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Chatter: Mitt Romney "completely wrong" about the 47 percent

Mitt Romney admits to being "completely wrong" about 47 percent of US voters, the UN Security Council says violence in Syria is threatening its neighbors, and the world's least-secret secret agent turns 50.
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Need to know:
Good news for the 47 percent of American voters who Mitt Romney said it wasn't his job to worry about: the Republican nominee has told Fox News he was "completely wrong" to say, you know, all that about almost half of the people who could make him president.

That backtrack in full: "In this case I said something that's just completely wrong. I absolutely believe, however, that my life has shown that I care about 100 percent... When I become president, it will be about helping the 100 percent."

"Completely wrong" is very different from "not elegantly stated," which is how Romney initially described his covertly filmed comments. It seems his campaign has been sufficiently emboldened by Wednesday's debate win to admit to a mistake.

It could just be enough to take some of the heat out of what until now has been one of the Democrats' most potent attack weapons – and certainly enough to have Barack Obama's supporters wishing that he'd deployed it when it would have hit hardest, on Wednesday night.

Want to know:
An American man shot and killed an employee at a hotel in Israel this morning, before being shot dead himself by anti-terrorism police.

The gunman, who hasn't been named, was reported to be a 23-year-old Jewish-American from New York. He was employed at the hotel in Eilat, one of Israel's most popular tourist resorts, on a work-study program.

His position there had recently been terminated and he was due to transfer to a different hotel, program officials said. It's not known what prompted the shooting, only that he grabbed a security guard's gun and opened fire in the hotel lobby, before barricading himself in the kitchen, firing on police, and eventually being shot.

Dull but important:
The United Nations Security Council has condemned "in the strongest terms" the shelling of a Turkish town by Syria's armed forces.

The Council issued a statement after its talks yesterday in which it urged the Syrian government to respect its neighbors' sovereignty. The attack, which killed five Turkish civilians, violated international law and highlighted "the grave impact the crisis in Syria has on the security of its neighbours and on regional peace and stability," the statement said.

Some council members wanted tougher wording but were reportedly blocked by Russia, which feared that calling the shelling "a threat to international peace and security" would be used as an excuse to send in troops.

Turkey's parliament has already approved direct military action within Syria for up to one year. Yet both Turkey and Syria say they don't want a war. They'll have to tread very carefully, as the UN is urging them both, to avoid one.

Just because:
The candidates for Venezuela's presidency have made their final appeals for votes on the last day of campaigning before the election this Sunday.

President Hugo Chavez, who has already had 13 years in power, said he needs another six in order to tackle poverty and inequality. His opponent, Henrique Capriles, urged voters to help him achieve his "big surprise": the unseating of one of Latin America's most dominant strongmen.

In a special series, GlobalPost looks at why this David-and-Goliath-style fight matters, both inside Venezuela and out.

Strange but true:
Congratulations to James Bond, who turns 50 years old today. (Though anyone who's seen Never Say Never Again would be forgiven for thinking that 007 must be lying about his age.)

Yes, it's half a century to the day since Sean Connery's "Jaemsh" first brandished his Walther PPK revolver onscreen. You can mark the day with us by learning about Britain's real-life spooks; or size up the six actors who've embodied the world's least-secret secret agent.

What's more, the occasion is a license (geddit?) to wish Mr. Bond a happy birthday in the villain voice of your choice. Go on. We won't judge you.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/chatter/chatter-mitt-romney-completely-wrong-47-percent

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