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10 things you need to know today: December 15, 2012
A massacre in Connecticut shocks the nation, Israel's foreign minister steps down, and more in our roundup of stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut: Site of a massacre.
Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut: Site of a massacre. AP Photo/Julio Cortez

1. SUSPECT IDENTIFIED IN CONNECTICUT SCHOOL SHOOTING
Police have identified Adam Lanza as the suspected shooter who allegedly killed 20 children and several adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Friday. The New York Times says police have also questioned his brother, Ryan Lanza, who had been previously identified by numerous media outlets as the shooter. Adam Lanza is alleged to have begun his rampage at home, where he killed his mother, before going to the kindergarten classroom where his mother taught, killing many children inside. Lanza himself is also dead, reportedly turning his gun on himself. [The New York Times, Washington Post]
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2. TEARFUL OBAMA ADDRESSES THE NEWTOWN MASSACRE
On Friday afternoon, President Obama wiped away tears as he addressed the nation about the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. "Our hearts are broken today," the president said. "We've endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. The majority of those who died today were children." Obama urged the country to take "meaningful action" to prevent such tragedies, but stopped short of advocating for more robust gun control laws. [The Week]
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3. EGYPTIANS VOTE ON CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENDUM
An increasingly divided Egypt went to the polls Saturday to vote on a controversial constitutional referendum proposed by President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. "The path to the referendum has been marred by violent incidents on both sides as well as extensive institutional and political power struggles," as opponents feel the rushed document has "subtle wording that limits rights and gives too much political power to religious figures and institutions." [CNN]

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4. OBAMA SAYS CRACKING DOWN ON POT 'NOT A PRIORITY'
In a recorded interview with ABC News, President Obama said that cracking down on state laws like those in Colorado and Washington, which legalize marijuana for recreational use and go against federal law, is not a priority. "It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it's legal," he said. We have "bigger fish to fry." [Bloomberg]
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5. ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTER STEPS DOWN
Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, facing an indictment for breach of trust and fraud, resigned his post on Friday, writing on his Facebook page, "I know that I committed no crime," but by stepping down "I will be able to put an end to this matter swiftly and without delay and to clear my name completely." Lieberman is accused of promoting Israel's former ambassador to Belarus for another post after the ambassador gave him confidential information regarding an Israeli police investigation into Lieberman's activities. Lieberman will not face charges on a more serious case, in which he was suspected of receiving millions of dollars from international tycoons with business interests in Israel through companies formally led by family members or associates. Still, the embattled politician mentioned that he hopes to compete in Jan. 22 elections, suggesting that there could be a plea bargain. [New York Times]
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6. GOOGLE MAPS TOPS ITUNES CHARTS
After its release in the iTunes store on Thursday, the Google Maps app has gone straight to the top of the store's charts. The highly anticipated app has an average four-and-a-half star rating with 3,000 reviews. The free app includes turn-by-turn navigation, like its Android counterpart, as well as directions for public transport, integrated Street View, and a Google Earth view. [Telegraph]
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7. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA DROPS ITS NEW LOGO
After an uproar ensued over the University of California's new logo, which debuted this week, the school system announced Friday that it would be doing away with the new design. Reiterating that the logo was never intended to be UC's only monogram — the traditional seal would still be used on diplomas and letterheads — senior vice president Daniel Dooley nevertheless acknowledged that "it also is important that we listen to and respect what has been a significant negative response by students, alumni and other members of our community." [Los Angeles Times]
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8. OLYMPIC MEDALISTS LIVE LONGER THAN REST OF US
Shocker: According to a study published in the journal BMJ, Olympic medalists live an average of 2.8 years longer than people in the general population. Researchers compared the longevity of medalists from different countries, disciplines of sport, and amount of physical contact involved in the sport. The athletes' nationalities made almost no difference to their longevity, making the researchers believe they have a "survival advantage" because of meeting physical activity guidelines. [Medical News Today]
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9. SOUTHWEST AIRLINES TO ADD NO-SHOW FEE
Southwest Airlines, which remains the only big U.S. airline not to charge customers for changing their flight plans, will begin implementing a fee next year for those who don't show up for flights but fail to cancel their reservation before takeoff. Currently, Southwest imposes no penalty in that scenario, allowing no-show fliers to apply the full value of their tickets from a missed flight toward the purchase of a new one. "Customers understand that we all could benefit — customers and the company — from the opportunity to resell a seat," Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said. [USA Today]
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10. L.A. REID LEAVING X FACTOR
Epic Records chairman L.A. Reid will not return to Fox reality singing competition X Factor for season 3. Instead of judging up-and-coming musical talent, he will go back to his day-to-day role of running the Sony music label. "I'm looking forward to getting back to my core business and the responsibility of running Epic Records," he said. [Hollywood Reporter]

 

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