(Oct. 14) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day - The Explorer: Today's Headlines

(Oct. 14) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day

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Posted: Monday, October 14, 2013 8:41 am

1. Senate shutdown talks fall short

Senate Republicans and Democrats failed on Sunday to break an impasse on a stopgap spending measure to end the two-week-old government shutdown. Congress also must raise the government's borrowing limit by Thursday or risk defaulting on some of the nation's debts. The two sides couldn't agree on spending levels, but Republicans, who are suffering in the polls, also accused Democrats of "moving the goal posts" to humiliate the GOP. [CNNThe New York Times]

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2. Demonstrators protest closing of the World War II Memorial

Conservatives, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, rallied on Washington's National Mall on Sunday, blaming President Obama for the government shutdown that closed the World War II Memorial there. Demonstrators pushed past barriers and sang "God Bless America." Some waved Confederate flags and called for impeaching Obama. [Associated PressThe New York TimesCNN]

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3. Red Cross volunteers are kidnapped in Syria

Gunmen abducted seven Red Cross volunteers in Syria on Sunday, underscoring dangers faced by aid workers in the country's civil war. The Red Cross team was traveling in a convoy through essentially lawless territory in northern Syria that is mostly controlled by anti-government insurgents. It was the latest in a series of kidnappings in the area, where some armed groups use ransoms to help bankroll their fighters. [Los Angeles Times]

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4. Mambo Kings author Hijuelos dies

Cuban-American author Oscar Hijuelos, the first Latino to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, died in Manhattan over the weekend, The New York Times reported Sunday. He was 62. Hijuelos won his Pulitzer for the 1989 novel The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, about two Cuban brothers who emigrate and try to make it as musicians in New York. [The New York Times]

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5. Social Security increases will be unusually small next year

Social Security cost-of-living increases in 2014 will be the among the smallest since 1975, according to a new analysis by The Associated Press. The bump will be around 1.5 percent, the news agency calculated. That amounts to an extra $17 for the average recipient, who gets $1,162 a month. The exact amount will be determined after the Labor Department releases its September inflation report, which has been delayed by the government shutdown. [Associated Press]

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6. Pilgrims die in a stampede in India

At least 109 people were killed when pilgrims visiting a temple for a popular Hindu festival in India stampeded because of a rumor that the bridge they were crossing was about to collapse, authorities said Monday. Some of the victims were crushed, and others died after falling or jumping into the Sindh River below. Authorities fear that the death toll could rise because some bodies may have been carried down river. [The Wall Street Journal]

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7. U.S. economists win a Nobel prize

Professors Eugene Fama and Lars Hansen of the University of Chicago, and Robert Shiller of Yale won the Nobel Prize in Economics on Monday for their work on asset pricing. While prices of stocks, bonds, and other assets are impossible to predict in the short term, the Nobel committee said, these economists have shown that "it is quite possible to foresee the broad course of these prices over longer periods, such as the next three to five years." [Business Insider]

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8. Authorities find tunnel leading from Gaza into Israel

The Israeli army said on Sunday that it had discovered a mile-long tunnel into Israel from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Military officials said the tunnel came up near a kibbutz, and could have been used to stage attacks by Palestinian militants on Israeli civilians. Israel responded by cutting off deliveries of construction materials into Gaza. [BBC News]

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9. India gets battered by Cyclone Phailin

A mass evacuation is being credited with saving thousands of lives in India after Cyclone Phailin, the country's most powerful storm in 14 years, buffeted the coast with 125 mph winds. The death toll in the eastern state of Odisha stood at 15 on Sunday — the last major storm to hit the state, in 1999, killed 10,000 people. Aid workers said a million could need help, though, because the storm tore apart tens of thousands of homes. [Reuters]

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10. Brady lifts Patriots over previously unbeaten Saints

Quarterback Tom Brady threw a 17-yard touchdown pass with five seconds left to give the New England Patriots a 30-27 victory over the New Orleans Saints, dashing the Saints' effort to remain unbeaten in week six of the National Football League's season. The TD capped a 68-second, 70-yard drive — with no timeouts — after half of the crowd had already gone home. [USA Today]

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