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10 things you need to know today: October 1, 2013
The government shuts down, the latest revelation about the NSA, and more
 
A park police officer stands guard at the Lincoln Memorial, which is closed along with national parks, on Oct. 1.
A park police officer stands guard at the Lincoln Memorial, which is closed along with national parks, on Oct. 1. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

1. Government begins shutting down
Eleventh-hour moves by the White House, the Senate, and the House failed to result in a deal around the budget, leading to the first government shutdown in more than 17 years. On Monday, Senate Democrats flatly rejected multiple attempts by House Republicans to tie provisions of ObamaCare to a budget agreement, leading to the legislative impasse. Around 800,000 federal workers will remain on unpaid furlough because of the shutdown, and a million more will be asked to work without pay. [New York Times]
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2. NSA mines social media, too
The National Security Agency's reach is not limited to phone records and email correspondence, according to documents that Edward Snowden provided to The New York Times. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are apparently also routinely placed under surveillance, a practice which began in 2010 and allows the NSA to diagram subjects' whereabouts, companions, social interactions, and correspondence. [CNN]
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3. Tablet and e-readers use could be allowed during takeoff
The days of powering down before takeoff may be reaching their end. U.S. aviation regulators issued a report on Monday suggesting that airlines should allow greater use of laptops, tablets, and e-readers on board. Though newer planes are designed to withstand low-level interference from such devices, officials say that older planes could present a problem. The report was welcome news to Amazon, the prominent seller of the Kindle, which called it "a big win for customers." [Reuters]
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4. Syrian foreign minister claims rebels are eating human hearts
At the U.N. on Monday, Walid al-Moallem, Syria's foreign minister, alleged that rebel forces in Syria are al Qaeda-affiliated militants who eat the hearts of their victims, dismember them while they are still conscious, and send severed limbs to their relatives. In a remarkably undiplomatic assessment of the minister, the U.S. State Department in 2011 called al-Moallem a "shameless tool and a mouthpiece" of President Bashar al-Assad. [CBS]
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5. At least 55 die in Baghdad car bombs
A deadly wave of explosions hit Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad on Monday. The scale of the violence — there were 24 bombs in total — raised concerns that Iraq is beginning to mirror the devastating war being fought in Syria. Over 4,500 people have died in Iraq in similar bombings since April. [The Guardian]
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6. Lesbian kiss leads to arrest in Brazil
Brazilian congressman and evangelical pastor Marco Feliciano cut short a speech he was delivering to 70,000 spectators at a gospel festival to order the arrest of two women sharing a kiss nearby. In Brazil, disturbing a religious ceremony — the women's alleged offense — is punishable by up to 13 months in prison. The women objected to their treatment, saying that they were physically attacked upon arrest and that their right to freedom of expression was being repressed. [Dayton Daily News]
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7. NASA may launch a 3D printer into space in 2014
The 3D printer could be useful to astronauts in need of spare parts and tools while in space, NASA announced. The agency is developing a version of the machine hardy enough to survive liftoff and small enough to suit an enclosed environment. A 3D printer's ability to rapidly build parts could help defray the costs of missions and be pivotal in an emergency, the agency said. [BBC]
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8. Edward Snowden shortlisted for a prestigious human rights prize
Intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, currently residing in Russia, is on the shortlist for the Sakharov prize, Europe's top human rights award. Also in the running this year are Pakistani youngster Malala Yusafzai, and Belarusian dissidents. Bestowed by the EU's parliament, the award counts Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi as former recipients, and is worth about $65,000. [Fox]
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9. Canada to launch massive medical marijuana market
Canada is beginning to implement a legal free market for medical marijuana that's aimed at shutting down small-scale growers and replacing them with large, quality-controlled farms. The market will set the average price per gram of dried marijuana at $7.60, is expected to serve over 450,000 Canadians, and could grow into a $1.3 billion industry. [NPR]
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10. Cubs manager Dale Sveum fired
After two seasons, and with a year still left on his contract, Cubs manager Dale Sveum was fired on Monday. Sveum's successor will be the fourth manager that the Cubs have had in five years. Cubs officials let on that they believed Sveum lacked the skills to develop young players and displayed poor in-game decision-making, among other complaints. The Cubs finished this season with a record of 66-96, after last season's dismal 61-101, the first time in about 60 years that the team had lost more than 100 games in a season. [Chicago Tribune]
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Sharon Weissburg
Sharon Weissburg was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island and is studying Italian literature and American history at Boston University. Follow her @thekidette.

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