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Mourners pay their respects to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting outside an interfaith vigil in Newtown, Connecticut Sunday, December 16, 2012.Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

A summary of what you need to know today, compiled by The Globe's news desk on Dec. 17, 2012

President Obama shares in Newtown's grief

Newtown, Connecticut will mark its next, grim chapter today with the first of two funerals of children killed Friday's massacre. As the town prepares to bury its dead, the debate continues about when and if to ever re-open Sandy Hook Elementary, where 20 children and 6 adults were allegedly gunned down by Adam Lanza, who took his own life as police closed in. Plans are being made to send surviving children to a former school building in a nearby town. President Barack Obama came to share in the town's grief Sunday, saying at an evening vigil he would use "whatever power" he has to prevent a repeat of the killings.

Flaherty doubts there is a consensus to take on CPP reform

Federal finance minister Jim Flaherty will meet with his provincial counterparts today with the thorny issue of pension reform on the agenda. Mr. Flaherty signaled heading into the summit Sunday night at Meech Lake that he didn't think there was a national consensus to bolster CPP, despite strong support from some provinces. There are concerns that increasing contributions now would undermine an already fragile economy.

Pickton report expected to slam police

A long-awaited report examining how authorities handled the cases of women missing from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside will be released today. The report, two years in the making, is expected to be highly critical of police response to reports of missing women. Robert Pickton was arrested in 2002 and convicted in 2007 for murdering six of the women. Traces of DNA from 27 other women we eventually found on his notorious pig farm in Port Coquitlam.

'Super Tuesday' teacher walkout looms in Ontario

Thousands of teachers are planning to walkouts Tuesday, shutting down hundreds of elementary schools across Ontario in the biggest job action yet in the showdown between educators and the province. After a smaller series of walkouts last week, "Super Tuesday" will see nearly half Ontario elementary teachers walk off the job in an effort to get the province to back down on legislation that dictates contract terms and limits right to strike. The two sides have until December 31 to bargain, when the legislation takes effect.

Islamists take edge in constitution vote

Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi has carried the first round of the referendum to approve a new constitution for the country. The weekend results, however, show a sharply divided country, with just 57 per cent voting yes among the 8.1 million who cast ballots. The final round of voting comes Saturday on the document that liberals and secularists see as being dominated by Islamist concerns and containing insufficient protection for basic freedoms.

Incoming Japanese PM takes hawkish tone with China

Japan turfed Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Sunday, ushering Shinzo Abe and his conservative Liberal Democratic Party to power. Mr. Abe, a former premier, wasted little time striking a new tone for his administration, taking a hawkish stance in the recent dispute with China over an archipelago of islands. "The Senkaku islands are Japan's inherent territory," Mr. Abe said Monday.