(Aug. 22) Today's Top Headlines - Top 10 headlines - Today's Headlines - Explorer

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(Aug. 22) Today's Top Headlines - Top 10 headlines

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1. SECRET-COURT JUDGE SLAMMED THE NSA IN A NEWLY REVEALED RULING

A secret court opinion in 2011 found that the National Security Agency unlawfully collected tens of thousands of emails and other internet communications between Americans. The NSA discovered and fixed the problem. In the ruling, released after a Freedom of Information request, Judge John D. Bates said the NSA had violated the Constitution, and that this was the third time the government had "disclosed a substantial misrepresentation regarding the scope of a major collection program." [Washington Post]

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2. MANNING SENTENCED TO 35 YEARS

A military judge on Wednesday sentenced Pfc. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for leaking hundreds of thousands of secret government documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks in 2010. Manning could have received up to 90 years for his crimes, which included several violations of the Espionage Act. Manning could be eligible for release in about nine years, but plans to request a presidential pardon. In his letter to President Obama, he says he acted out of love for his country. [TIME, Associated Press]

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3. MANNING SAYS HE WANTS TO LIVE AS A WOMAN

On the heels of yesterday's sentencing, NBC's Today show revealed this statement from Manning Thursday morning: "I am Chelsea Manning. I am female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition." Manning's lawyers suggested in his trial that his identity struggle had been a factor in his decision to leak documents. [Today]

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4. FRANCE CALLS FOR USING FORCE AGAINST SYRIA OVER CHEMICAL WEAPONS

France on Thursday called for a "reaction with force" against Syria if an investigation confirms opposition claims of a poison-gas attack that killed hundreds of people. Estimates put the death toll as high as 1,400. Germany's foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, demanded that Syria grant United Nations inspectors access to the site. Russia and China, however, shielded the Syrian government from a harsh condemnation in a Security Council meeting. Iran blamed rebels for the attack. [CNN]

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5. CHINA'S BO XILAI CLAIMS HE WAS FRAMED

Fallen former Chinese Politburo member Bo Xilai claimed he was framed as he publicly defended himself against corruption charges for the first time on Thursday. Bo was ousted last year and accused of taking $4.4 million in bribes. His trial, China's most high-profile political scandal in decades, has pitted his supporters in China's Maoist old guard against capitalist-leaning reformers. A guilty verdict is expected, but Bo's spirited defense suggests he won't go quietly. [Reuters]

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6. EGYPT SAYS MUBARAK WILL BE MOVED TO HOUSE ARREST

Egypt's interim government has ordered former leader Hosni Mubarak to be put under house arrest, following a court ruling that he can no longer be held in prison on corruption charges. Many in Egypt fear that Mubarak's release will trigger more violence between security forces and Islamists demanding the return of Mubarak's freely elected successor, Mohamed Morsi. Mubarak still faces charges of complicity in the deaths of protesters before his 2011 downfall. [NBC News]

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7. UPS DROPS 15,000 WORKERS' SPOUSES FROM ITS HEALTH PLAN

United Parcel Service is dropping the spouses of 15,000 workers from its health insurance plan. It blamed costs associated with ObamaCare — although some experts said the move looked like a simple attempt to save money. The change applies to spouses eligible for coverage from their own employers. The package delivery company told employees in a memo that their spouses should be covered by their employers, "just as UPS has a responsibility to offer coverage to you, our employee." [New York Times]

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8. FINAL BATCH OF NIXON TAPES RELEASED

The Nixon Library on Wednesday released the last 340 hours of former President Richard Nixon's once-secret White House tapes. The final batch — out of 3,700 hours in all — shows the sometimes reflective, sometimes profane Nixon struggling to contain the Watergate scandal in the spring of 1973. It also includes the only known recording of a superpower summit, in which Nixon told his Cold War Soviet counterpart, Leonid Brezhnev, that the world's safety hinged on their mutual trust. [Los Angeles Times]

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9. FILNER REPORTEDLY REACHES SEXUAL-HARASSMENT SETTLEMENT

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner reportedly reached a settlement with city lawyers on Wednesday over the sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him by his former press secretary. The city filed a cross-claim to cover damages it could face. Officials didn't disclose details, although an aide to one local elected official shared a video clip that she said showed Filner leaving City Hall carrying boxes. The City Council is scheduled to vote on the proposed resolution on Friday. [USA Today]

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10. ACTOR WENTWORTH MILLER OUTS HIMSELF IN PROTEST OF RUSSIAN LAW

Prison Break star Wentworth Miller outed himself Wednesday in a letter declining an invitation to the St. Petersburg International Film Festival in Russia. In the letter, the actor said that, "as a gay man," he had to decline because of the country's harsh new anti-gay rules. "I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly," he said. [Los Angeles Times]

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