10 things you need to know today: October 27, 2015

The GOP and the White House strike a budget deal, Navy ship sails by disputed South China Sea islands, and more

An aerial photo of one of the disputed islands in the South China Sea.
(Image credit: Ritchie B. Tongo/Pool Photo via AP, File)

1. White House and GOP reach budget agreement

Congressional Republicans and the White House reached a tentative budget deal late Monday, potentially averting the chance of another government shutdown before President Obama leaves office. The $80 billion, two-year agreement would raise the debt limit and roll back some controversial 2011 automatic spending cuts, raising both defense and social spending a bit. The package still faces some opposition within both parties. A vote could come as early as Wednesday.

Los Angeles Times The Hill

2. Ben Carson takes national lead in new poll

Ben Carson might be the new frontrunner in the Republican presidential race. A New York Times/CBS News survey released Tuesday shows the retired neurosurgeon taking a narrow lead nationally, beating former poll leader Donald Trump 26 percent to 22 percent. While that lead lies within the poll's margin of error, The New York Times notes that this is the first time that Trump hasn't led the field in months. Two other recent polls showed the retired neurosurgeon extending a large lead over Trump in Iowa.

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3. Navy ship sails by disputed South China Sea islands

A U.S. Navy destroyer on Tuesday cruised within 12 miles of disputed islands where China has been building on reefs to solidify its territorial claims in the South China Sea. China called the move dangerous and provocative, but it was not the first U.S. show of force in the region. Last week, dozens of U.S. and Japanese warships conducted a high-profile exercise. China's sovereignty claims in the Spratly Islands would give it control over resources and fishing rights in the disputed waters.

The Washington Post USA Today

4. Toll rises in Afghanistan and Pakistan following powerful earthquake

The death toll from the 7.5-magnitude earthquake that hit Afghanistan and Pakistan rose to at least 311 on Tuesday. The figure was expected to rise in both countries as search and rescue crews reached the hardest hit areas. The violent temblor shook buildings from Kabul to Islamabad, and was felt deep into India. The epicenter was in the remote Hindu Kush mountains on the border of Pakistan, Tajikistan, and China. At least 12 girls were killed in a stampede trying to escape their school in Afghanistan's Takhar province.

USA Today

5. Processed meats increase cancer risk, WHO says

The World Health Organization released a report on Monday confirming that processed meats, such as bacon, sausages, and ham, cause cancer. The WHO research concluded that 50 grams of processed meat daily, less than two slices of bacon, increased the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent. The study said red meats were "probably carcinogenic," although the evidence was limited and meat also had health benefits. Processed meats include bacon, sausage, hot dogs, salami, ham, and other products.

BBC News

6. University of Mississippi takes down state flag over Confederate symbol

The University of Mississippi removed the state flag from campus Monday morning after complaints from students and faculty over the Confederate battle-flag image in its corner. The Confederate flag, viewed by many as a racist symbol, has been the subject of protests across the South recently. The university community "came to the realization years ago that the Confederate battle flag did not represent many of our core values, such as civility and respect for others," interim Chancellor Morris Stocks said in a statement. The student government voted to request the flag be taken down. It will be moved to the Ole Miss archives.


7. Walmart asks regulators for permission to test delivery drones

Walmart applied Monday for permission to test drones for use in home delivery, curbside pickup, and warehouse inventory checks. Walmart, the world's largest retailer, has been conducting indoor tests of small, unmanned aircraft for months. Its application to the Federal Aviation Administration for authorization to conduct delivery flights in open air suggests the company plans to compete directly with online retail giant Amazon in pioneering the use of drones to fill orders.


8. Bail set at $1 million for suspect in deadly homecoming parade crash

A judge on Monday set bond at $1 million for Adacia Chambers, the suspect charged with four counts of second-degree murder for allegedly plowing her car into Oklahoma State University's homecoming parade. Four people died and more than 50 were injured in the Saturday tragedy. Chambers, 25, was initially detained on suspicion of driving under the influence. The judge on Monday ordered a psychological evaluation of Chambers, who reportedly told police she was suicidal. Chambers' lawyer says she "doesn't remember a whole lot about what happened."

USA Today Fox News

9. Persian Gulf could face "intolerable" heat by 2100

Parts of the Persian Gulf region could experience waves of heat and humidity so brutal that a person might not be able to survive being outside for several hours, according to a study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change. Since the gulf's waters already are warm, the region could be among the first parts of the world to face heatwaves pushing temperatures to "levels that are intolerable to humans,” even those who are most fit, the authors wrote. The region could be hit with such life-threatening heat every 10 to 20 years.

The New York Times

10. Video of officer dragging student in classroom sparks anger in South Carolina

Outrage erupted in a South Carolina school district after a video surfaced showing a school resource officer yanking a girl out of her desk and hurling her across a classroom at Spring Valley High School. The officer, Richland County Sheriff's Deputy Ben Field, was called in when the student refused to leave the classroom. She and another student face a charge of disturbing school, and Field was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.


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Harold Maass

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 Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.