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10 things you need to know today: January 1, 2013
The Senate votes for a fiscal cliff deal, Hillary Clinton gets good medical news, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
Vice President Joe Biden arrives for a meeting with Senate Democrats to urge them to support a fiscal cliff deal. The Senate later passed the deal 89-8.
Vice President Joe Biden arrives for a meeting with Senate Democrats to urge them to support a fiscal cliff deal. The Senate later passed the deal 89-8. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

1. SENATE REACHES FISCAL CLIFF DEAL
President Obama and Senate leaders reached a deficit-reduction deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, and the Senate overwhelmingly approved the compromise in an 89-8 vote in the wee hours last night. The New Year's agreement would let income-tax rates rise on couples making more than $450,000. It would also renew unemployment benefits for millions of Americans, and soften the blow of automatic spending cuts scheduled to hit as 2013 begins. "While neither Democrats nor Republicans got everything they wanted," President Obama said, "this agreement is the right thing to do for our country." Passage is not assured in the GOP-controlled House, which will consider the measure later Tuesday or early Wednesday. [Wall Street Journal]
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2. HILLARY CLINTON EXPECTED TO RECOVER
Doctors expect Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to make a "full recovery" from a blood clot that formed in her head after she suffered a concussion in early December. Clinton, who fainted and fell in her Washington, D.C., home while stricken with a stomach virus, was admitted to New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City on Sunday after the blood clot was discovered. Her doctors said it was located between the brain and skull behind the right ear, and hadn't caused a stroke or neurological damage. They're trying to dissolve the clot with blood thinners, and plan to monitor how Clinton responds to her medications before deciding when she can go home. [Associated Press]
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3. NORTH KOREAN LEADER SAYS HE WANTS PEACE
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said in a New Year's Day speech that he wanted an end to "confrontation" between his communist nation and democratic South Korea. In a lengthy address aired on domestic television, the young leader called on "anti-reunification forces" in South Korea to stop being hostile toward his government. Kim's request for detente came in his first formal speech since South Korea's next president, Park Geun-hye, was elected two weeks ago. Park has said she'll resume humanitarian exchanges and cooperation on small-scale economic projects that were suspended under her hardline predecessor, Lee Myung-bak, but said bigger changes won't come until North Korea dismantles its nuclear weapons program, which Pyongyang says it won't do. [Washington Post]
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4. MORE CHARITY WORKERS KILLED IN PAKISTAN
Seven charity workers — six women and a male colleague — were killed in northwest Pakistan, an area where Islamist extremists are opposing the education of girls. Several of the victims were teachers. Four men on motorcycles reportedly pulled up next to a van carrying a team working for the Pakistani charity Ujala, or Light, near a health and education community center. The attackers opened fire from both sides, and fled. Last month, gunmen killed nine health workers taking part in a national polio campaign, prompting a United Nations agency and the World Health Organization to suspend vaccinations. [BBC News]
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5. FIRST GAY COUPLES MARRY IN MARYLAND
A wave of same-sex couples got married in Maryland immediately after midnight on Tuesday as the state's gay marriage law took effect. Voters around the country had rejected gay marriage more than 30 times before election day Nov. 6, when citizens of Maryland and Maine broke the streak. The victory was narrow in Maryland, where 52 percent favored letting gay and lesbian couples get civil marriage licenses while 48 percent opposed it. "This is better than I even imagined it could be," said Nina Nethery, 59, who married her partner of 15 years, Ruth Siegel, 64, at 12:02 a.m. [Washington Post]
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6. CHINESE REBOUND CONTINUES
A key gauge of China's manufacturing improved for the third straight month in December, adding to a series of promising reports suggesting that the country's economy will continue its recovery in 2013 after a nearly two-year slowdown. The evidence of expansion in the latest Purchasing Managers' Index came after another measure of manufacturing showed the fastest expansion in 19 months. "Most data points, especially the industrial earnings, have been pointing to an impressive recovery," economist Lu Ting of Bank of America Corp. in Hong Kong, said in a note. Still, he said, "investors should be wary of getting too optimistic in coming months." [Bloomberg]
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7. 60 DIE IN IVORY COAST NEW YEAR'S STAMPEDE
At least 60 people, many of them children, were crushed to death as crowds headed home after a New Year's fireworks display at a stadium in Abidjan, Ivory Coast's main city. Rescue officials said another 250 people were injured, and they expected the death toll to rise. Authorities could not immediately say what caused an apparent stampede near the stadium. [BBC News]
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8. NETFLIX'S HOLIDAY TROUBLES CONTINUE
Netflix was hit with a new round of technical glitches on New Year's Eve, as customers complained that they were unable to update their wish lists of movie rentals on the company's website. The troubles compounded a customer relations problem triggered by a lengthy Christmas Eve outage that prevented many customers from using Netflix's popular video-streaming service. Netflix apologized for that disruption, which it blamed on Amazon Web Services, and said it was working to clear up the latest problem, which didn't disrupt video streaming or DVD shipments. [Techcrunch]
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9. "TERRORIST ENCYCLOPEDIA" FOUND IN NEW YORK APARTMENT
New York City police say they found a substance that could be used to make bombs along with a document titled "The Terrorist Encyclopedia" in the Greenwich Village apartment of a young Manhattan couple. The pair — Morgan Gliedman, the 27-year-old daughter of a prominent physician, and her boyfriend, Aaron Greene, 31 — face weapons charges. Police say they found instructions on making bombs in the apartment, although it was unclear how much damage could theoretically be done with the materials they found. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said investigators are looking into whether Gliedman and Greene — whom one neighbor described as nice "hippie types" — have any ties to radical groups. [Associated Press]
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10. MARCHERS PROTEST HONG KONG LEADER
Tens of thousands of protesters, some wearing long-nosed Pinocchio masks, took to the streets of Hong Kong on Tuesday to pressure the city's leader, Leung Chun-ying, to step down. The Beijing-backed politician has been under pressure since taking office in July, as he failed to adequately explain building work at his home and raised suspicions of corruption. "CY Leung does not have the ability and credibility to handle even his own personal scandals," protest organizer Jackie Hung said. "How can he lead Hong Kong in a proper way with political and economic development?" [Reuters]

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