(August 30) Today's Top Headlines - Top 10 stories of the day - The Explorer: Today's Headlines

(August 30) Today's Top Headlines - Top 10 stories of the day

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Posted: Friday, August 30, 2013 9:34 am

1. Hollande offers support for potential U.S. strike on Syria

French President François Hollande on Friday offered strong support for international military action against the Syrian government, just a day after the British Parliament rejected Prime Minister David Cameron's call for intervention. A chemical attack last week attributed to Syrian forces "must not go unpunished," Hollande said in an interview with Le Monde. Germany, meanwhile, has no plans to offer such support. President Obama is said to be preparing for a surgical strike in Syria despite U.S. officials' remarks that the evidence against Assad is "not a slam dunk." [The New York Times]

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2. Same-sex married couples will get federal tax recognition

The U.S. Department of Treasury announced Thursday that it will recognize same-sex couples' marriages for tax purposes even if they live in a state that does not. The decision was prompted by the Supreme Court's ruling to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act in June, and provides a uniform policy for the IRS. [Huffington Post]

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3. Cooler weather aids firefighters battling California's Rim Fire

Fire crews battling the massive Rim Fire near California's Yosemite National Park are taking advantage of cooler weather and lighter winds, which is slowing the spread of flames just before holiday weekend crowds arrive. Progress came Thursday as containment lines were extended around 30 percent of the fire's perimeter. The fire has a footprint that exceeds the land area of Chicago and ranks as the sixth-largest California wildfire on record. [Reuters]

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4. The Obama administration won't block Colorado's and Washington's marijuana laws

The Obama administration said Thursday that it would not challenge laws legalizing marijuana in Colorado and Washington state as long as those states maintain strict rules involving the sale and distribution of the drug. Last fall, Washington and Colorado approved initiatives to become the first states to legalize the drug for recreational use. Until Thursday, the administration had remained silent about those initiatives. [The Washington Post]

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5. Fast-food workers stage largest demonstration to date

Fast-food workers formed picket lines in about 60 U.S. cities, including New York, Chicago, and Detroit, on Thursday, marking the largest protests yet in their quest for higher wages. Workers are calling for the right to unionize without interference from employers and for pay of $15 an hour. That's more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour for full-time employees. [Associated Press]

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6. Johnson & Johnson plans to add new warnings to Tylenol bottles

Johnson & Johnson said Thursday that it will add a red warning to caps of Tylenol to reinforce the risks of taking too much of the painkiller. The alerts, which read "Contains Acetaminophen" and "Always Read the Label," will appear on the caps of Extra Strength Tylenol beginning in October. The message will reinforce existing warnings that the over-the-counter pill contains the ingredient acetaminophen, which has been linked to fatal liver failure. Acetaminophen overdose is the most-common cause of liver failure in the U.S. [Bloomberg]

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7. Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney dies

Seamus Heaney, Ireland's foremost poet and winner of the Nobel literature prize in 1995, died Friday at 74. He had been recuperating from a stroke since 2006. The Northern Ireland-born Heaney was widely considered Ireland's greatest poet since William Butler Yeats. He wrote 13 collections of poetry, two plays, four prose works on the process of poetry, and many other works. Heaney was the third Irishman to win the Nobel Prize for literature, joining Yeats and Samuel Beckett. [ABC News]

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8. Kim Jong Un's girlfriend was allegedly executed by firing squad

An unconfirmed report out of South Korea alleges that an ex-girlfriend of North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un was executed by a firing squad for violating national laws against pornography by "videotaping [herself and Kim] having sex and selling the videos." The story ran in South Korea's English-language newspaper Chosun Ilbo, which reported that Hyon Song Wol, a singer best known for her 2005 pop hit "Excellent Horse-Like Lady," was one of 12 well-known North Korean performers who were executed on Aug. 20. [NBC News]

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9. Rafael Nadal advances to the third round of the U.S. Open

Rafael Nadal beat his his second-round opponent, Rogerio Dutra Silva, Thursday night at the U.S. Open, taking the final 12 games. He will face Ivan Dodig in the third round. [USA TODAY]

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10. Google co-founder Sergey Brin and his wife split up

Google co-founder Sergey Brin and his wife of six years, 23andMe co-founder and CEO Anne Wojcicki, have split up. A reported prenuptial agreement means there will be little, if any, impact on Google's financials if they ultimately divorce. The couple, who have two children, had been living apart for several months. Sources also say that Brin has become romantically involved with another employee at Google. [Forbes]

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