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10 things you need to know today: September 21, 2013
The House tries to defund ObamaCare, Syria shares details about its chemical weapons, and more
 
The celebration may be shortlived.
The celebration may be shortlived. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

1. House votes to defund ObamaCare
On Friday, the Republican-led House passed a stopgap spending bill with a provision that would defund ObamaCare. If the Senate and President Obama both refuse to dismantle ObamaCare, which is essentially a certainty, the House will either have to come up with an alternative bill or risk shutting down the government at the beginning of next month. [Associated Press]
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2. Syria begins sharing details about its chemical weapons
The Syrian government has given a U.N.-backed organization some details about its chemical weapons, the first step in a Russian-U.S. plan to destroy Syria's toxic stockpile. The plan calls for Syria to hand over more details by next week or risk military intervention. [Reuters]
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3. BlackBerry to cut 4,500 jobs
In an attempt to cut costs, BlackBerry will lay off 40 percent of its workforce. The company also announced that it will report a quarterly loss between $950 million and $995 million next week. BlackBerry, which owned 51 percent of the smartphone market four years ago, will also stop making two of its six phones. [New York Times]
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4. Same contractor did background check on Navy Yard shooter and Edward Snowden
USIS, the largest provider of government background checks, was responsible for looking into the pasts of both Aaron Alexis, the 34-year-old man who opened fire at the Navy Yard earlier this week in Washington, D.C., and NSA leaker Edward Snowden. The company is under criminal investigation over whether it misled the government about the thoroughness of its background checks. [Washington Post]
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5. Storms kill nearly 100 in Mexico
Flooding and landslides resulting from Hurricane Ingrid on the Gulf Coast and Tropical Storm Manuel on the east coast have killed nearly 100 people in Mexico. In La Pintada, located near Acapulco, 68 people are missing after a landslide destroyed homes and schools on Wednesday. [Voice of America]
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6. Arctic ice melts to sixth lowest level
This summer, the amount of ice in the Arctic Circle was at its sixth lowest level since scientists began recording it in 1979. It was, however, 50 percent higher than last year's record low, but was about 24 percent below the 20th century average. [BBC]
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7. EPA announces new limits on greenhouse gases
New coal power plants would only be allowed to emit about half as much carbon dioxide as existing ones under a new plan presented by the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday. The new regulations, which could be put into place by next summer, have been opposed by Republicans and coal industry leaders. [NPR]
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8. Pope tells Catholic doctors to avoid abortions
Pope Francis criticized today's "throw-away culture" and advised Catholic doctors not to perform abortions on Friday. This comes a day after an interview made headlines by quoting the pope as saying that the Roman Catholic Church shouldn't be "obsessed" with issues like abortion and gay marriage. [The Guardian]
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9. Gold iPhone is already sold out
The gold-colored version of the iPhone 5s sold out on Friday, the first day it was available. Apple says it won't be able to ship more until October. Long lines formed outside of Apple Stores throughout the country, as customers waited to get their hands on the iPhone 5s, which features a fingerprint sensor, faster processor, and the new iOS 7 operating system. [CBS News]
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10. Los Angeles Dodgers criticized for celebrating division title in rival's pool
The Los Angeles Dodgers became the first team in Major League Baseball to clinch its division title this year by beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6, capping a wild season that started with a disappointing 30-42 start. The team celebrated in the pool located behind Arizona's right-center field wall, which a Diamondbacks player called "tasteless." [Yahoo Sports]

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Keith Wagstaff is a staff writer at TheWeek.com covering politics and current events. He has previously written for such publications as TIME, Details, VICE, and the Village Voice.

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