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10 things you need to know today: November 28, 2012
Obama asks for public support in fiscal cliff talks, Egyptians clash with police, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
President Obama will go back on the campaign trail to push his preferred fiscal cliff solution.
President Obama will go back on the campaign trail to push his preferred fiscal cliff solution. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

1. OBAMA LAUNCHES FISCAL CLIFF PR BLITZ
With talks on avoiding the fiscal cliff still deadlocked, President Obama is launching a public relations offensive to rally public support for his call to raise taxes on the wealthy as part of a deficit-reduction deal. Administration officials say Obama will hold a series of campaign-style events, including a visit to a suburban Philadelphia toy manufacturer on Friday, to win over ordinary Americans. Obama reportedly aims to increase pressure on Republicans and Democrats in Congress to compromise on a deficit-reduction agreement to prevent a series of automatic spending cuts and tax increases that are scheduled to begin on Jan. 1. Economists warn that allowing the fiscal cliff to hit would push the economy into another recession. [Washington Post]
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2. PROTESTERS CLASH WITH EGYPTIAN POLICE
Egyptian police fired tear gas at protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Wednesday, as anger spread over President Mohamed Morsi's decree granting himself expanded powers. Tens of thousands of people spent the night in the square after a Tuesday mass rally. "We don't want a dictatorship again," one demonstrator said. Three people have been killed and at least 100 injured in nationwide demonstrations against Morsi's power grab, and at least two of Morsi's advisers have quit since Morsi last week announced that the country's courts would no longer have the power to review many of his actions. The Morsi administration has defended the decree, saying it was necessary to prevent judges from unraveling gains of the revolution that toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak last year. [Daily Telegraph]
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3. APPLE FIRES MAPS EXECUTIVE
Apple has reportedly fired Richard Williamson, the manager who was responsible for the faulty mapping app the iPhone and iPad maker released in September. Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the move, said that Williamson was pushed out by Senior Vice President Eddy Cue in a bid to restore customers' trust. Cue, who took over the division in a recent management shake-up, is asking outside mapping experts to help fix the app, and pushing maps provider TomTom NV to improve navigation data it gives Apple. [Bloomberg]
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4. JILL KELLEY THREATENS TO SUE OVER LEAKS
An attorney for Tampa socialite Jill Kelley has threatened to sue federal officials over leaks in the David Petraeus sex-scandal investigation. Shortly after Petraeus resigned as CIA director, Kelley was identified as the woman who told the FBI about threatening emails she had received, triggering the investigation that uncovered Petraeus' extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. D.C. power attorney Abbe Lowell, who represents Kelley, said the leaks were an invasion of her privacy, and "most certainly had to come, at least in part, from government sources." [Washington Post]
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5. TWIN BOMBS KILL 38 SYRIANS
Two car-bomb explosions killed at least 38 people in the Jaramana district of Syria's capital, Damascus, on Wednesday. The government blamed the blasts on "terrorists." Pro-regime groups have formed armed militia in Jaramana to keep out rebels. The violence in the capital came as the country's civil war escalates, with witnesses in Turkey reporting that insurgents had shot down government aircraft twice in as many days. "We watched a Syrian plane being shot down as it was flying low to drop bombs," a Turkish man told The New York Times. "It slowly went down in flames before it hit the ground. It was quite a scene." [New York Times]
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6. SPAIN, FRANCE BACK PALESTINIAN U.N. BID
Spain's foreign minister, Jose-Manuel Garcia-Margallo, said Wednesday that his country would back the Palestinian Authority's bid for recognition as a non-member state at the United Nations. France and Russia have also said their ambassadors would vote in favor of the proposal on Thursday in the U.N. General Assembly, where the U.S., which opposes the measure, has no veto power. [Bloomberg]
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7. POLICE ARREST BANGLADESH FIRE SUSPECTS
Bangladeshi police arrested three people Wednesday in connection with a garment-factory fire that killed more than 100 people last weekend, in the worst industrial disaster in the country's history. The government says saboteurs set the blaze. Two other people were arrested after they were seen in security-camera footage trying to ignite piles of cotton at another factory. Workers demanding safer factories clashed with police as protests over the fire entered a third day. [Reuters]
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8. FDA LOOKS INTO ENERGY DRINK DANGERS
The Food and Drug Administration is asking outside experts for help determining whether energy drinks pose a danger to teenagers or people who already have health problems. The FDA has received reports of 18 deaths and more than 150 injuries that mentioned the high-caffeine drinks, like 5-Hour Energy, Monster Energy, and Red Bull, as a possible factor. Previously, the FDA had said it would conduct its own investigation, so the agency's decision to appeal for outside help — revealed in a letter released by two influential senators on Tuesday — marks a change in strategy. [New York Times]
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9. POWERBALL JACKPOT HITS RECORD $500 MILLION
Lottery officials on Tuesday said the Powerball jackpot had reached a record $500 million, prompting a frenzy of last-minute purchases before the winning numbers are drawn on Wednesday night. The gigantic pot has been largely driven by a change in ticket price — from $1 to $2 — that encourages the haul to quickly accumulate. While a record for Powerball, the jackpot isn't even the biggest of 2012: The Mega Millions lottery reached $656 million in March, a prize split between three winners. [Associated Press]
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10. TWO AND A HALF MEN STAR APOLOGIZES
Two and a Half Men co-star Angus T. Jones apologized Tuesday for a fire and brimstone rant in a video for a fundamentalist church in which he called the racy CBS sitcom "filth," and urged fans to stop watching it. The 19-year-old actor, who has been on the show since 2003, said he meant no disrespect to his colleagues, who had taught him many "life lessons." Jones also said that he wanted to quit but signed on for another year — and a $9 million paycheck — because God "kind of pushed me into it." The show's former star, Charlie Sheen, said Jones' "Hale-Bopp-like meltdown" proved that Two and a Half Men is "cursed." [Fox News]

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