and even-day gas rationing. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo waved a tax for fuel barges, and told New Yorkers they could get 10 gallons of gas without charge from fuel trucks across the region provided by the federal government. The Department of Defense, however, on Saturday ordered that gas at fueling stations be reserved for first responders because there wasn't enough to go around. To top it off, temperatures in the Northeast dipped this weekend, bringing a new sense of urgency to recovery efforts in the area, as thousands remain without shelter or electricity. The governors assured citizens that millions of gallons of gas would be delivered in the coming hours. [New York Times]
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2. OBAMA AND ROMNEY MAKE LAST PLEAS
President Obama spent Saturday campaigning in Iowa and Wisconsin, two states Obama's advisers had felt more confident about taking just a few months ago. Obama also stumped in Ohio and Virginia. On Sunday he'll travel to Ohio again, as well as New Hampshire, Florida, and Colorado. GOP challenger Mitt Romney drew a huge crowd of 20,000 in Ohio on Friday. In a final plea with Colorado voters on Saturday, Romney said, "words are cheap and a record is real and it's earned with effort." He'll campaign in Pennsylvania, Iowa, Ohio, and Virginia on Sunday. Both campaigns continued to mobilize massive get out the vote efforts as early voting nears its end in some states. [New York Times, Huffington Post]
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3. NYC MARATHON RUNNERS AID SANDY VICTIMS
Runners who had trained to participate in the New York City Marathon this year were left without a race to run after Mayor Michael Bloomberg relented to heavy criticism and canceled the event in the wake of the destruction following Superstorm Sandy. The thousands who traveled to New York for the marathon aren't just pouting about it, though. Many have decided to run anyway, carrying backpacks full of supplies to Sandy victims in the hardest hit parts of New York. Runners who decided to leave the city once the race was canceled were asked to donate their hotel rooms to displaced families. Some of them did. [Huffington Post, ABC News]
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4. SYRIAN REBEL GROUPS HOLD CRUCIAL MEETING
Syrian rebel groups held an important meeting in the Qatari capital of Doha to discuss how to better unite against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The meeting could reshape the Syrian National Council, the main opposition, into a possible government in exile. The talks come amid continuing violence in Syria, with reports of a bombing in Damascus on Sunday. The SNC is looking to broaden its ranks and agree on a unified platform. The intensive meetings will last four days and could bring about a complete restructuring of the rebel leadership in order to better position themselves in the 19-month-long crisis that has yet to topple Assad. [BBC]
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5. MANHATTAN NANNY CHARGED WITH MURDER
Yoselyn Ortega, 50, the Manhattan nanny accused of killing two of the children she was caring for on Oct. 25, was charged with first-degree murder on Saturday. Ortega had not been charged sooner because she was unable to speak after having stabbed herself in the throat when she was discovered in the bathroom of the Upper West Side apartment where the two children were found stabbed to death. Ortega spoke with detectives from her hospital bed on Saturday, but police did not give a motive or further information about Ortega's condition. [New York Times]
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6. GOVERNMENT INQUIRY INTO BBC SCANDAL POSSIBLE
Britain's Culture Secretary Maria Miller was quote in The Telegraph saying that the government could order a full public inquiry into the BBC's Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal. Miller said that if the BBC's own internal inquiries don't yield answers about how Savile's alleged behavior was allowed to go on for so long, a formal government investigation could be launched. Savile, one of the BBC's best known entertainers, has been accused of sexually abusing hundreds of vulnerable young people. Police said that the host, who died last year at the age of 84, and his accomplices may have abused at least 300 people, mainly women. [Associated Press]
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7. PUTIN APPEARS IN PUBLIC AFTER HEALTH RUMORS 
Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared in public on Sunday, his first appearance since rumors about his health began circulating last week. Putin marked the national Unity Day holiday by laying flowers at the monument in Red Square. The president has canceled some expected trips abroad and made fewer journeys to the Kremlin in recent weeks. A newspaper report last week said Putin had injured himself in a widely publicized flight in a motorized hang-glider in September. But Kremlin officials said Putin was merely suffering from a pulled muscle. [Associated Press]
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8. BROOKLYN NETS WIN HOME DEBUT
The Brooklyn Nets beat the Toronto Raptors 107-100 in their debut home game at the newly opened and much talked about Barclays Center. A crowd of 17,732 that included entertainers Jay-Z, a part-owner, and wife Beyonce chanted the borough's name a few times during the game and loudly at the end. Brooklyn hasn't had a pro sports team to cheer since the Dodgers left for Los Angeles in 1957. [Associated Press]
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9. APPLE BURIES ITS SAMSUNG APOLOGY 
Apple, complying with a court order to apologize to rival Samsung for alleging patent infringement, has put an apology on its U.K. home page — but in the last place anyone would probably look for it. "Apple has infused its page with Javascript that ensures that no matter what display you're viewing it from, you'll have to scroll down past a barrage of Apple product ads before the apology can be seen." That's "well within the letter of the ruling," says Brian Barrett at Gizmodo, "even if it spits in the face of the spirit." [Gizmodo]
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10. LINDSEY VONN DENIED CHANCE TO SKI WITH MEN
American women's skiing star Lindsey Vonn — the most decorated U.S. skier in Alpine competition with four World Cup overall titles, two world championships, and an Olympic gold medal — requested the right to compete in a men's World Cup downhill race, but was denied by the International Skiing Federation. "It's very clear," said Sarah Lewis, FIS secretary general. "It's called the men's World Cup and the ladies' World Cup. The men race the men's World Cup and the ladies race the ladies' World Cup." Lewis added that the decision "had nothing to do with an individual. It's not personal, it's not specific to Lindsey and it's not underlying her skills." [Los Angeles Times]

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