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Morning Briefing: Gun control ideas set to trigger Congress showdown

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks before he meets with representatives from the video game industry, in a dialogue about gun violence, in his office in Washington, January 11, 2013.

JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

A summary of what you need to know today, compiled by The Globe's news desk on Jan. 15, 2013

Pakistan orders arrest of PM

Pakistan's highest court has ordered the arrest of the country's prime minister over allegations of corruption. The allegations against Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, whose predecessor was also dismissed by the court in 2011, involves contracts around power projects. The news comes on the third day of mass protests in Pakistan, led by cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri who returned to Pakistan from Canada last year. The protesters are demanding the dissolution of parliament.

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Armstrong makes it official

Lance Armstrong has made official what many long suspected was true – performance-enhancing drugs helped fuel his astonishing success as a cyclist. In an interview taped with Oprah Winfrey to be broadcast Thursday, Mr. Armstrong admitted that he had used drugs, according to reports, reversing years of vehement denials by the seven-time tour de France winner. The admission is expected to trigger a slew of legal actions and claims against the disgraced cyclist.

Ramping up the fight in Mali

France is pouring more troops and equipment into the battle with Islamist rebels in Mali. France, which surprised the world with a swift intervention into the conflict last week, has 750 soldiers in the country. President François Hollande said he was prepared to "keep increasing" troop levels to pave the way to hand the mission over to the African Union, which is organizing its forces.

Biden set to release gun control recommendations

U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden will deliver his recommendations on how to tighten restrictions on gun ownership today, setting up a showdown in Congress. On Monday, President Barack Obama said that he supported a ban on assault weapons, and suggested he may use his executive powers to take smaller steps towards tightening the rules around gun ownership. The President also said he backed tougher background checks in addition to restrictions on high-capacity magazines.

Award nominees announced

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It's awards season in Canada. Nominees for the new Canadian Screen Awards will be announced this morning. The awards celebrate achievements in film and television and are an amalgamation of the Genies and Geminis. Nominees for the East Coast Music Association will also be released today.

Toronto budget debate begins

Toronto city councillors will begin debating the 2013 budget today, in what could be their last meeting with Rob Ford as mayor. For more, read this take by The Globe's Elizabeth Church.

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