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10 things you need to know today: December 2, 2012
Egypt's high court shuts down indefinitely, Boehner says fiscal deal is "nowhere," and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
Boehner says he's "flabbergasted" at the Democrats' proposal that includes $1.6 trillion in increased tax revenues.
Boehner says he's "flabbergasted" at the Democrats' proposal that includes $1.6 trillion in increased tax revenues. Alex Wong/Getty Images

1. EGYPT'S HIGH COURT SUSPENDS WORK AFTER OPPOSITION PROTEST
After supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi prevented judges from entering the country's top court on Sunday, the judiciary said it was suspending its work indefinitely to "protest psychological and physical pressures." The court's decision is the latest turn in a worsening political crisis between President Mohammed Morsi and his Islamist allies against the mostly secular opposition. The standoff began on Nov. 22 when Morsi granted himself sweeping powers, including making his decisions immune from court review and prohibiting the dissolution of a panel drafting Egypt's new constitution. The Islamist-dominated panel rushed to finalize the document last week without the participation of liberal and Christian members. The fast-track hearing preempted a decision expected from the court on Sunday on whether to dissolve the committee. On Saturday, Morsi announced a referendum on the draft charter for Dec. 15, despite opposition protests and questions about the document's legitimacy. [Associated Press]
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2. TALIBAN ATTACKS U.S. AIRBASE IN AFGHANISTAN
Attackers detonated bombs and fired rockets outside a U.S. airbase in Jalalabad, an eastern Afghanistan city, on Sunday, killing five people in a brazen operation that once again highlighted the country's security challenges ahead of the 2014 NATO combat troop withdrawal. A Taliban spokesman said the group had launched the 6 a.m. assault. Two suicide bombers died after blowing themselves up in cars, said Nasir Ahmad Safi, a spokesman for the provincial government. Seven other bombers were killed in a gunbattle with Afghan and coalition forces. Three Afghan soldiers and two civilians also died. [Reuters
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3. BOEHNER: WE'RE NOWHERE ON FISCAL CLIFF DEAL
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, House Speaker John Boehner lashed out at President Obama over ongoing fiscal cliff talks that Boehner says have gone "nowhere." Boehner warned that there is "clearly a chance" that the two sides will not reach an agreement by year's end to prevent tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to hit Jan. 1. "The president's idea of negotiation is, roll over and do what I ask," Boehner said, citing Obama's proposed plan that includes $1.6 trillion in increased tax revenues. He suggested that Republicans have proposed raising about half that amount of revenue, through limiting or eliminating deductions for the wealthy. [National Journal]
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4. PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION DROPS ASPERGER'S DIAGNOSIS FROM DSM
The American Psychiatric Association voted on Saturday to remove the diagnosis for Asperger's syndrome from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), instead lumping its symptoms under the newly added "autism spectrum disorder," which is already used widely. That umbrella diagnosis will include children with severe autism, who often do not talk or interact, as well as those with milder forms. The change comes as part of the first major revision of the guide in 20 years. The aim is not to expand the number of people diagnosed with mental illness, but to ensure those affected were more accurately diagnosed so they could get the most appropriate treatment, said Dr David Kupfer, the University of Pittsburgh psychiatry professor who chaired the revision committee. [Guardian]
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5. CHIEFS TO PLAY AFTER JOVAN BELCHER MURDER-SUICIDE 
The Kansas City Chiefs will play their game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, as the team reels from the death of Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, 25, and his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, 22. On Saturday, Belcher allegedly shot Perkins dead at their home and then drove to the Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium and shot himself in the head in the parking lot after thanking coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli, who both witnessed the suicide. Belcher and Perkins, who have a 3-month-old daughter, reportedly had a tumultuous relationship and, police said, had been fighting in the hour leading up to the shooting. The baby is being cared for by family. [Chicago Tribune]
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6. WEST BANK CHEERS ABBAS AFTER U.N. VOTE
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas returned to the West Bank to a hero's welcome after his successful bid to upgrade the Palestinians' U.N. status to "non-member observer" last week. "Now we have a state," he told cheering supporters in Ramallah. "Palestine has accomplished a historic achievement." In response to the U.N. vote, Israel announced Sunday that it will halt the transfer of $120 million in tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority. The PA is heavily dependent on tax revenues Israel collects on its behalf. [BBC]
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7. MERKEL WON'T RULE OUT FORGIVING GREECE'S DEBT
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a German newspaper that she has not ruled out the possibility of forgiving Greece some of its debt once the struggling country's finances are in order. Merkel's government previously ruled out forgiving debt, arguing that Greece must implement austerity measures and structural reforms in return for its bailout loans. But the International Monetary Fund and many economists say eurozone nations must forgive Greece some of its debt to as part of a more sustainable solution. [Associated Press]
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8. NORTH KOREA TO CARRY OUT ROCKET LAUNCH
North Korea's state news agency announced Saturday that the hermit kingdom will carry out its second rocket launch of 2012, in a move that South Korea and the U.S. denounced as provocation. North Korea has notified its neighbors of the proposed flight path, an unnamed South Korean official said on Sunday, saying that it would take a similar path to a failed rocket launch in April. That was supposed to take the rocket over seas separating China and the Korean peninsula where the first stage of the rocket would drop into the sea, then to pass over Okinawa. The second stage was to fall in seas off the Philippines. [Reuters]
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9. MOTORISTS FEARED DEAD AFTER JAPAN TUNNEL COLLAPSE
At least seven people were feared dead Sunday after part of the Sasago Tunnel, about 50 miles west of Tokyo, in the city of Otsuki, collapsed. About three vehicles appear to have been crushed under the concrete that fell from the ceiling of the 3-mile tunnel. Agency and police officials said it remained unclear why the 150- to 200-foot section of eight-inch-thick concrete, weighing about 180 tons, suddenly fell. [New York Times]
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10. KARDASHIAN INCITES PROTEST IN BAHRAIN
Reality TV star Kim Kardashian caused a stir with her appearance in Bahrain on Sunday, where she traveled to promote the opening of a milkshake franchise. Some adoring fans paid up to $1,200 to attend her event, while some 100 Islamists protested her presence in their country. A group of conservative Bahraini parliamentarians tried last week to put forth a ban on Kardashian in the country, citing her "bad reputation," but the motion gained no traction and was not put to a vote. Kardashian was criticized for championing Bahrain's leadership despite a spate of brutal crackdowns against anti-government protesters over the past year. [CNN

 

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