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10 things you need to know today: November 6, 2013
Christie wins re-election, Illinois approves gay marriage, and more
 
Christie deemed his second win pretty groovy.
Christie deemed his second win pretty groovy. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

1. Christie handily wins another term
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) trounced his Democratic challenger, state Sen. Barbara Buono, to win re-election on Tuesday. He was the state's first Republican to win the office with more than 50 percent of the vote since 1969. Christie, already heavily favored, virtually assured his victory with his handling of Hurricane Sandy last year. His plea for bipartisan cooperation and success among young, minority, and women voters fueled talk of a 2016 presidential bid. [CBS News]
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2. Illinois' legislature approves same-sex marriage
Illinois lawmakers passed a bill on Tuesday that would legalize gay marriage, putting the state a step away from becoming the largest in the Midwest to let same-sex couples get married. Having made it through the state House, the bill now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn, who has promised to sign it into law. Quinn, a Democrat, said Tuesday's vote "put our state on the right side of history," making Illinois "a place that embraces all people." [Washington Post]
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3. New Yorkers elect Bill de Blasio mayor in a landslide
Bill de Blasio was elected mayor of New York City in a landslide on Tuesday, defeating Republican Joseph J. Lhota, a longtime adviser to former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, by about 49 percentage points. De Blasio became the first Democrat to win the job in two decades. He said the margin of victory gave him a clear mandate to break with the business-minded focus of Giuliani and three-term mayor Michael Bloomberg and follow a "progressive path." [New York Times]
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4. McAuliffe wins tight governor's race in Virginia
Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a longtime ally of Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton, was elected governor of Virginia on Tuesday, narrowly beating the state's conservative attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, after a bitter campaign. The race was considered a bellwether for next year's midterms, with McAuliffe getting a lift in Washington, D.C., suburbs hit hard by the government shutdown and Cuccinelli claiming a boost from anti-ObamaCare voters. [Richmond Times-Dispatch, New York Times]
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5. Toronto's mayor confesses to smoking crack
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted Tuesday — after months of denials — that he had smoked crack. Ford said it must have happened in "one of my drunken stupors." Toronto Star journalists reported in May that they had seen a video showing Ford smoking from a crack pipe, and police recently found the video. Still, Ford, whose poll numbers have held steady during the scandal, says he won't resign. [Toronto Star]
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6. Bombs kill one at a Communist Party office in China
As many as seven small bombs exploded in front of a Communist Party office in northern China on Wednesday, killing one person and injuring eight. The official Xinhua news agency said the explosive devices appeared to have been improvised, "judging from the scattering of small metal balls." While there was no explanation for the blasts, Reuters notes they were the latest in a series of similar incidents, highlighting government worries about instability as anger rises over corruption and as China's gap between the rich and poor widens. [Reuters]
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7. Heat-trapping gases reach record levels
Levels of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming rose to a record high in 2012, according to a World Meteorological Organization annual report released Wednesday. Global CO2 levels have now increased by 141 percent since the start of the industrial era in 1750. "The observations highlight yet again how heat-trapping gases from human activities have upset the natural balance of our atmosphere," said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. [BBC News]
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8. Colorado marijuana taxes pass
Colorado voters have approved a 25 percent tax on newly legalized recreational marijuana. The first $40 million in revenue was earmarked for public schools. "We are grateful voters approved funding that will allow for a strong regulatory environment, just like liquor is regulated," Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) said. Voters in several cities, including Denver, Boulder, and Littleton, also backed local sales taxes on pot. [Denver Post]
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9. Famed Chicago chef Charlie Trotter dies
Chef Charlie Trotter, who helped put Chicago on the culinary map, died Tuesday. He was 54. The largely self-taught Trotter's innovations — he was a locavore before it was cool, and insisted on never repeating a dish — made him an instant hit after he opened his restaurant in 1987. Cookbooks and a PBS TV series later made him a national celebrity. Master sommelier Larry Stone said Trotter knew he had a brain aneurysm that was "a time bomb." [Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune]
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10. Oldest New York marathoner dies a day after the race
Joy Johnson, who at 86 was the oldest woman to run the New York City Marathon on Sunday, died in her sleep a day later. Johnson, a former gym teacher, stumbled and hit her head 20 miles into the 26-mile race. She finished the race, for the 25th straight time, in seven hours, 57 minutes, and 41 seconds. "She wanted to die with her track shoes on," her youngest daughter, Diana Boydston, said Tuesday. "And she did. Literally." [USA Today]

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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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