(Nov. 5) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day - The Explorer: Today's Headlines

(Nov. 5) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day

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Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 2:22 pm

1. Gay rights bill clears a hurdle in the Senate

The Senate voted 61-30 on Monday to start debate on a bill that would extend protection against discrimination to cover gay workers. With the threat of a GOP filibuster out of the way, the bill is virtually assured of passing in the full Senate later this week. The proposal faces long odds in the Republican-controlled House, however, where Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) opposes it. [The New York Times]

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2. Plenty is at stake in off-year elections

Voters in six states are heading to the polls Tuesday to decide initiatives and referenda on everything from tax hikes to fund Colorado's regulation of marijuana (which voters legalized last year) to whether genetically modified food should be labeled in Washington state. There are also some big jobs at stake: In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie (R) is expected to cruise to reelection, Democrat Terry McAuliffe is favored over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia's governor's race, and Democrat Bill de Blasio is expected to beat Republican John Lhota in New York City's mayoral race. [The Washington Post, The Richmond Times-Dispatch]

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3. Huge crowds in Tehran rally against the U.S.

Tens of thousands of Iranians demonstrated outside the former U.S. embassy in Tehran on Monday, chanting "death to America" and stomping on pictures of President Obama and the American flag to mark the anniversary of the 1979 takeover of the embassy. It was the biggest anti-American rally the country had seen in years, and suggested that hardliners intend to fight against President Hassan Rouhani's historic effort to repair relations with the U.S. [Associated Press]

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4. New Jersey mall gunman commits suicide

A gunman who opened fire in a crowded Paramus, N.J., shopping mall late Monday was found dead at 3:20 a.m. Tuesday. Police said the suspect, Richard Shoop, had turned his gun on himself. Shoop, 20, reportedly had a history of drug abuse. Witnesses said he fired at least six shots. Nobody was hurt, but police evacuated thousands of panicked shoppers and workers. "It was frantic. Absolutely chaos," said Najee Waters, 19, a sales clerk. [Reuters]

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5. Kepler evidence suggests Earth-like planets could be common

Data from the Kepler space telescope suggest that 8.8 billion Sun-like stars in our galaxy have Earth-like planets orbiting in zones that could support life, according to a study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "If we ever get star travel, we'd probably see a lot of traffic jams," says lead Kepler scientist William Borucki. [Los Angeles Times]

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6. Connecticut student in samurai garb triggers a campus lockdown

Police at Central Connecticut State University sought a warrant Monday night to search the dorm room of a student detained after walking across campus in camouflage pants and a black mask, and carrying a large sword. "It was very scary to me," one student said. Another student said the man, an acquaintance, was just returning from a costume party. "For Halloween he was a samurai," the student said. [The Hartford Courant]

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7. Bangladesh sentences 152 to death

A court in Bangladesh on Tuesday sentenced 152 people to die in connection with a 2009 mutiny by border guards. Another 157 people were sentenced to life in prison, while 271 were acquitted. Seventy-four people, including dozens of military commanders, were killed in the two-day revolt, in which paramilitary border guards known as the Bangladesh Rifles demanded better pay, among other things. [Associated Press]

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8. BlackBerry takeover deal falls apart

BlackBerry shares plunged by 16 percent Monday after the company announced that a tentative takeover offer had collapsed and CEO Thorsten Heins would be leaving the company. Former Sybase chief executive John Chen will replace Heins on an interim basis, and Fairfax Financial Holdings, the company that had planned to buy the struggling Canadian smartphone maker, will invest $1 billion to help the company turn itself around. [USA Today]

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9. India launches mission to study Mars

India successfully launched a spacecraft on a mission to orbit Mars. It will take the probe 300 days to reach its destination, so, if all goes well, it should arrive next summer. Spacecraft sent by the American, Russian, and European space agencies have already conducted missions to the Red Planet. "This mission really brings India to the table of international space exploration," says Andrew Coates of the U.K.'s Mullard Space Science Laboratory. [BBC News]

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10. Dolphins star Richie Incognito suspended after ex-teammate's complaints

The Miami Dolphins said Monday that the team had suspended star offensive guard Richie Incognito for detrimental conduct. The move came after Incognito's former linemate, Jonathan Martin, left the team abruptly in midseason, reportedly because of bullying. ESPN reported that Martin's representatives had given the team and the league texts he received that were laced with threats of violence and offensive references to his biracial background. [CNN]

Compiled bytheweek.com

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