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10 things you need to know today: October 25, 2013
NSA monitored phone calls of world leaders, Twitter announces its IPO price, and more
These two aren't too happy with the U.S. right now. 
These two aren't too happy with the U.S. right now.  (REUTERS/Francois Lenoir)

1. NSA monitored phone calls of 35 world leaders
The National Security Agency monitored the phone calls of 35 world leaders and about 165 other foreign phones, according to a memo unveiled by The Guardian. The leaked 2006 document, from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, comes after reports that the NSA eavesdropped on the cellphone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and millions of French citizens. Merkel and French President François Hollande are proposing to reach a pact with the U.S. on new ground rules for spying on allies. [The Guardian, The New York Times]
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2. Twitter announces IPO price
Twitter set the price of its eagerly awaited initial public offering at a relatively modest $11 to $20 per share. The company plans to sell about 70 million shares, raising up to $1.4 billion. The price values Twitter at about $11 billion. "They're trying to price this for a very strong IPO, ideally creating the conditions for a solid after-market," Pivotal Research Group's Brian Wieser tells Reuters. Wieser thinks the company is probably worth $19 billion. [Reuters]
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3. FDA announces tighter restrictions on prescription drugs
The FDA announced on Thursday that it was going to recommend tightening restrictions on common prescription painkillers, like Vicodin and Oxycontin. Changes, which would begin next year if approved, will include allowing patients fewer refills and making them take a written prescription to the pharmacy, rather than letting a doctor call it in. Three quarters of all overdoses are caused by prescription drugs. [The New York Times]
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4. HealthCare.gov contractors concede mistakes
The private contractors who were tasked with creating the online home for the federal government’s health-insurance marketplace conceded at a congressional hearing on Thursday that HealthCare.gov went live in spite of insufficient testing. Some blamed the administration for the ill-fated decision to launch such a faulty product. It was not our decision to go live,” said Cheryl Campbell of CGI Federal, which handled most of the project. The glitch-plagued website has been pilloried by critics across the political spectrum as the majority of visitors have struggled or failed outright to purchase health insurance. [Washington Post]
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5. Court rules that New York's campaign finance law is unconstitutional
A federal appellate court struck a blow to New York's campaign finance laws Thursday, ruling that a conservative group backing the Republican candidate in New York City's mayoral race, Joe Lhota, can immediately begin raising unlimited amounts of money. New York's limit of $150,000 per year for individual donations to super PACs probably violates the Constitution, as interpreted in recent rulings by the Supreme Court, the appeals court said. The ruling could have a minimal effect on the upcoming mayoral election, but could have a pretty profound impact on next year's New York gubernatorial race. [The New York Times]
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6. Cardinals beat Red Sox to even World Series at 1-1
Behind a dominant pitching performance from rookie phenom Michael Wacha, the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Boston Red Sox 4-2 on Thursday night in Fenway Park to even the best-of-seven series at one game apiece. David Ortiz slugged a two-run homer for Boston, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Cardinals’ pitching and clutch hits from Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday. The World Series now heads to St. Louis for three games beginning on Saturday. [ESPN]
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7. Microsoft’s quarterly profit jumps 17 percent
Microsoft gave Wall Street forecasters a pleasant surprise by reporting a 17 percent rise in profits in its latest quarter, jumping to $5.2 billion in net income. Microsoft reported impressive gains in ad sales for Bing, Surface tablet sales, and its corporate software business. Sales of its Windows operating system, however, decreased by 7 percent. [CNN Money]
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8. Bo Xilai's appeal rejected by Chinese court
A Chinese high court has rejected disgraced politician Bo Xilai's appeal of his life sentence for bribery, corruption, and embezzlement. Bo, once considered a future leader of China's Communist Party, was expelled from the Politburo last year after his wife was convicted of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood. The high court's decision had been widely expected. [USA Today]
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9. Fellow train passenger eavesdrops on former spy chief
In a case of the eavesdropping tables being turned, a passenger on an Amtrak Acela train out of Washington overheard some off-the-record interviews former National Security Agency chief Michael Hayden was conducting over the phone with journalists — and he live-tweeted them. "Hayden was bragging about rendition and black sites a minute ago,” tweeted Tom Matzzie, a former MoveOn.org activist who now runs a renewable energy company. "I feel like I'm in the NSA. Except I'm in public.” Once Hayden discovered the eavesdropping, he posed for a friendly photo with Matzzie. [CBS News]
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10. Orlando Bloom, Miranda Kerr split after 3 years of marriage
Lord of the Rings star Orlando Bloom and his 30-year-old Victoria's Secret model wife, Miranda Kerr, have been amicably separated for the past few months and are now making it official, E! reports. They have a son, Flynn, who is 2. [E!]

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