(Aug. 20) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day - The Explorer: Today's Headlines

(Aug. 20) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day

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Posted: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 9:08 am

1. Gaza cease-fire collapses and Israel brings home its negotiators

The truce between Israel and Hamas collapsed on Tuesday. Palestinians fired rockets into southern Israel from Gaza. Israel responded with airstrikes that targeted a Hamas commander and killed three people, according to Gaza health officials. The violence began eight hours before the 24-hour extension of the truce, which was intended to give negotiators in Egypt time to hammer out a long-term peace. Israel called its negotiators home. [Reuters]

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2. ISIS releases video showing journalist's apparent beheading

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria posted a video online Tuesday purportedly showing a militant beheading American freelance photojournalist James Wright Foley, who was kidnapped in Syria on Thanksgiving 2012. Later, the killer threatens to execute another journalist, Steven Joel Soltoff, unless the U.S. stops airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq. The White House said intelligence officials were working to determine whether the video was authentic. [NBC News]

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3. Perry turns himself in to face abuse-of-power charge

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) made a brief appearance Tuesday at the Travis County Courthouse to be booked on charges of abusing his power by vetoing funding for anti-corruption prosecutors. Perry called last week's indictment by a grand jury in liberal Austin "an attack on the constitutional powers of the office of governor." He cut the funding after a Democratic prosecutor refused to resign after a drunken driving arrest. [New York Daily News]

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4. St. Louis police kill man wielding a knife, adding to Ferguson tensions

As unrest over a fatal police shooting continued in nearby Ferguson, St. Louis police officers shot and killed an emotionally disturbed 23-year-old black man on Tuesday after he approached them brandishing a knife. Police and witnesses gave similar accounts, saying the man had argued with people inside the Six Stars Market before confronting officers outside. In Ferguson, police reported less violence late Tuesday and early Wednesday than the night before. [The New York Times]

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5. Details emerge on Google's YouTube subscription music service plans

Google plans to launch an ad-free subscription-based YouTube music service called YouTube Music Key, according to the blog Androidpolice.com. The company will offer a 30-day free trial with subscriptions for the service running $9.99 per month, the blog said, citing leaked screenshots. Eugene Munster, senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, said such a move is risky, because a paid YouTube service "seems a little bit out of their character." [Androidpolice.com, Techcrunch]

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6. Harshest drought conditions spread in California

"Severe" drought covers 99.8 percent of California, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report. The state has held steady for the last two weeks — in May, 100 percent of the state was in "severe" drought. That does not mean relief has arrived — 82 percent of the state is in "extreme" drought, up from 77 percent in May, and 58.4 percent is in the harshest category — "exceptional" drought — up from 25 percent. [U.S. Drought Monitor, Los Angeles Times]

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7. Three of Pope Francis' relatives die in car wreck

Three relatives of Pope Francis were killed Tuesday in a car crash in Argentina. A fourth — Emanuel Bergoglio, the 38-year-old son of a brother of the pope — was hospitalized with extensive injuries. Bergoglio's wife, Valeria Carmona, and two children, ages 8 months and 2 years, died before reaching a hospital. A spokesman said Pope Francis asked "all who share in his grief to unite with him in prayer." [The Associated Press]

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8. Protesters march on Parliament in Pakistan

Thousands of protesters marched on Pakistan's Parliament building in Islamabad on Tuesday, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The protest was led by former international cricket star Imran Khan and cleric Tahir ul-Qadri. Khan accuses Sharif of rigging elections last year. The protests increased already intense pressure on a government struggling to contend with high unemployment and a Taliban insurgency. [Reuters]

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9. Apple shares rise as enthusiasm builds for next month's iPhone 6 launch

Apple stock on Tuesday shot to its highest close ever (after adjusting for a 7-to-1 June stock split) as investors eagerly anticipated the iPhone 6 launch on Sept. 9. The company's shares gained 1.4 percent to end the trading day at $100.53, slightly better than the previous record set two years ago, just before the iPhone 5's debut. [CNET]

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10. Former Obama aide Plouffe joins Uber

On-demand car service Uber has hired David Plouffe, once a top adviser to President Obama, to help the startup company develop its political and branding strategy. Plouffe called Uber potentially a "once-in-a-decade if not once-in-a-generation company" with a shot at taking on the "taxi industry cartel." Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said Tuesday that Plouffe would be a key player in the company's global growth. [The Huffington Post]

Compiled by theweek.com

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