(September 13) Today's Top Headlines - Top 10 stories of the day - The Explorer: Today's Headlines

(September 13) Today's Top Headlines - Top 10 stories of the day

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Posted: Friday, September 13, 2013 8:45 am

1. Talks continue as Syria agrees to observe a global treaty banning chemical arms

Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, appeared upbeat early Friday as they began their second day of talks on taking control of Syria's chemical weapons. Syria on Thursday formally signed onto a global anti-chemical-weapons treaty, but Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he would only comply if the U.S. drops the threat of military strikes. Kerry said force remained an option until Assad disclosed and surrendered his stockpile. [New York Times, ABC News]

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2. Twitter files for its IPO

Twitter announced Thursday — in fewer than 140 characters on Twitter — that it had filed confidential paperwork for its initial public offering of stock. The 7-year-old microblogging service, worth an estimated $10 billion, didn't reveal whether it's profitable. The filing was done under a new law allowing small companies to prepare for their IPOs without opening their books. Analysts expect the IPO in late 2013 or early 2014. [Wall Street Journal]

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3. Fire consumes New Jersey boardwalk rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy

A fire that started in an ice cream shop on Thursday engulfed a boardwalk and destroyed 50 buildings in Seaside Park, N.J., one of the towns that had to be rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy. The flames consumed four blocks of the boardwalk, which was repaired after the superstorm ravaged the Jersey Shore a year ago. "I feel like I want to throw up," said Gov. Chris Christie. "To see this going on... is just unthinkable." [CNN]

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4. Apple starts sales of its new iPhone 5C

Apple began taking orders for its iPhone 5C at 12:01 a.m. (Pacific Time) Friday. Deliveries are due September 20. The new smartphone is essentially a re-branded iPhone 5, but Apple is counting on its low cost (it starts at $99 with a two-year contract) and five bright color options to boost sales, which have slowed in the face of stiffening competition. Apple isn't offering pre-orders for its other new model, the faster, high-end iPhone 5S. [CNET]

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5. Deadly floods worsen as record rains drench Boulder, Colo.

Flooding that killed three people worsened in Colorado overnight as record rains caused flash flooding in and around Boulder. The rare late-summer downpours forced thousands of people to evacuate. Boulder Creek overflowed its banks, inundating downtown, and the remote town of Lyons north of Boulder was cut off when rushing waters washed out U.S. Route 36, forcing National Guard troops to shuttle in emergency supplies. [Reuters]

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6. Al Qaeda leader urges extremists to attack

Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, in a speech marking the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks, called for small-scale terrorist strikes in the U.S. to "bleed America economically" by forcing it to spend heavily on security, according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group. He also called for Muslims to boycott goods made by the U.S. and its allies. The 72-minute speech was posted in online forums on Thursday. [Agence France Presse]

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7. California legislature backs $10 minimum wage

California lawmakers passed a bill that would raise the state's minimum wage to $10 an hour — the highest in the nation — by 2016. The California Chamber of Commerce said such a big hike from the current minimum of $8 an hour would be a "job killer." The bill's author, Democratic Assemblyman Luis Alejo, said it would "provide relief for hard-working families." The bill now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown, who has said he would sign it. [Los Angeles Times]

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8. Taliban fighters attack a U.S. consulate in Afghanistan

Afghan Taliban insurgents attacked the U.S. Consulate in the southwestern Afghanistan city of Herat early Friday, killing at least two Afghan police officers and a security guard. U.S. and Afghan security officers fought off the attack, which began with a suicide truck bombing followed by an assault by several gunmen. The violence in Herat, long considered safe, was the latest sign of instability as foreign troops prepare to withdraw in 2014. [BBC News]

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9. Four men sentenced to hang for India gang rape and murder

A judge in India on Friday sentenced four men to death for the December gang rape and murder of a young New Delhi woman. The brutal attack triggered protests that pushed officials to toughen rape laws. "In these times, when crime against women is on the rise, the courts cannot turn a blind eye toward such gruesome crimes," Judge Yogesh Khanna said. The victim's father said, "I am very happy our girl has got justice." [Associated Press]

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10. Voyager 1 has left the solar system

NASA confirmed Thursday that the Voyager 1 spacecraft, launched in 1977, had become the first human-made object to leave the solar system and enter interstellar space. The probe, originally intended for a four-year mission including fly-bys of Jupiter and Saturn, is now 11.7 billion miles from Earth. "It's hard even for scientists to comprehend," said Donald A. Gurnett, co-author of a paper in the journal Science about the feat. [New York Times]

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