(Dec. 27) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day - The Explorer: Today's Headlines

(Dec. 27) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day

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Posted: Friday, December 27, 2013 8:58 am

1. Obama signs defense bill

President Obama signed the bipartisan 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, which included provisions designed to crack down on sexual assault in the military. The bill, which called for a one-percent pay raise for service members, also makes it easier for Obama to transfer Guantanamo Bay detainees to other countries. The president praised the measure, saying it is an important step in closing the prison even though Congress still won't allow the prisoners to be moved to facilities in the United States. [Washington Post]

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2. Bomb kills at least six in Lebanon

At least six people were killed and a dozen more injured when a bomb exploded in the middle of Beirut Friday morning. Mohammed Chatah, a former finance minister and ambassador to the United States, was killed in the attack, although it's not clear if he was the intended target. Chatah has been a vocal critic of both the Assad regime in Syria and Hezbollah. [ABC]

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3. U.S. and Japan reach deal to move Marine base

U.S. and Japanese authorities have reached an agreement to move an American Marine base on Okinawa to the north of the island. Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima approved the controversial plan, which was met with protests from many Okinawans who want to see the base moved off the island altogether. Nakaima acknowledged the move was unpopular, telling his constituents "I think moving the base outside Okinawa is a better plan." [New York Times]

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4. Turkish prosecutor removed from corruption investigation

Muammer Akkas, a special prosecutor investigating corruption in the government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was removed from the case amid allegations his superiors were refusing to carry out arrest warrants. Akkas criticized the government, saying it had stopped the police from widening the inquiry and accused the judiciary of bending to political pressure. [New York Times]

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5. Delta will honor super-cheap fares

Delta announced that it will honor the deeply discounted fares some lucky travelers were able to score thanks to a website glitch. The tickets cost roughly one-tenth of the regular price, with some passengers grabbing one-way fares from Raleigh, N.C., to Philly for $35. [Chicago Tribune]

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6. Texas man facing hate-crime charges for "knockout game"

Conrad Alvin Barrett was charged with a federal hate-crime for allegedly assaulting a man and recording the incident on his phone. Investigators charge that Barrett, a white man, was playing the "knockout game" when he attacked a black man in late November. Barrett was also said to have made a video in which he used a racial slur. [Los Angeles Times]

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7. Flesh-eating fish attacks swimmers in Argentina

Hundreds of Argentines trying to cool off from 100-degree heat were attacked by a school of flesh-eating fish. At least 70 people swimming in the Parana River near the city of Rosario were sent to local clinics and emergency rooms after being bitten by a type of piranha known as palometas. [Los Angeles Times]

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8. Court overturns Catholic sex-abuse cover-up conviction

William Lynn, an official with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, was convicted of covering up sex abuse but a Pennsylvania appeals court overturned that decision. The panel rejected the legal basis for his prosecution, which was considered an important step in holding the Catholic church responsible for not reporting the abuse. Lynn has been in prison for 18 months and has to apply for bail to be released. [New York Times]

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9. Two security breaches occur at airports

On Christmas day, a man in women's clothing climbed a fence at Newark Liberty International Airport and was able to walk across two runways before being caught by security. The suspect, Siyah Bryant of Jersey City, was charged with trespassing and released. In Phoenix, Robert Bump was arrested after allegedly running onto the tarmac at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Police said he appeared to be intoxicated and hit a plane's engine before heading to the terminal. [CNN]

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10. Drought imperiling California

California's massive drought — the worst on record — is causing concerns that the state may be at risk for widespread wild fires and could lead to major losses for farms dealing with smaller water allotments. More than 94 percent of the state is experiencing drought conditions, as cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco prepare to set records for the least amount of rain in a year. Officials in Sacramento are considering declaring a state of emergency. [USA Today]

Compiled by theweek.com

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