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10 things you need to know today: October 28, 2013
Rock 'n' roll legend Lou Reed dies, Republicans call for Sebelius to resign, and more
Rock legend Lou Reed passed away on Sunday. 
Rock legend Lou Reed passed away on Sunday.  (REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico)

1. Lou Reed dies at 71
Rock pioneer Lou Reed died in Long Island on Sunday at age 71. He had undergone a liver transplant earlier this year. The legendary songwriter and guitarist influenced generations of musicians, from Talking Heads to Patti Smith. His early work in the Velvet Underground produced just four albums before the band broke apart in 1970, but the music had a lasting impact on underground rock. Many casual fans remember him for his biggest later hit, "Take a Walk on the Wild Side." [The New York Times]
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2. GOP lawmakers call for Sebelius' job over Healthcare.gov glitches
Several Republicans on Sunday called for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to resign over the problem-plagued rollout of the ObamaCare website. The House oversight committee chairman, Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), promised investigations, and Sebelius is expected to be grilled by lawmakers this week. "The incompetence in building this website is staggering," Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said. [Los Angeles Times]
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3. New NSA spying allegations surface in Spain and Germany
Fresh reports on National Security Agency spying are roiling European critics. Spanish newspapers El Pais and El Mundo say the NSA tracked 60 million Spanish calls in a single month. A German newspaper reports that President Obama approved the tapping of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone three years ago, which the White House denies. On Saturday, Germany's Der Spiegel magazine reported that the U.S. tracked Merkel's calls as early as 2002, when she was opposition leader. [BBC News, The Telegraph, Deutsche Welle]
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4. Israel launches airstrikes ahead of release of Palestinian prisoners
Israel hit suspected underground rocket launchers in Gaza with airstrikes on Monday in response to the firing of two rockets at southern Israel. The exchange came after an Israeli ministerial committee on Sunday authorized the release of 26 Palestinian prisoners — some jailed for killing Israelis. The group would be the second released under a deal aiming to restart peace talks. Victims' relatives have 48 hours to protest the release. [The Jerusalem Post, Voice of America]
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5. Man accused of butchering mother and four kids in Brooklyn
New York City police arrested a 25-year-old Chinese man, Chen Mingdong, and charged him with fatally stabbing his cousin's wife, Qiao Zhen Li, and her four children, ages 1 to 9, with a butcher knife. A police source told the New York Post on Sunday that Chen, who was unemployed and had no legal immigration papers, was jealous of his relatives' more stable life. "The family had too much," the suspect reportedly told authorities. [New York Post]
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6. Storm slams southern Britain
Britain's strongest storm in a decade is battering southern England and Wales with hurricane-force winds of up to 99 miles per hour. Falling trees have left at least two dead, and a teenager is feared drowned after being swept out to sea. The storm also cut power lines and forced authorities to cancel hundreds of flights and shut down rail service in some areas during rush hour. The Dutch Meteorological Institute said the Netherlands could be slammed by the violent weather later Monday. [Reuters, Guardian]
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7. Car plows into pedestrians in Beijing's Tiananmen Square
Chinese police closed Tiananmen Square on Monday after an SUV crashed into a crowd of tourists and burst into flames, killing three people in the vehicle and injuring 11 pedestrians and police officers. Chinese authorities did not immediately comment on whether the incident was a terrorist attack. The car crashed in front of the main gate of the Forbidden City, where there is a huge portrait of the founder of Communist China, Mao Zedong. [Reuters]
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8. The late Michael Jackson's doctor goes free
Michael Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, was released from jail on Monday, two years into a four-year sentence for causing Jackson's 2009 death by providing the pop music legend with an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol to help him sleep. Murray, a former cardiologist, has lost his license to practice medicine in three states. His lawyers are trying to appeal his 2011 conviction, hoping to restore his reputation. [Associated Press]
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9. Red Sox tie the World Series 2-2
The Boston Red Sox tied the World Series at two games apiece on Sunday night with a dramatic 4-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. The clincher was a three-run homer by left fielder Jonny Gomes in the sixth inning. Strong pitching also helped, as did Red Sox star David Ortiz, who got on base four times and scored twice. Game 5 is Monday night in St. Louis, but Sunday's win guaranteed a sixth and possibly seventh game in Boston. [The Boston Globe]
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10. Fleetwood Mac's John McVie diagnosed with cancer
Fleetwood Mac announced Sunday on its Facebook page that it was canceling performances in Australia and New Zealand in November and December because founding band member John McVie would be undergoing treatment for cancer. The announcement of the bass guitarist's diagnosis came as the band, most famous for its classic 1977 Rumours album, had just finished the European leg of a world tour. [CNN]

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Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami HeraldFox News, and ABC News.

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