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

(March 20) Today's Top Headlines - Top 10 stories of the day

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Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2014 8:51 am

1. Ukraine moves to pull soldiers out of Crimea

Ukraine announced plans to pull its troops out of Crimea after militiamen and Russian forces stormed two military bases there on Wednesday, a day after Russia annexed the breakaway Ukrainian region. Ukrainian Adm. Serhiy Haiduk was seized during the operation, but was reportedly released along with other detainees Thursday morning. [Mirror, CNN]

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2. Australia announces possible clue to missing Malaysia Airlines flight

Australia's prime minister, Tony Abbott, said that a satellite had spotted two objects in the southern Indian Ocean that might be debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished March 8 en route from Kuala Lampur to Beijing with 239 people on board. One of the objects was 79 feet across, Australian authorities said Thursday, leading one aviation expert to express skepticism, saying that would be a "big piece of aircraft to have survived something like this." [The Australian, CNN]

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3. Fed talk of an interest rate hike spooks investors

Stocks tumbled Wednesday after the Federal Reserve suggested it might let interest rates rise sooner than expected. At her first meeting as Fed chair, Janet Yellen said the central bank's stimulus program could end by fall. Experts said that could be followed by an interest-rate hike in 2015. The Fed also made another $10 billion reduction in its monthly economy-stimulating bond purchases (to $55 billion), but that was expected. [CNBC]

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4. N.Y. Times: Pakistani intelligence knew where bin Laden was hiding

Pakistan's spy agency knew Osama bin Laden was hiding in that country, according to an excerpt from a new book by New York Times reporter Carlotta Gall. The claim, made by a Pakistani official, was backed up by letters exchanged between bin Laden and militants allied with the intelligence agency. The correspondence was found in his hideout in Abbottabad after the 2011 U.S. raid that killed him. [The New York Times Magazine]

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5. Opponents call for Port Authority chairman to resign

Protesters and lawmakers incensed over the Bridgegate scandal and another controversy Wednesday demanded the resignation of the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, David Samson, an ally of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. At a monthly Port Authority board meeting, critics said the politically motivated bridge-lane closings, which created massive traffic jams, tainted Samson's leadership record. [Reuters]

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6. Venezuelan government jails two opposition mayors

Venezuelan intelligence agents arrested one opposition mayor, and the country's Supreme Court ordered another removed from his post in an intensifying crackdown on anti-government resistance. Mayor Daniel Ceballos of San Cristobal, a flash point for the protest movement, was nabbed at a hotel in Caracas. The mayors joined opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez as the highest ranking critics jailed by President Nicolas Maduro's government so far. [The Associated Press]

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7. Authorities free 108 immigrants from a suspected Houston stash house

Houston police and federal immigration authorities rescued 108 people, including 17 children, from a suspected stash house for undocumented immigrants in Houston, officials said Wednesday. The would-be immigrants — from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico — were locked in the one-story, one-bathroom house with very little food. Police, who arrested five suspected smugglers, said it was the largest such operation they had seen in five years. [Los Angeles Times]

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8. App maker says he'll bring back Flappy Bird

Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen says he is bringing his wildly popular game back to life. Nguyen pulled the app out of the App Store in February. He said at the time it was making $50,000 a day in ads, but that he worried it was too addictive. He also said it was making his life miserable. Fans shouldn't get too excited, though. Nguyen tweet Wednesday that he would bring the game back, "but not soon." [Forbes]

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9. Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman hit by line drive

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman was hospitalized after being hit in the face by a line drive smacked by Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez in a spring training game Wednesday night. Chapman never lost consciousness, but he was left with fractures above his left eye and nose. The team managers called off the rest of the game. "It was frightening, certainly frightening," Reds manager Bryan Price said. [Columbus Dispatch]

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10. Newly discovered dinosaur looked like a "chicken from hell"

Scientists have identified a beaked, bird-like dinosaur that roamed the Dakotas 66 million years ago. It was 10 feet tall and had super-sharp claws. The beast also had a head like a chicken, and probably feathers. "We jokingly call this thing the 'chicken from hell,'" said the Carnegie Museum of Natural History's Matt Lamanna, lead author of an article announcing the discover in the journal PLoS ONE. [Discovery News]

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