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10 things you need to know today: December 7, 2013
Unemployment drops, a deadly ice storm pummels the South, and more
A storm ice-locked Texas on Friday.  
A storm ice-locked Texas on Friday.   (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

1. Obamas to travel to South Africa next week
The first couple will visit South Africa next week to attend memorial services for Nelson Mandela. A tribute is scheduled for December 10, and the funeral will be held on December 15 in Mandela's home town of Qunu. [Politico]

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2. Unemployment falls to lowest level in five years
A new jobs report revealed that the economy added 203,000 jobs in November. The unemployment rate fell from 7.3 to 7.0 percent, the lowest level in five years. Much of the decrease can be attributed to federal employees returning from the shutdown. [Bureau of Labor Statistics]

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3. U.K. outranks U.S. for research quality
When it comes to research, what the U.K. lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality. A new report by publishing giant Elsevier reveals the U.K. outpaces the U.S. in research caliber. While the island nation accounts for only 0.9 percent of the global population, it houses 4.1 percent of researchers and 15.9 percent of the world's most highly cited articles. [The Guardian]

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4. Ice storm leaves hundreds of thousands without power
A deadly storm pummeled the South from Texas up through the Ohio Valley, Arkansas, and Kentucky. Multiple people were reported dead, thousands of flights were canceled, and 267,000 power outages were reported in the Dallas-Fort Worth area alone. [Chicago Tribune]

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5. Robinson Cano leaves Yankees for Mariners
After a seven-season run, 31-year-old Robinson Cano is leaving the Yankees. The former MVP reportedly accepted a $240 million offer to join the Seattle Mariners for 10 years. [New York Times]

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6. Republicans want to terminate emergency unemployment benefits
House Speaker John Boehner cited the November jobs report as evidence that emergency unemployment benefits should not be extended after their December 28 expiration date. The GOP faces staunch opposition from the Democrats and the White House. "As our economy continues to gather steam, now is not the time for Washington to put on the breaks," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. [Talking Points Memo]

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7. HIV returns to men 'cured' of the virus
HIV has returned to the two men thought to be cured of the virus by bone marrow transplants. The news suggests that HIV may hide deeper in the body than previously thought, as the men went several weeks without any trace of the virus. [Huffington Post]

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8. Facebook mulls 'sympathize' button
Facebook is considering a button for users who want to engage with something a friend shares, but don't necessarily want to "like" it. The sympathize button would address the awkwardness of responding to negative posts. [Atlantic]

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9. Spotify will launch free mobile streaming
Spotify users will no longer be restricted to desktop streaming. The Sweden-based music company is planning a free mobile version of its app, which was previously only available for a $9.99 monthly fee. This new feature poses a real threat to mobile radio stations like Pandora. [Wall Street Journal]

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10. Majority of stranded whales escape
Pilot whales stranded in the Florida Everglades captivated the nation this week. And while 11 of the 51 did die in the shallows, coast guard officials believe the remainder of the whales escaped back into the sea. [The Guardian]

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Monica Nickelsburg is a digital producer for TheWeek.com. She has previously worked for Transient Pictures, The Daily Beast, NBC, and Forbes. Follow her @mnickelsburg.

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