(July 12) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day - Tucson Local Media: Today's Headlines

(July 12) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day

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Posted: Friday, July 12, 2013 8:49 am

1. BERNANKE'S SOOTHING WORDS LIFT STOCKS TO RECORD HIGHS

The benchmark Dow and S&P 500 stock indexes surged to close at all-time highs on Thursday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank would continue pumping money into the economy to bring down unemployment. The S&P lost ground in June — for the first time in eight months — after Bernanke hinted the Fed might soon end a bond-buying program that has been credited with igniting a stock rally, so his reassurances came as a relief to investors. The Dow closed at 15,460, and the S&P climbed to 1,675. [Reuters]

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2. SNOWDEN REQUESTS MEETING WITH ACTIVISTS

Edward Snowden, the fugitive leaker of U.S. surveillance program secrets, has asked lawyers and human rights activists to meet with him, Interfax news agency reported Friday. Snowden is apparently still in a Moscow airport, where he has been holed up since June 23 to avoid extradition to the U.S. on espionage charges. An airport official said Snowden wanted to make a statement on "a maniacal persecution campaign" by the U.S. to prevent him from getting asylum somewhere. [Los Angeles Times]

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3. DNA MATCH COULD SOLVE 1964 BOSTON STRANGLER CASE

Massachusetts authorities are exhuming the remains of Boston Strangler suspect Albert DeSalvo after preliminary DNA tests found a link between him and the serial killer's last victim, 19-year-old Mary Sullivan. DeSalvo confessed, then recanted, and was killed in prison in 1973 while serving a life sentence for an unrelated conviction. That left the 11 early 1960s murders unsolved. The DNA link might provide enough scientific evidence to finally solve at least one of the cases, prosecutors said. [CBS News]

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4. ZIMMERMAN CASE HEADING TO JURY SOON

George Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial for the killing of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager, could go to the jury Friday. All that remains is for the defense to make its closing argument. Prosecutors delivered theirs on Thursday. The judge ruled that the jurors could also consider the lesser charge of manslaughter for Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who admits killing Martin but says he fired in self-defense. [USA Today]

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5. HOUSE GOP PASSES FARM BILL WITHOUT FOOD STAMPS

House Republicans passed a pared down farm bill on Thursday, stripping out the food stamp program for the first time since 1973. The move was necessary to win support from conservatives, but it caused Democrats who had supported the bill last month to vote against it. The food stamp program accounted for 80 percent of the original bill's cost. It was the backbone of the Senate's bipartisan version of the bill, and could be revised in a compromise by Senate and House negotiators. [New York Times]

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6. EGYPTIANS CLASH OVER MORSI ON FIRST FRIDAY OF RAMADAN

Egypt is bracing for another round of mass rallies, as supporters and opponents of ousted President Mohamed Morsi have scheduled large protests on the first Friday of the Islamic holiday month of Ramadan. The interim government promises a quick return to elected democracy, but Morsi's Islamist supporters say he must be reinstated. "You have two camps," says Khalil Al-Anani, an expert in Egyptian politics, "and these two camps — anti-Morsi and pro-Morsi — cannot reach an agreement." [USA Today]

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7. SPITZER SUBMITS SIGNATURES TO ENTER NEW YORK RACE

Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer announced Thursday that he had collected enough signatures to get on the Democratic primary ballot in the race for New York City comptroller. Spitzer said he had given election officials 27,000 signatures; he only needed 3,750. His last-minute entry into the campaign began a surprise political comeback just five years after Spitzer resigned over a prostitution scandal. He has already jumped to the lead in the polls. [New York Daily News]

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8. IRISH LAWMAKERS PASS ABORTION BILL

Lawmakers in Ireland voted Friday to allow abortion if a pregnant women's health is at risk — a potentially major change in the deeply Catholic country. The bill still must be approved by the Irish Senate and signed by President Michael D. Higgins. The country's abortion debate was reignited last year after the death of Savita Halappanavar, 31. She was denied a quick termination of her pregnancy even though she had blood poisoning and was miscarrying. [NBC News]

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9. REPAIRS BEGIN AT DAMAGED SAN FRANCISCO RUNWAY

Runway repairs will begin Friday to the San Francisco runway damaged in Asiana Airlines Flight 214's crash landing, which killed two of the jetliner's 305 passengers and injured 180 others. Federal investigators have collected mountains of evidence and are shifting their work to Washington, where they will analyze it. Among the potentially significant clues: The cockpit voice recorder shows two pilots called for the landing to be aborted three seconds before the crash. [CNN]

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10. U.N. OBSERVES "MALALA DAY" TO HONOR PAKISTANI TEEN

The United Nations is celebrating "Malala Day" on Friday to mark the 16th birthday of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban last year for supporting girls' education. Malala, who left a British hospital in February, will make her first address to the U.N. to call for better education around the world. [Al Jazeera]

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