(March 26) Today's Top Headlines - Top 10 Stories of the Day - The Explorer: Today's Headlines

(March 26) Today's Top Headlines - Top 10 Stories of the Day

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Posted: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 8:34 am

1. Likely death toll from mudslide rises to 24

Search crews recovered two more bodies Tuesday under the Washington state mudslide and believed they had located another eight, pushing the likely death toll to 24. Authorities expect it to rise further. As crews continued looking for signs of life on Wednesday, four days after the disaster, as many as 176 people remained missing. "We haven't lost hope that there's a possibility that we can find somebody alive in some pocket area," said a local fire chief. [Fox News]

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2. The Obama administration extends the health-care enrollment deadline 

With ObamaCare's open enrollment ending in less than a week, the Obama administration is scheduled to announce Wednesday that it will give more time to people who have started the application process on HealthCare.gov but fail to finish by Monday. Those who say they were delayed by technical problems will have until mid-April to ask for an extension. The administration had long said the March 31 deadline was firm. [The Washington Post]

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3. Russia takes Ukraine's last warship in Crimea

Russian forces seized the last Ukrainian naval ship in Crimea on Tuesday, completing Moscow's takeover of military control in the breakaway Ukrainian region. The assault followed several days of similar, mostly bloodless moves against Ukrainian bases as Russia pushed forward with the annexation of Crimea after voters there passed a referendum to secede from Ukraine. [Reuters]

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4. Facebook buys virtual-reality startup Oculus

Facebook is buying a small virtual-reality startup, Oculus VR, for more than $2 billion, its second major acquisition in just over a month. Skeptics said Oculus' advanced technology was better suited to immersive games than social media. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said virtual reality and social media were a natural mix. "Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences," he said. [San Jose Mercury News]

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5. FBI clears agent who shot and killed Tsarnaev's friend

An investigation has cleared the FBI agent who shot and killed Ibragim Todashev, a friend of the late Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, top Federal Bureau of Investigation officials said Tuesday. Hours earlier, prosecutors in Florida, where the agent and another investigator interviewed Todashev in his apartment about a triple homicide, said they would not file charges. The agent told state officials he fired after Todashev attacked him. [Los Angeles Times]

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6. Maduro accuses three generals of plotting to overthrow him

Venezuelan security forces arrested three air force generals and accused them of plotting a coup against the government, President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday. "This captured group has direct ties with sectors of the opposition," Maduro said. Opposition leaders said Maduro causing the violence by rounding up his political rivals. "Nicolas threw gas on the fire," opposition leader Henrique Capriles Radonski tweeted. [CNN]

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7. Investigators blame the fatal Paul Walker crash on speed 

"Unsafe speed" caused the November 30 crash that killed Fast & Furious actor Paul Walker, according to a report released Tuesday by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The high-performance Porsche Walker was riding in was going as fast as 93 miles per hour in a 45 mph zone when the driver — Walker's friend, Roger Rodas — lost control and crashed. Rodas was also killed when the car burst into flames. A pair of 9-year-old tires might have contributed to the accident, too. [Los Angeles Times]

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8. Pitbull that bit 4-year-old won't be killed

A pitbull that attacked a 4-year-old boy last month won't be put to death, a judge ruled Tuesday. The dog will, however, be defanged, neutered, and have a microchip implanted under its skin. The dog, named Mickey, was restrained in the yard of the boy's babysitter in February when the child walked within the radius of its 18-foot chain. Supporters of the animal wore "Save Mickey" T-shirts to the court hearing. [The Associated Press]

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9. Secret Service agents sent home from the Netherlands

The Secret Service sent three agents home ahead of President Obama's arrival in the Netherlands this week. One was found inebriated in his hotel; the other two were accused of complicity. A Secret Service spokesman said the behavior never compromised Obama's security. It did, however, add to the embarrassment of an elite agency struggling to repair its image after a prostitution scandal. [The Associated Press]

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10. Paltrow and Martin separate

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow announced on her Goop website Tuesday that she and Coldplay's Chris Martin were splitting up after 11 years of marriage. In a blog post titled "Conscious Uncoupling," the couple wrote that they had been trying for more than a year to "see what might have been possible between us," and had decided to "remain separate." Paltrow and Martin have two children, Apple and Moses. [TV Guide]

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