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10 things you need to know today: November 9, 2012
Boehner softens his tone on the fiscal cliff, Romney's staff concedes Florida, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
House Speaker John Boehner speaks on Capitol Hill on Nov. 7:
House Speaker John Boehner speaks on Capitol Hill on Nov. 7:
Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

1. BOEHNER SOFTENS TONE TOWARD OBAMA
House Speaker John Boehner says he's no longer determined to repeal President Obama's health-care law, now that Obama has won re-election. "ObamaCare is the law of the land," Boehner told ABC News on Thursday. Boehner also said Republicans would consider new sources of revenue as part of a bipartisan deficit-reduction deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, a wave of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts due to hit Jan. 1, but that hiking tax rates on the rich is "unacceptable" because it would prevent small-business owners from creating jobs. The Congressional Budget Office countered by reporting that going over the fiscal cliff would send the economy back into recession, but raising income tax rates for the wealthy would barely do any damage. Obama is delivering a statement on the economy at 1:05 p.m. Friday. [Reuters]
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2. 'SHELLSHOCKED' ROMNEY CONCEDES FLORIDA
A top adviser to Mitt Romney is conceding that President Obama won Florida, the lone state still counting ballots after Tuesday's election. An official declaration, expected Friday, would extend Obama's Electoral College victory to 332 votes against Romney's 206. Thursday's unofficial count put Obama up by 55,832 votes, but the bulk of the uncounted ballots come from densely populated areas in South Florida where Obama beat Romney by a wide margin. "The numbers in Florida show this was winnable," said Brett Doster, a senior strategist for Romney in the state. Another Romney aide said the former GOP candidate was "shellshocked" when swing state after swing state went for Obama, because Romney and his inner circle truly thought they would win. "It was like a sucker punch," one Romney adviser said. [The Hill]
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3. GIFFORDS' SHOOTER GETS LIFE SENTENCE
Jared Loughner, who pleaded guilty to the 2011 Tucson, Ariz., shooting that left six people dead and 13 wounded, including former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D), was sentenced on Thursday to seven consecutive life sentences in prison, plus 140 years. Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, attended the sentencing hearing, marking the first time Giffords had come face-to-face with Loughner, 24, since the attack. Kelly spoke for his wife, who is still recovering from her wounds. "You tried to create a world as dark and evil as your own," Kelly said. "Remember this: You failed." [USA Today]
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4. STORM-BATTERED NEW YORK RATIONS GAS
The fuel crisis created by last week's superstorm is forcing New York City to start rationing gasoline on Friday for the first time since the energy crisis of the 1970s. With many gas stations shut down and out of gas, motorists are having to spend hours in line to fill up. Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Thursday that the city would allow drivers with even-numbered license plates to buy gas on even days, and odd-numbered ones on odd days. Nassau and Suffolk Counties, on Long Island, are imposing the system, too. The entire state of New Jersey has been under odd-even rationing since Saturday. [New York Times]
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5. PENTAGON SAYS IRAN FIRED AT DRONE
Iran is withholding comment Friday on a Pentagon claim that two Iranian fighter jets fired on an unarmed U.S. Air Force drone in the Persian Gulf last week, as the American craft was conducting routine maritime surveillance in international airspace. Although the drone was not hit, the incident raises fresh concerns within the Obama administration about Iranian military aggression in crucial Gulf oil shipping lanes. The incident, which occurred on Nov. 1, just days before the presidential election, was first reported by CNN, and later confirmed by the Pentagon. [CNN]
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6. CHURCH TO NAME NEW ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
British media are reporting that Justin Welby, the bishop of Durham, has been chosen as the next archbishop of Canterbury. The archbishop is the head of the Church of England and the spiritual leader of the 77 million members of Anglican churches all over the world, including the Episcopal church in the U.S. Welby, a former oil-company executive who couldn't resist "a sense of God calling," would replace the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, who announced in March that he would step down at the end of the year. The church has been on the verge of a split worldwide over issues such as gay marriage and the ordination of women, and Williams says his successor will need "the constitution of an ox and the skin of a rhinoceros." [New York Times]
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7. SEALS DISCIPLINED FOR SPILLING SECRETS 
Seven members of the clandestine SEAL Team Six, one of whom participated in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, have been disciplined for revealing secrets while working for two days as paid consultants for the makers of the recently released video game Medal of Honor: Warfighter. All seven of the SEALs are still on active duty. Four other former SEALs who have transferred out of the unit are under investigation. The game, produced by Electronic Arts, puts players into realistic missions, including an assault on a Somali pirates' den, although it doesn't recreate the bin Laden raid. [CBS News]
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8. COLLEGES SHAKEN BY RACIAL ELECTION REACTIONS
The all-male Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia is investigating reports that several dozen students angry over President Obama's victory threw bottles and shouted racial slurs at Minority Student Union members, threatening violence. College President Christopher B. Howard, Hampden-Sydney's first black leader, said he was "terribly disappointed with the students who participated in this harmful, senseless episode including those men who stood idly by and watched it happen." A similar incident was reported at the University of Mississippi as TV networks declared that America's first black president had been re-elected. [Washington Post]
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9. SAMSUNG'S GALAXY TOPS IPHONE... FOR NOW
Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S3 climbed over Apple's long-dominant iPhone to become the world's best-selling smartphone in the last quarter, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. Apple was on top for more than two years, but in the July through September quarter, Samsung sold 18 million of its flagship S3 models, which have a big, 4.8-inch touchscreen, compared with 16.2 million iPhone 4S sales for Apple. Samsung's reign could be brief, however. Apple's new iPhone 5 is considered likely to come out on top in the current quarter. [Reuters]
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10. HILLARY JUMPS TO AN EARLY 2016 LEAD
Just days after the 2012 presidential election was finally decided, Public Policy Polling asked Iowa Democrats who they like in 2016. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton emerged as the clear favorite among possible candidates in the Iowa caucuses, with 58 percent of the vote. Vice President Joe Biden came in a distant second, with 17 percent. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was next, at 6 percent, followed by Massachusetts Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren, at 3 percent. [Politico]

 

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