(Oct. 15) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day - The Explorer: Today's Headlines

(Oct. 15) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day

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Posted: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 8:46 am

1. Senators near deal on the debt ceiling

Senate leaders negotiated into the night Monday, coming close to raising the debt limit through February 7 and ending the two-week-old government shutdown. Opposition from House conservatives, however, could doom the proposal, which includes minor changes to ObamaCare but does not defund it. Democrats and Republicans have to raise the borrowing limit by October 17 to prevent a potentially catastrophic default on some of the government's debts. [New York Times, Washington Post]

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2. NSA reportedly intercepts email contact lists

The National Security Agency has collected hundreds of millions of email and instant-message contact lists from people around the world, including Americans, The Washington Post reports, citing intelligence officials and documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The NSA intercepts the contacts, which can be transmitted when a user logs into an online service, and uses them to map the connections of foreign intelligence targets. [Washington Post]

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3. Al Qaeda suspect al-Libi arrives in the U.S.

The U.S. has brought Libyan al Qaeda suspect Abu Anas al-Libi to New York to face trial for allegedly helping to plan the bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998, federal prosecutors said Monday. Al-Libi, 49, was captured by U.S. Army Delta Force soldiers on the streets of Tripoli this month. He has already been interrogated aboard a Navy ship. U.S. officials have called al-Libi "one of the world's most wanted terrorists." [CNN]

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4. Two dry-ice bottle-bombs go off at LAX

On Monday night, a dry-ice bomb exploded at Los Angeles International Airport. The device — a 20-ounce plastic bottle with dry ice inside — went off in an employee-only area a day after another such bomb exploded in a restroom in a secure area at Terminal 2, causing it to be closed briefly. Neither caused any injuries or damage. Two other bottles containing dry ice were found in the security area where the second bomb exploded. Considered relatively harmless from a distance, the dry-ice bombs could be dangerous to someone close by, airport officials said. [Los Angeles Times, NBC Los Angeles]

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5. Four of seven kidnapped relief workers are released in Syria

Gunmen on Monday freed four of the seven Red Cross and Red Crescent workers abducted in Syria over the weekend. The relief agency said it was still awaiting word on the other three Red Cross volunteers. Kidnappings are becoming increasingly common in the area, in northern Syria, where Islamist rebels are operating. Twenty-two Syrian Red Crescent workers have already died in the over-two-year civil war. [BBC News]

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6. Evidence backs up abuse allegations at New Mexico youth ranch

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said Monday that evidence found at a youth ranch for troubled kids supported allegations of abuse made by current and former students. Authorities won't release any details, but the Albuquerque Journal has reported that some of the students say they were beaten and shackled. State police found the ranch empty when they rushed there to investigate four days ago, but all nine students were later found safe. [Associated Press]

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7. Alleged pirate is lured into a trap with promises of movie stardom

A suspected Somali pirate leader has been captured after he was lured from Somalia to Belgium with promises of a role in a documentary that would "mirror his life as a pirate," prosecutors said Monday. The alleged pirate, Mohamed Abdi Hassan, known by the nickname Afweyne or "Big Mouth," is accused of hijacking the Belgian dredger Pompei and ransoming its nine-member crew for $3 million in 2009. [Associated Press]

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8. Florida plans to try a new drug for lethal injection

Florida is scheduled to execute convicted killer William Happ on Tuesday using a drug never before used in a lethal injection, despite fears that it might not work as prison officials promise. The drug, midazolam hydrochloride, is usually used by doctors to sedate patients, but Florida officials are using it to replace pentobarbital, which is in short supply, to render Happ unconscious. It's the first part of a three-drug cocktail. [Reuters]

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9. Earthquake kills dozens in the Philippines

A powerful, magnitude-7.2 earthquake struck the central Philippines on Tuesday, killing at least 67 people. Some of the victims were killed as they prayed in a centuries-old church. Authorities expected the death toll to rise as search crews reached the most devastated areas. [Reuters]

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10. Anthony Hopkins calls Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston the best actor... ever

Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston is still earning high praise two weeks after the series finale. Actor Anthony Hopkins emailed Cranston telling him he had just watched all five seasons, and that Cranston's "performance as Walter White was the best acting I have seen — ever." Breaking Bad isn't the only AMC show with enthusiastic fans, though. The Walking Dead's season four premiere on Sunday attracted 16.1 million viewers, a series record. [Hollywood Reporter]

Compiled by theweek.com

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