(March 11) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day - Today's Headlines - Explorer

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(March 11) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day

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1. Experts see no signs of terrorism in Malaysian plane mystery

Malaysian authorities said Tuesday that one of two men allegedly traveling with stolen passports on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 when it disappeared Saturday was an Iranian seeking asylum in Europe. Investigators said that weakened the theory that the plane was the target of an attack. Still, experts have not ruled out sabotage, hijacking, mechanical problems, or any other potential explanation for how the Boeing 777 vanished with 239 people on board. [TIME, Reuters]

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2. Snowden says his leaks made the world more secure

Edward Snowden said Monday that the government was wrong when it said his leaking of secret National Security Agency documents had endangered national security. Speaking from Moscow via webcast to people at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Texas, Snowden said his exposure of NSA data mining had benefited people all over the world. Reforms underway at the NSA, he said, vindicated him. [The Christian Science Monitor, Voice of America]

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3. Senate approves a bill aiming to reduce military rapes

The Senate unanimously approved a bill Monday that would change the way the military handles sexual assault cases. The legislation would remove the "good soldier defense" that has cast doubt on past criminal allegations, but, unlike a rival bill that failed last week, it would leave decisions on rape prosecutions to military commanders. Congress and the Pentagon have pledged to address the persistent problem of rape in the military. [CBS News]

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4. Russia cements control in Crimea ahead of referendum

Pro-Russia forces took control of more Ukrainian military bases and government facilities in Crimea on Monday. The moves helped to solidify Moscow's control over the region ahead of a Sunday referendum on whether the region should break away from Ukraine and become part of Russia. An online poll created by the pro-Russia Crimean parliament showed voters favoring a union with Russia by nearly a 3-to-1 margin. [The Washington Post]

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5. Colorado rakes in $2 million in January pot taxes

Colorado government took in $2 million in marijuana taxes in January, the state reported Monday. The total — the world's first accounting of the legal recreational pot trade — meant that $14 million worth of the weed was sold at the state-licensed dispensaries that managed to open that month (there are now 160 of them). After Colorado legalized marijuana in 2012, voters approved 12.9 percent sales taxes and 15 percent excise taxes. [The Associated Press]

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6. Judge pauses Army general's rape trial

A military judge has halted the court-martial of Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair to look into possible Pentagon interference in the rape trial. Col. James Pohl, the presiding judge, dismissed the jury to consider whether Army officials who rejected Sinclair's plea offer had been unduly influenced, after emails surfaced in which a senior military lawyer, writing to Fort Bragg judicial officials, questioned the accuser's credibility. [CNN]

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7. Scientists develop a blood test to predict Alzheimer's

Researchers have come up with a blood test they say can predict whether a person will develop Alzheimer's disease. Their study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, looked at 525 people ages 70 or older. The blood of people who developed signs of the mental impairment that comes with Alzheimer' had 10 metabolites that were depleted. Tests for these chemicals can spot those who will develop the disease within three years. [Healthline]

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8. Sbarro's goes under as shoppers abandon mall food courts

Sbarro's, devastated by a decline in customers at shopping-mall food courts, has filed for bankruptcy for the second time in three years. The 800-restaurant pizza chain has "a worldwide brand and potential for future growth," Chief Financial Officer Carolyn Spatafora said in court papers, but Sbarro's outlets just can't keep going in the face of "an unprecedented decline in mall traffic." [Bloomberg]

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9. "Average Barbie" project gets financial backers

Apparently, the world is ready for a doll with normal proportions to serve as a contrast to Barbie. Artist Nickolay Lamm re-imagined the iconic Barbie doll with a build like that of an average 19-year-old woman. The idea was to promote healthy body image standards. Lamm launched a crowdfunding website to raise $95,000 for his project. As of Monday, five days after Lamm started the effort, the project had raised $380,461. [Stylist]

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10. Bonds puts on a Giants uniform again

Home-run king Barry Bonds returned to the San Francisco Giants as a spring-training coach on Monday, seven years after ending his career as a professional baseball player under the cloud of a steroid scandal. Bonds was lighter than during his playing years, and offered a friendly greeting to reporters despite years of unflattering coverage. "It feels really good to be back," Bonds said. "It feels really good to participate." [CBS Sports]

Compiled by theweek.com

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