10 things you need to know today: December 9, 2015

Trump defends his call to keep out Muslims, Dow and DuPont near a merger deal, and more

Trump makes his case.
(Image credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

1. Trump defends call for Muslim ban

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump on Tuesday defended his recent call to bar Muslims from entering the U.S., telling MSNBC's Joe Scarborough that it was "common sense" given rising danger from Islamist terrorists. "You should be afraid of the other side, not my side," Trump said. Experts disagreed, saying Trump was inadvertently giving terrorists a boost. "They love him from the sense that he is supporting their rhetoric," Rita Katz of the SITE Intelligence Group told NBC News.

NBC News

2. Dow Chemical and DuPont in merger talks

Dow Chemical Co. reportedly is in late-stage merger talks with DuPont Co. A deal between the two U.S. powerhouses would create a chemicals giant worth $120 billion, provided the merger passes regulators' scrutiny. The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the negotiations, said a deal could be announced "in coming days." The combined company might then split into three, with businesses focused on agricultural chemicals, material sciences, and specialty products.

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The Wall Street Journal Bloomberg

3. Suspects got $28,500 online loan shortly before San Bernardino massacre

A $28,500 transfer from Prosper, a peer-to-peer online lender, was made into the bank account of Syed Rizwan Farook about two weeks before he and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, allegedly gunned down 14 people in San Bernardino, California, a source said Tuesday. Authorities say the married couple, who were killed the same day by police, were radicalized Muslims without formal links to a terror group.

Reuters

4. House approves higher scrutiny for some U.S. visitors

The House on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a bill that would increase scrutiny on people traveling to the U.S. from 38 so-called visa-waiver countries, from which people can visit the U.S. without visas. Travelers from these countries who have visited "high-risk" nations, including Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Sudan, since March 2011, or who have dual citizenship, would have to submit to an interview at a U.S. consulate, like travelers from other countries do. The goal, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) said, is to "help neutralize the threat from foreign terrorists entering our country."

USA Today

5. 80 Boston College students fall ill after eating at Chipotle

Boston College said Tuesday that 80 students had fallen ill after eating at a Chipotle restaurant over the weekend. A day earlier the school had said 30 students had become sick. Chipotle temporarily shut the outlet, located in Boston's Cleveland Circle. The Mexican-grill chain said the illnesses were not caused by E. coli. "There are no reports of illness from any other restaurants, and the pattern here looks like norovirus isolated to one restaurant," spokesman Chris Arnold said.

Reuters

6. Final Venezuela vote results give opposition legislative supermajority

The Venezuelan opposition's landslide election victory got bigger on Tuesday, when electoral officials announced that the coalition had won a supermajority in the National Assembly. The opposition won 112 of the 167 seats in the Sunday vote, with the ruling socialists taking only 55. The two-thirds majority will give the opposition greater leverage to reduce the power of President Nicolas Maduro, the hand-picked successor of the late Hugo Chavez, who led socialists into power 17 years ago.

The Associated Press

7. Trump surges in New Hampshire

Donald Trump widened his lead over the rest of the Republican presidential field in the latest poll of the party's voters in early-voting New Hampshire. The CNN/WBUR survey, released Tuesday, put Trump ahead of his nearest rivals by more than a 2-to-1 margin, with 32 percent support, up from 26 percent in November. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) was next with 14 percent. N.J. Gov. Chris Christie was next with 9 percent, followed by former Florida governor Jeb Bush with 8 percent. The poll was almost entirely taken before Trump's controversial call to bar Muslims from entering the U.S.

CNN The New York Times

8. U.S. to look into report that Iran violated missile-test ban

U.S. officials said Tuesday they were conducting a "serious review" of Iran's alleged latest missile test, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Powers, said Tuesday. The country reportedly tested a medium-range ballistic missile on Nov. 21. A 2010 United Nations Security Council resolution banned all ballistic missile tests by Iran. The measure remains in force until Tehran's nuclear deal with six world powers, including the U.S., takes effect.

Reuters

9. Yahoo reportedly decides to seek sale of core business, not Alibaba stake

Yahoo has decided to hold off on selling its $30-billion-plus stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, CNBC reported Tuesday. Yahoo reportedly had been hesitant to move forward with the spin-off of Alibaba due to concerns of a potentially massive tax bill. Instead, the struggling internet company will explore the possibility of selling core business of search, email, and high-traffic websites, including Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance, and Tumblr. Yahoo shares jumped by more than 2 percent after hours on the news.

CNBC

10. Eagles of Death Metal return to Paris concert hall attacked by terrorists

Members of the American rock band Eagles of Death Metal placed flowers at a makeshift memorial outside the Bataclan concert hall in Paris on Tuesday, the first time they had returned since terrorist gunmen stormed the building while the band was playing. Eighty-nine people were killed, including the band's merchandise manager, Nick Alexander. When asked how he felt, the band's singer and guitarist, Jesse Hughes, shook his head.

The New York Times

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