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The Daily Need

Wednesday morning roundup


President Obama formally declared an end to the U.S. combat mission in Iraq on Tuesday night. Thanking the troops for “a job well done,” the president was careful not to declare a victory in the seven-and-a-half-year conflict, and stressed the importance of “turning the page” to focus on rebuilding the U.S. economy. The New York Times editorial board offered some sobering figures regarding the war’s casualties this morning, “including one number that American politicians are loath to mention: at least 100,000 Iraqis dead.”


A study published in today’s issue of the Journal of American Medical Association finds that the preventive removal of both breasts and ovaries could drastically reduce the risk of cancer for women carrying the BRCA1 and BRCA 2 gene mutations. According to researchers, women with either mutation have a 56 to 84 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer. Those in the BRCA1 group have a 36 to 63 percent higher risk of developing ovarian cancer, while the BRCA2 group was found to have a 10 to 27 percent higher risk. Many doctors are now encouraging women with a family history of cancer to get tested for the BRCA mutations.


Tony Blair gives a dishy exclusive to The Guardian on the eve of his biography release date. The former British prime minister comes out swinging against his onetime nemesis and successor by calling Gordon Brown’s premiership a “disaster.” Blair also admits to being blindsided by the “nightmare that unfolded” in Iraq, but stands by his decision to support the American invasion. “A Journey: My Political Life” will be available in bookstores on Sept. 2.


The InterAcademy Council’s review of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) conducted at the behest of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon delivered a sharp critique of the agency’s performance earlier this week. The scientific panel recommended that the IPCC reform its internal processes and procedures to better avoid conflicts of interest, and advised that the group strive towards greater transparency in the way it reviews climate change data and responds to critics.


Jittery investors, fleeing the turbulent stock market, continue to seek refuge in gold. On Tuesday, gold rallied to a two-month high, and, ended the session, “within $9 of it’s all-time closing high.”