(August 2) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day - The Explorer: Today's Headlines

(August 2) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day

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Posted: Friday, August 2, 2013 9:30 am

1. SNOWDEN ASYLUM PUTS OBAMA'S MOSCOW TRIP IN DOUBT

The White House, angry over Russia's decision on Thursday to grant Edward Snowden temporary asylum, is still debating whether President Obama will go through with a visit to Moscow this fall. The dispute over Snowden heightened Obama and Putin's disagreements on major issues, from the Syrian civil war and Iran's new president to missile defense and nuclear arms reductions. [The New York Times]

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2. AL QAEDA PLOT LINKED TO U.S. EMBASSY CLOSURES ON SUNDAY

An al Qaeda plot is linked to the U.S. State Department's Thursday announcement that several consulates and embassies around the world will be closed on Sunday. U.S. intelligence picked up signs of a legitimate al Qaeda plot against an unspecified American diplomatic post in the Middle East and other Muslim countries. [CBS News]

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3. S&P 500 AND DOW SET RECORDS AHEAD OF JOBS REPORT

The S&P broke through 1,700 points for the first time as stocks roared to record highs on Thursday, just before the government releases its monthly jobs report Friday morning. The Dow Jones industrial average and the Russell 2000 index also set all-time highs. [ABC News]

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4. ITALIAN COURT UPHOLDS BERLUSCONI'S SENTENCE

Italy's Court of Cassation, the country's highest court, confirmed former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's four-year prison sentence for tax fraud on Thursday. Berlusconi's sentence had already been reduced to one year under a law aimed at combating prison overcrowding. Many believe the divisive politician's future may send Italy's fragile government on the road to crisis. [The New York Times]

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5. IRANIAN PRESIDENT-ELECT CALLS ISRAEL A "WOUND"

Two days ahead of his inauguration as Iran's next president, cleric Hassan Rouhani called Israel a "wound" on the Muslim world that must be removed, and urged Iranians to support the rights of Palestinians. The remarks echoed those of outgoing president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose denial of the Holocaust and description of Israel as a "cancerous tumor" prompted international condemnation. [Reuters]

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6. STUDY LINKS CLIMATE CHANGE TO RISES IN VIOLENCE

A new study suggests that climate change is strongly linked to increases in violence around the world. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and Princeton University found that even small changes in temperature or rainfall correlated with a rise in assaults, rapes, and murders, as well as group conflicts and war. The journal Science published the results on Thursday. [BBC]

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7. SCULPTOR REMOVES CONTROVERSIAL MLK MEMORIAL QUOTE

Chinese sculptor Lei Yixin removed a disputed inscription from the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial statue that he designed on the National Mall. The inscription paraphrased part of King's "Drum Major" speech. Critics, including the poet Maya Angelou, argued that the quotation was taken out of context when it was paraphrased and shortened, and made King sound arrogant as a result. [Politico]

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8. GOOGLE INTRODUCES NEW MOTO X PHONE

Google announced a flagship Moto X smartphone on Thursday. The new 4.7-inch-screen device features "all-day" battery life, customizable colors, and an instant-start camera. The device is the first homegrown smartphone from Motorola since Google acquired the business last year for $12.4 billion. [Bloomberg]

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9. USPS MAY DELIVER ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said Thursday the delivery of alcoholic beverages is on his wish list as the USPS considers ways to raise revenue and save money after losing $16 billion last year. Donahoe said delivering alcohol has the potential to raise as much as $50 million a year. [Politico]

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10. FOX CHIEF MAPS OUT GLEE'S TREATMENT OF MONTEITH'S DEATH

Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly says Glee's tribute to Cory Monteith, airing Oct. 10, will "deal directly with the incidents involved in Cory's passing and the drug use in particular," though his character Finn (unlike Monteith) never had a drug problem. [USA Today]

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