(August 23) Today's Top Headlines - Top 10 stories of the day - Today's Headlines - Explorer

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(August 23) Today's Top Headlines - Top 10 stories of the day

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1. ISLAMISTS PROTEST AFTER MUBARAK LEAVES PRISON

Islamist supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi are staging "Friday of Martyrs" mass protests, raising fears of another wave of violent clashes between members of the Muslim Brotherhood and security forces. At least 900 people, including 100 soldiers and police, have been killed in the last eight days. On Thursday, authorities moved Hosni Mubarak, the autocratic president ousted in 2011, from prison to house arrest at a military hospital, further stoking the anger of Islamists. [Reuters, New York Times]

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2. OBAMA PROPOSES RATING COLLEGES ON AFFORDABILITY

President Obama is on a two-day bus tour to introduce a set of proposals to combat the rising cost of higher education. A key element is a "college scorecard" designed to help students decide whether a school is worth its tuition and help the government determine where to spend federal aid money. Proponents say the scorecard would also give image-conscious schools an incentive to keep costs down. GOP critics argue that this could punish schools for innovating, and lead to price fixing. [Los Angeles Times]

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3. FIRE NEAR YOSEMITE QUADRUPLES IN SIZE

A wildfire engulfing rugged land in California raged out of control and neared Yosemite National Park on Thursday. Firefighters lost ground against the fire — which went from 5 percent contained to 1 percent by the end of the day — as it grew exponentially. The blaze, known as the Rim Fire, covered 63,000 acres late Thursday, up from 16,000 acres the day before. It's threatening 2,500 structures and has forced the cancelation of a popular Labor Day weekend bluegrass festival. [San Francisco Chronicle]

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4. NASDAQ OUTAGE HALTS TRADING FOR THREE HOURS

The Nasdaq halted trading for three hours on Thursday. The outage, blamed on a "connectivity issue," was an embarrassing blow to the exchange, which is known as the nation's high-tech market. The timing was bad — the incident occurred as the Nasdaq is courting traders to use its system and tech companies to list their shares on the exchange. The stock of Nasdaq OMX, the company that operates the Nasdaq, dropped by $1.08 to close at $30.46. [USA Today]

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5. U.N. ENVOY HEADS TO SYRIA TO PUSH CHEMICAL WEAPONS INQUIRY

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon dispatched a top envoy to Syria to help investigators get access to the scene of an alleged chemical-weapon attack that opposition activists say killed more than 1,000 people. If proven, the massacre would be the worst atrocity in the country's two-year civil war. The inquiry came as the U.N. said Syria had reached another "shameful milestone" — 1 million children have now been forced to flee their homes because of the fighting. [Bloomberg Businessweek, BBC News]

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6. ISRAEL RETALIATES FOR ROCKET ATTACK WITH AN AIR STRIKE

Israel bombed a militant target in Lebanon on Friday to retaliate for a barrage of four rockets fired across the border hours earlier. An al Qaeda-linked Sunni Muslim group — not southern Lebanon's Iran-backed Shiite militia Hezbollah — claimed responsibility for the rocket attack, which caused damage but no injuries. "Israel will not tolerate terrorist aggression originating from Lebanese territory," an Israeli military spokesman said. [Reuters]

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7. NYC COUNCIL CURBS STOP-AND-FRISK OVER BLOOMBERG'S VETO

The New York City Council approved two bills on Thursday aiming to curb the controversial stop-and-frisk policy, overriding vetoes by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. One of the bills would give people more options to sue if they feel they have been victims of racial profiling; the other creates an inspector general position to oversee the stop-and-frisk tactic and other police policies. A judge this month said the way city police used the policy was "racially discriminatory." [New York Daily News]

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8. PHOTOGRAPHER GANG-RAPED IN MUMBAI

Five men gang-raped a 23-year-old photojournalist in the Indian financial hub of Mumbai, police said Friday. She was hospitalized in stable condition. The woman and a male colleague, who was tied up and beaten, were photographing an abandoned textile factory when the assailants approached, asking if they had permission to take pictures. The attack was the latest in a series of assaults that have triggered protests and demands for new laws to curb long-ignored violence against women. [Associated Press]

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9. AFFLECK IS THE NEXT BATMAN

Ben Affleck has signed on to play Batman in Warner Bros.' Man of Steel sequel, the studio announced Thursday. The project, which will feature the first on-screen pairing of Batman and Superman, was announced at Comic-Con earlier this year. Speculation over who would portray the Caped Crusader had revolved around other actors — including Josh Brolin, Joe Manganiello, and Richard Armitage — so the selection of Affleck came as something of a surprise. The film is set to open in July 2015. [Hollywood Reporter, Forbes]

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10. RYAN BRAUN ADMITS DOPING

Milwaukee Brewer slugger Ryan Braun admitted Thursday that he took performance-enhancing drugs in 2011, the season he won the National League's MVP award. "It was a huge mistake," he said. Braun initially evaded punishment after testing positive for elevated testosterone because an arbitrator ruled that his urine sample was mishandled. Last month he accepted a 65-game suspension after being implicated in Major League Baseball's investigation of a now-closed anti-aging clinic. [ESPN]

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