(Sept. 3) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day - The Explorer: Today's Headlines

(Sept. 3) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day

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Posted: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 8:39 am

1. McCain backs Obama's call for attacking Syria

President Obama's campaign to rally support for attacking Syria got a potentially critical boost on Monday from Sen. John McCain. With a congressional authorization vote looming, McCain (R-Ariz.) said he will back a strike if Obama increases his support for Syrian rebels. McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said after meeting with Obama that they all agreed any attack should be limited to degrading Syria's ability to use chemical weapons. [New York Times]

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2. Syrian refugee tally tops 2 million

The number of refugees who have fled Syria to escape its civil war has risen above 2 million, the United Nations reported on Tuesday. More than 4 million others have fled their homes but remain inside the country. "Syria has become the great tragedy of this century — a disgraceful humanitarian calamity with suffering and displacement unparalleled in recent history," U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said. [Reuters]

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3. Microsoft buys Nokia's smartphone business

After two years of close collaboration, Microsoft announced late Monday that it is buying Nokia's mobile phone business in a deal worth $7.2 billion. The two companies have been working together since February 2011 to build the Windows Phone, aimed at competing with Apple's iPhone and Samsung smartphones. The deal pushed up Nokia's stock price by as much as 48 percent, but Microsoft shares dipped in overnight trading. [USA Today]

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4. Rodman makes a second trip to North Korea

Former basketball star Dennis Rodman returned to North Korea on Tuesday for a five-day visit. Rodman, who on a February trip became the first American to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said the aim of his second visit was not securing the freedom of jailed U.S. missionary Kenneth Bae. "I'm just trying to go over there to meet my friend Kim, the Marshal," Rodman said. "Try to start a basketball league over there, something like that." [ABC News, Reuters]

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5. Japan reveals its strategy for handling Fukushima

Japan unveiled a plan on Tuesday calling for spending $475 million to stop the spread of radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which was crippled by the March 11, 2011, tsunami. The two-pronged strategy involves ringing the damaged reactors with a subterranean wall of ice, and building a second processing plant to filter radioactive particles from water leaking from storage tanks at the site. [Wall Street Journal]

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6. Warming could steer hurricanes out to sea

Climate change might affect atmospheric winds that steer hurricanes, protecting the East Coast from violent storms by the next century, according to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. The authors say that warming caused by greenhouse gases could cause these winds to blow more directly from west to east, pushing storms into the Atlantic and away from paths similar to that of last year's Hurricane Sandy. [National Geographic]

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7. CBS and Time Warner reach a deal

CBS TV shows will return to Time Warner Cable thanks to a deal to end a one-month blackout, the companies announced Monday. Time Warner agreed to a significant increase in what it pays for the right to transmit CBS programs. The stalemate blocked Time Warner's 3 million subscribers from tuning in for CBS' U.S. Open coverage, but the agreement came in time for the first NFL regular season games. [Bloomberg]

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8. Federer suffers his earliest U.S. Open loss in a decade

Roger Federer lost to 19th-seeded Tommy Robredo in the fourth round of the U.S. Open on Monday. It was the earliest the once-dominant Federer, a five-time champion, had been knocked out of the tournament in 10 years. The loss in the year's final Grand Slam tournament means that 2013 will be the first year since 2002 that the Swiss star has failed to reach the final at any of tennis' four Grand Slams. [CBS News]

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9. Fifty Shades of Grey actors revealed

Author EL James revealed via Twitter that Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam and 21 Jump Street beauty Dakota Johnson will play the coveted roles of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in the film adaptation of her erotic Fifty Shades of Grey book series. Early casting rumors focused on better-known actors, such as Emma Watson and Armie Hammer. The first film based on the trilogy is due in theaters next August. [New York Daily News]

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10. Nyad swims from Cuba to Florida — on her fifth try

Long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad has finally succeeded in becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. Nyad, 64, made it across the Florida Straits on her fifth try since 1978, completing the 110-mile swim in 52 hours, 54 minutes, and 18.6 seconds. Nyad, who was forced out of the water by severe jellyfish stings on earlier attempts, told supporters her feat showed that you should "never, ever give up." [Miami Herald]

Compiled by theweek.com

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