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Need to Know News: U.S. military leaves Iraq; Jobless claims at lowest level since 2008
December 15th, 2011
10:12 AM ET

Need to Know News: U.S. military leaves Iraq; Jobless claims at lowest level since 2008

Each day, we here at "Piers Morgan Tonight" put together the news you need to know – from what happened last night to what will happen today.

For December 15, 2011 – U.S. military leaves Iraq, jobless claims are at their lowest level since '08, final GOP debate before Iowa caucuses set for tonight...

• U.S. military lowers flag and leaves Iraq: "American troops lowered the flag of command that flew over Baghdad Thursday morning, rolled it, and placed it in a green and gray case, officially ending the controversial United States military mission in Iraq after nearly nine years."

• Initial jobless claims fall to lowest level since 2008: "Fewer Americans filed for their first week of unemployment benefits last week. So few in fact, that the number of initial claims fell to its lowest level since May 2008. About 366,000 people filed initial jobless claims in the week ended Dec. 10, the Labor Department said Thursday. That was a decrease of 19,000 from the prior week."

• Congress meet over spending and the tax-cut impasse: “In the first sign of progress in days of stalemate over the payroll tax extension and a government funding bill, House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell met privately for about an hour in the Capitol Wednesday night.”

• Stakes couldn't be higher in last debate before Iowa caucuses: "Thursday's Republican presidential debate in Iowa will be the final episode in one of the most popular reality television series of 2011. The GOP presidential race has been defined by more than a dozen debates that have been watched by millions of television viewers.Thursday's showdown in Sioux City will be last one before the Iowa caucuses kick off the nomination fight in less than three weeks."

Los Angeles Clippers land Chris Paul: “The NBA-owned New Orleans Hornets have reached an agreement to send point guard Chris Paul to the Clippers. While the Clippers will receive the four-time All-Star point guard to pair with franchise centerpiece Blake Griffin, the Hornets will receive an All-Star caliber guard Eric Gordon, veteran center Chris Kaman, forward Al-Faruoq Aminu and the 2012 first round pick from Minnesota that was atop their wish list of assets in these talks all along.”

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