10 things you need to know today: October 22, 2012

The Week
Lance Armstrong speaks before the Livestrong Challenge Ride in Austin on Oct. 21: The International Cycling Union announced Monday that it will strip the cyclist of his seven Tour de France titles for alleged doping.
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Lance Armstrong speaks before the Livestrong Challenge Ride in Austin on Oct. 21: The International Cycling Union announced Monday that it will strip the cyclist of his seven Tour de France titles for alleged doping.

Lance Armstrong is stripped of his titles, Obama and Romney will debate in Florida, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion

1. CYCLING UNION STRIPS ARMSTRONG'S TITLES
The International Cycling Union, the sport's governing body, agreed on Monday to strip retired cyclist Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles, saying that Armstrong "has no place in cycling." The decision follows this month's finding by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that there is "overwhelming" evidence that Armstrong was involved as a professional cyclist in "the most sophisticated, professionalized, and successful doping program." Armstrong has consistently denied allegations of doping that have dogged him for much of his career. [CNN]
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2. OBAMA AND ROMNEY TIED ENTERING FINAL DEBATE
In what is expected to be the final major event in the presidential campaign, President Obama and his GOP rival, Mitt Romney, are meeting in Boca Raton, Fla., Monday night for their third and final debate. The televised confrontation will focus on foreign policy, which has taken a back seat to the economy in the campaign. Still, any major flub or triumph could prove critical, as the candidates are entering the debate essentially tied in the polls after two earlier debates, national conventions, and an estimated $750 million in TV ad spending focusing on winning over voters in nine swing states that could tip the vote. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
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SEE ALSO: 10 things you need to know today: October 15, 2012

3. GUNMAN KILLS THREE IN SPA SHOOTING
Police say that a 45-year-old former Marine and car salesman, Radcliffe Haughton, walked into the Azana Salon and Spa in the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield and shot seven women, killing three of them before fatally shooting himself. Investigators believe the deadly attack at the salon, where Haughton's estranged wife, Zina, worked as a hair stylist, was an offshoot of domestic violence. Zina Haughton had recently secured a four-year restraining order against her husband. Police have not released the names of any of the victims; the four women wounded in the shooting are all expected to survive. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
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4. LEBANON CRISIS SPREADS AFTER ASSASSINATION
Lebanese troops battled gunmen in Beirut suburbs on Monday as the country sank deeper into a political crisis following the assassination of a senior intelligence official, Brigadier General Wissam al-Hassan, in a car bombing last week. Four people were also reportedly killed in clashes in the northern city of Tripoli. The violence fueled fears that the civil war in neighboring Syria was spilling over the border and rekindling sectarian divisions in Lebanon, upsetting a fragile political balance. [Reuters]
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SEE ALSO: The EU's puzzling Nobel Peace Prize win: First reactions

5. ASSAD AND REBELS BALK AT SYRIAN CEASEFIRE
A car bomb exploded and killed 13 people Sunday in Damascus, Syria's capital, as U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi met with President Bashar al-Assad to discuss a ceasefire. Brahimi is trying to get Assad and the rebels trying to topple him to agree to stop fighting during the four-day Eid al-Adha Muslim holiday, which starts Friday. The Syrian government says it supports the envoy's efforts. Brahimi says he has discussed his truce proposal with opposition leaders, who have given him "promises" but no "commitment" to suspend fighting. [Voice of America]
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6. JORDAN FOILS TERRORIST PLOT
Jordan's government says it has arrested 11 men linked to al Qaeda's Iraq affiliate who were plotting a major terrorist attack that was to include near-simultaneous strikes similar to the Mumbai attacks of 2008. The government says the alleged plotters, all Jordanian nationals, had amassed a huge arsenal of explosives and weapons from the battlefield in neighboring Syria, and intended to divert security forces with attacks on shopping centers and cafes, then launch a wave of attacks against government buildings and embassies, including America's. [Telegraph]
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SEE ALSO: The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize: Who should win?

7. APPLE READIES HALL FOR UNVEILING
Apple has begun putting up decorations in a theater in San Jose, Calif., for its long-awaited Tuesday media event, where the iPhone-maker is expected to unveil a smaller, cheaper, 7.85-inch version of its wildly successful iPad tablet. The company last week sent out invitations saying "we've got a little more to show you," although it hasn't confirmed the long-awaited iPad Mini would be the focus of the event. Analysts say Apple also might be introducing a new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and new iMac and Mac Mini models. [Wall Street Pit]
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8. CASTRO LETTER REFUTES DEATH REPORTS
Cuba's state-run press on Monday published a letter attributed to Fidel Castro, in which the former Cuban leader blasted reports that he was dead or near death as "stupidities" spread by his countries enemies and gullible news agencies. Last week, Miami's Spanish-language El Nuevo Herald quoted a doctor saying the aging revolutionary was in a vegetative state after a massive stroke. The article, in Communist Party newspaper Granma, was accompanied by photographs showing Castro walking outside wearing a straw hat. In one image he held a copy of Granma from Friday as proof, Castro said, "of what liars they are." [Reuters]
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SEE ALSO: 10 things you need to know today: October 20, 2012

9. LONDON TERROR PLOT SUSPECTS FACE TRIAL
Three British men went on trial in London on Monday for plotting a campaign of potentially devastating suicide bombings. Security officials foiled the plan, prosecutor Brian Altman told a London court, but it could have been "greater than the London bombings in July 2005 had it been allowed to run its course." Fifty-one people died and over 700 were injured in the 7/7 suicide bombings in the London subway by four other British Islamists. [Reuters]
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10. LOHAN'S FATHER PUSHES FOR A GUARDIAN
Lindsay Lohan's father, Michael, says he plans to ask a court to appoint someone to look after the troubled movie star, according to TMZ. Lohan's mother, Dina, says the attempted intervention is a "sole act by my ex" who is using an "extreme antic" to get his name in the news. TMZ, however, says Lohan's management team and lawyers endorse Michael Lohan's attempt to get a conservatorship for his daughter, who he says needs help kicking substance abuse problems. [TMZ]

SEE ALSO: 10 things you need to know today: October 10, 2012

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