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10 things you need to know today: December 8, 2012
The Supreme Court agrees to examine gay marriage, Psy apologizes, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
Same-sex marriage: Next stop, the Supreme Court.
Same-sex marriage: Next stop, the Supreme Court. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

1. SUPREME COURT TO WEIGH IN ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear challenges to California's ban on same-sex marriages and the Defense of Marriage Act, thrusting the court into the center of the debate over gay rights. The conservative-leaning court is expected to hand down a decision by the end of its term in the summer of 2013. [Associated Press]
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2. JOB GROWTH BRINGS UNEMPLOYMENT TO FOUR-YEAR LOW
The economy added 146,000 non-farm jobs in November, pushing the unemployment down from 7.9 percent to 7.7 percent, the lowest it's been in four years. Last month's job gains were far better than expected — economists had predicted a rather meager gain of just 93,000 jobs — partly because Hurricane Sandy didn't slow down hiring in the Northeast as much as feared. The news buoyed stocks, but just a bit, as the Labor Department shaved 33,000 off its previous estimate of October's job growth, bringing it down to 138,000. Also, some of the decrease in the unemployment rate stemmed from the fact that more people gave up looking for work. "The labor market is not getting worse," says Jacob Oubina, a senior U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets in New York, "but is also not getting much better." [Reuters]
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3. EGYPTIAN PROTESTERS STORM PRESIDENTIAL PALACE
More than 10,000 Egyptians broke through the barricade surrounding the presidential palace in Cairo on Friday as the country's political crisis continues to escalate. The liberal opposition vehemently rejected President Mohamed Morsi's call for talks to end the violent clashes between the Islamist regime and the opposition. The fight over the future of Egypt will likely continue to broil until at least December 15, when the country's proposed constitution will be put to a referendum. [Reuters]
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4. WHITE HOUSE CONSIDERS LEGAL FIGHT OVER MARIJUANA
President Obama, the nation's most famous former pot smoker, is reportedly considering taking legal action against Colorado and Washington that could overturn the states' new marijuana legalization laws. The new state rules, which allow those over 21 to possess up to an ounce of pot, are on a collision course with the Controlled Substances Act, the federal statute that outlaws marijuana use. Ever since the state laws were passed by popular vote on Election Day, the White House and the Justice Department have been "holding high-level meetings" to figure out a response. [The Week]
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5. AMERICAN AIRLINES REACHES DEAL WITH PILOTS
American Airlines on Friday announced that it had reached a new labor contract with the airline's pilots, setting the stage for the company to emerge from bankruptcy. It's widely believed that American Airlines will pursue a merger with US Airways as soon as it has put bankruptcy behind it, part of a years-long trend toward consolidation in the airline industry. American Airlines has already confirmed that it has shared private financial information with US Airways, as both sides explore the possibility of a merger. [CNN]
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6. BURNED BANGLADESH FACTORY HAD LOST FIRE CERTIFICATION
The garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where a fire killed 112 workers on Nov. 24, should have been shut down months ago, according to The Associated Press. When the factory's fire certification expired on June 30, Dhaka's fire authorities refused to renew it because just three of the building's eight floors were legal. A ninth floor was being built, said the factory owner. Though the factory had three staircases, it had no specially designed emergency exits. Fire extinguishers in the building either didn't work or workers didn't know how to use them, survivors said. Since the blaze, the fire department has inspected 232 factories in the same industrial area where the destroyed factory was located. It found that more than one-quarter of them — 64 — had fire code violations. They remain open, as owners are given 30 days to address the issues inspectors find. [Associated Press]
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7. BUS DRIVER NOT GUILTY IN FATAL 2011 NYC CRASH 
Ophadell Williams, the man behind the wheel of a bus that crashed in the Bronx, N.Y., last year, killing 15, was found not guilty of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide on Friday. Williams had fallen asleep while driving a group back to New York City from a Connecticut casino on March 12, 2011. He was found guilty of one count of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and will pay a $500 fine after time served. Prosecutors had alleged that Williams was at fault for not getting the proper amount of sleep, and that he was so tired that it was as if he were driving drunk. [Associated Press]
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8. KATE MIDDLETON'S NURSE FOUND DEAD AFTER RADIO PRANK
Kate Middleton's private nurse at King Edward VII Hospital, identified by Scotland Yard as Jacintha Saldanha, was found dead Friday of an apparent suicide. On Wednesday morning, Saldanha was pranked by two Australian radio DJs who pretended to be Prince Charles and the Queen seeking info about the Duchess' condition after she was admitted with acute morning sickness due to her recently announced pregnancy. The stunt quickly went viral, and the radio station apologized for the prank. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge released a statement saying they were "deeply saddened" by the nurse's death. Saldanha, an employee of the hospital for four years, leaves behind a husband and two children. [Daily Mail]
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9. MICHELLE OBAMA LEADS 2016 ILLINOIS SENATE POLLS
Public Policy Polling found that First Lady Michelle Obama leads Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) in a hypothetical 2016 Senate matchup. Obama leads Kirk 51-40 in the theoretical race. Kirk's approval rating, according to voters polled, is 34 percent, with a disapproval rating of 19 percent. Meanwhile, Michelle Obama tops out with a 60 percent approval rating, with 33 percent disapproval. The first lady has insisted that she has no political ambitions for her post-White House life. When asked if she would ever run for president in April, she replied, "Absolutely not." The data was released one day after Kirk announced plans to return to Congress on Jan. 3, almost a year after suffering a stroke. [Huffington Post]
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10. "GANGNAM STYLE" SINGER APOLOGIZES FOR ANTI-U.S. SONG
The YouTube sensation known as Psy, whose video "Gangnam Style" recently became the most watched clip ever, reportedly once performed an anti-American song in South Korea in 2004, calling for the murder of "fucking Yankees" to protest the U.S. presence in Iraq. Psy also reportedly smashed a miniature "American tank" onstage in 2002 to protest the presence of American troops in South Korea. On Friday, he apologized, saying, "I understand the sacrifices American servicemen and women have made to protect freedom and democracy in my country and around the world... I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused by those words." [The Week]

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