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10 things you need to know today: December 6, 2012
Egypt sends tanks to Morsi's palace, Apple shares sink, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
Apple staff members cheer before the Oct. 20 opening of the new Apple store in Wangfujing shopping district in Beijing.
Apple staff members cheer before the Oct. 20 opening of the new Apple store in Wangfujing shopping district in Beijing. Feng Li/Getty Images

1. MOST AMERICANS, AND SOME GOP-ERS, BACK TAX HIKE FOR THE RICH
A new Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday found that 65 percent of Americans favor raising taxes on people making more than $250,000 a year. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told CNBC on Wednesday that President Obama is "absolutely" ready to go over the fiscal cliff on Jan. 1 if Republicans won't let tax rates rise on those taxpayers — the wealthiest 2 percent — as part of a deficit-reduction deal. Despite calls from many conservatives for GOP leaders to stand firm against hiking rates, a growing chorus of Republicans is encouraging House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to meet Obama's demand in exchange for deep cuts in federal health and retirement programs. "If there are truly real entitlement reforms that are going to preserve Social Security and Medicare for generations to come, it's going to be very difficult for me to oppose" raising tax rates on the rich, says Rep. Thomas J. Rooney (R-Fla.). [Washington Post
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2. EGYPT DEPLOYS TANKS AFTER FATAL CLASHES
Egypt's army deployed tanks and armored troop carriers around the presidential palace in Cairo on Thursday, after clashes between Islamist supporters and secular opponents of President Mohamed Morsi left at least five people dead and hundreds more wounded. Morsi's critics have accused him of making a dictatorial power grab to push through a new constitution written by his fellow Islamists. After days of protests, the Muslim Brotherhood and several ultraconservative religious groups called for a counter-protest on Wednesday, and angry mobs of Islamists came out to confront secular demonstrators camped out in front of Morsi's palace. Despite the violence — the worst since the ouster of longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak last year — Morsi's government says it will go ahead with a referendum on the constitution on Dec. 15. [New York Times]
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3. CLINTON HOLDS EMERGENCY MEETING ON SYRIA
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to meet with Russia's top diplomat to discuss the worsening Syria crisis. Russia is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The surprise meeting comes as intelligence reports warn that Assad's military has mixed deadly sarin nerve gas and loaded it into bombs that could be used against rebel groups. In Brussels on Wednesday, Clinton reiterated U.S. concerns that "an increasingly desperate Assad regime might turn to chemical weapons," or let them fall into the hands of al Qaeda-linked militants. [Fox News]
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4. TYPHOON DEATH TOLL RISES TO NEARLY 500
The death toll from Typhoon Bopha has soared to nearly 500 in the southern Philippines, as search teams reach remote communities that were flattened by the storm's deadly mix of hurricane-force winds, floods, and landslides. Nearly 200,000 people have been left homeless. Rescue teams found one survivor Wednesday who had been trapped for two days under rocks and debris left behind when a flash flood obliterated a tiny hamlet of coconut and banana farmers. The man, Carlos Agang, said he, his wife, and their four children were swept away in an instant. He doesn't know if anyone else in his family made it out alive. "It's a miracle that I survived," he said before being airlifted to a hospital with a broken leg, "but I might as well be dead." [ABC.net]
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5. APPLE SHARES SINK
Apple's stock price plummeted by more than 6 percent on Wednesday, its biggest single-day loss in four years. The company is being weighed down by several factors, including intensifying challenges to the iPad's dominance of the tablet market by cheaper devices, such as Amazon's Kindle Fire. Apple shares were long considered one of the most desirable tech investments going, but they've been dragged down by 24 percent since peaking on Sept. 21. Despite the slump, however, Apple shares are still up by 33 percent since the start of the year. [Reuters]
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6. WASHINGTON STATE PREPARES FOR FIRST GAY MARRIAGES
Officials in Washington state are bracing for a flood of applications for marriage licenses from same-sex couples on Thursday, as the state's law legalizing gay marriage takes effect. Washington was one of three states, along with Maryland and Maine, that approved same-sex matrimony by passing ballot initiatives on Nov. 6, joining six other states and the District of Columbia, which had already made same-sex unions legal through laws or court rulings. "This is a historic occasion," said Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman, a Republican. "Some of these couples have been together for more than 20 or 30 years. It's pretty moving when you hear those stories." [Reuters]
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7. MCAFEE DETAINED IN GUATEMALA
Guatemalan authorities arrested security-software pioneer John McAfee for illegally entering the country, and said they would expel him to neighboring Belize as early as Thursday. Police in Belize want to question McAfee in the murder of his neighbor and fellow American expatriate Gregory Faull, who had complained about McAfee's barking dogs. McAfee fled when police showed up at his seaside compound, triggering a bizarre, tech-era manhunt in which Mcafee, armed with dozens of cell phone accounts, eluded Belize authorities for 23 days while posting blog entries and sending out messages via Twitter before slipping over the border into Guatemala this week. [USA Today]
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8. BRAZILIAN ARCHITECT NIEMEYER DIES
Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, designer of some of the 20th century's best-known Modernist buildings, died on Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro. He was 104. Niemeyer achieved international fame as the architect of the main government buildings of Brasilia, a new capital created from scratch and inaugurated in 1960. He also worked on the U.N. building in New York, with Swiss-born modernist architect Le Corbusier. Niemeyer's style, with its sweeping curves, helped define a modernist identity for Brazil, and influenced generations of architects around the world. "Brazil has lost today one of its geniuses," Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's president, said in a statement Wednesday night. [BBC]
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9. GRAMMY NOMINEES ANNOUNCED, FUN. STANDS OUT
The Recording Academy announced the nominees for the 2013 Grammy Awards on Wednesday. Six acts tied for the most nominations, with pop-rock trio Fun., rising R&B star Frank Ocean, Mumford & Sons, Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Black Keys drummer Dan Auerbach each getting six nods. The edgy but floridly melodic Fun. will be the only candidate up for a sweep of all three top awards — Album, Record, and Song of the Year. "It feels like alternative music is back," said Fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff. [Associated Press]
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10. DRUG RULING SPELLS GOLD FOR ONE AMERICAN
American shotputter Adam Nelson might have just won an Olympic gold medal. Nelson took the silver at the 2004 Athens Summer Games, but, more than 3,000 days later, doping officials ruled that the athlete who beat him, Yuriy Bilonog of Ukraine, was guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs. A re-analysis of his urine sample detected steroids. Bilonog was one of four track and field athletes stripped of their medals when officials, using new testing methods, decided to re-test about 100 samples from Athens. Nelson said he was happy, but felt "robbed" of a crowning moment on the winner's podium. "That's something I can never replace," he said Wednesday, after hearing about the ruling. [New York Times]

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