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10 things you need to know this Tuesday

Tuesday - 12/17/2013, 5:16am  ET

WASHINGTON - What's everyone talking about today? Here's a quick breakdown to keep you in the loop:

  1. Why an NSA program may be unconstitutional

    A judge says the collection of phone records likely violates a ban on unreasonable search.

  2. Softer spending cuts gain ground with GOP

    Democrats are hopeful the bipartisan budget legislation will gain 60 votes needed to pass by week's end.

  3. Syria upheaval spurs U.N. To issue biggest request ever

    Donors are asked for $6.5 billion to help nearly 9 million Syrian refugees - a record amount for a single crisis.

  4. Ukraine street protests hide deeper problems

    Without cash and cheaper natural gas, public finances will be increasingly untenable and could lead the country toward a default next year.

  5. Who could be headed for divorce

    Republican leaders and several hard-right groups show signs of a political breakup, complete with bitter name-calling and reprisals against one another.

  6. Antibacterial soaps could be a wash.

    Decades of study find no evidence they prevent the spread of germs: Now the U.S. wants proof the cleansers don't in fact harm people.

  7. Paint companies to pay $1.1 billion to get the lead out

    A Calif. judge rules the defendants sold paint "with actual and constructive knowledge that it was harmful."

  8. Mega Millions jackpot surges to $586 million

    Ticket sales push prize toward a record; it could pass the once- unthinkable $1 billion mark by Christmas Eve should nobody win before then.

  9. What a judge's order means for Chris Brown

    The singer will have to finish rehab and his community service obligation for his 2009 attack on Rihanna.

  10. Olympic fundraising mittens made in China

    The new wardrobe malfunction follows a similar discovery about the U.S. team's uniforms two years ago.

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