(August 9) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day - The Explorer: Today's Headlines

(August 9) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day

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Posted: Friday, August 9, 2013 9:19 am

1. STATE DEPARTMENT PULLS DIPLOMATS FROM LAHORE, PAKISTAN

The State Department evacuated most of its diplomats from Lahore, Pakistan, and moved them to Islamabad in response to a terrorist threat against the U.S. consulate. It does not appear that the latest threat is related to the one against U.S. facilities and personnel that prompted the U.S. to close more than 19 diplomatic posts in the Middle East and North Africa. [CNN]

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2. DRONE STRIKES CONTINUE TO KILL MILITANTS IN YEMEN

A U.S. drone killed three suspected al Qaeda militants in east Yemen, the third strike within 24 hours as Washington intensifies efforts to eradicate al Qaeda's Yemeni branch. On Wednesday, the U.S. and Britain evacuated staff from Yemen shortly before the country said it had foiled a plot by al Qaeda to seize a port city and two major oil and gas export terminals. At least 28 al Qaeda suspects have been killed by drones in the past two weeks. [Reuters]

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3. SNOWDEN'S EMAIL SERVICE IS SHUT DOWN

Lavabit, the email service used by former NSA contractor-turned-leaker Edward Snowden, abruptly shut down on Thursday as the company prepares to face off in court against the U.S. government. Lavabit allowed its members to send highly encrypted emails that would be nearly impossible to read, even if intercepted, without a password. Snowden used Lavabit to protect the messages he has sent since he arrived in Russia. [Huffington Post]

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4. TWO TSARNAEV FRIENDS ARE INDICTED

Kazakhstan nationals Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, both former UMass-Dartmouth students with ties to Boston Marathon terror bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, were indicted Wednesday. They are accused of obstructing the investigation by helping to get rid of incriminating evidence that Tsarnaev left behind in his dorm room three days after the terror bombing killed three and injured 264. [The Boston Globe]

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5. TWO OUT OF THREE WINNING POWERBALL TICKETS CLAIMED

Sixteen workers from Ocean County, N.J., hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, have one of the three winning tickets in the $448 million Powerball jackpot. Paul White, a project engineer from Ham Lake, Minn., claimed his third of a $448 million Powerball jackpot on Thursday. The third ticket was sold in South Brunswick, N.J. Each winning ticket drawn Wednesday night will share the third-largest jackpot in Powerball history. [The Washington Post]

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6. CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE THREATENS HUNDREDS OF HOMES

A rapidly spreading wildfire tore through the San Jacinto Mountains in southern California on Thursday, destroying at least 10 homes, threatening more than 500 other residences, and forcing some 1,800 people to flee. Five people were injured, while more than 1,000 firefighters, 13 helicopters, and six air tankers battled the flames as they pushed eastward. [ABC News]

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7. APPLE SEEKS UPPER HAND IN SAMSUNG BATTLE

Apple is trying to force Samsung's mobile devices out of U.S. stores. The company will ask a U.S. appeals court today to block sales of Samsung models that a California jury found violated patents for the iPhone's look and features. Apple and Samsung make almost half of all smartphones sold, with the two companies vying to be No. 1 in the U.S. [Bloomberg]

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8. WHITE HOUSE NAMES 16 MEDAL OF FREEDOM HONOREES

Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and 14 others will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom this year, the White House announced Thursday. More than 500 activists, athletes, musicians, and scientists have received the award since President John F. Kennedy created it 50 years ago. [The New York Times]

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9. SANJAY GUPTA BACKS MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, one of America's most prominent doctors, has shifted his stance in support of medical marijuana. In a post on CNN called "Why I changed my mind on weed," he says he was too dismissive of the "loud chorus" of patients whose symptoms improved with help from medical marijuana. He added that marijuana does not have a high potential for addiction compared to cocaine or cigarettes. [CBS News]

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10. ACTRESS KAREN BLACK DIES

Oscar-nominated actress Karen Black died Thursday at the age of 74. The Easy Rider star's husband, Stephen Eckelberry, announced her death on his Facebook page. Black was diagnosed with ampullary cancer in November 2010. [People]

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