(March 5) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day - The Explorer: Today's Headlines

(March 5) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day

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Posted: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 9:06 am

1. Envoys seek a peace deal for Ukraine

Diplomats from Russia, Ukraine, the U.S., Britain, and France are meeting in Paris on Wednesday for emergency talks on resolving the crisis in Ukraine. "Today the Ukrainian future will be decided," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia said. Russia sent troops into Ukraine's Crimea region on Saturday after President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted. Tensions rose when Russia carried out a preplanned missile test Tuesday. [The Associated Press, Reuters]

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2. D.C. council decriminalizes marijuana

The City Council in Washington, D.C., voted to decriminalize marijuana possession. Currently, pot possession can result in six months in jail and fines up to $1,000. If Mayor Vincent Gray signs the new measure, as expected, anyone caught with up to an ounce of marijuana would pay just a $25 civil fine, a penalty similar to a parking ticket. The move came after several states eased their marijuana laws. [Time]

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3. GOP slams Obama's budget proposal

As soon as President Obama unveiled his 2015 budget on Tuesday, Republicans began harshly criticizing it. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called the $3.9 trillion spending blueprint Obama's "most irresponsible budget yet," saying it had too much spending, borrowing, and taxation. "It would hurt our economy and cost jobs," Boehner said. The budget increases spending on roads and early education while cutting tax breaks for the rich. [Reuters]

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4. Moody's downgrades Chicago's credit rating

Moody's downgraded Chicago's creditworthiness on Tuesday, saying the city was endangering its financial security with "massive and growing" pension obligations. The credit-rating agency made the change because the city, which has put off dealing with the issue for years, now faces a doubling in its pension promises to $1.07 billion next year. Chicago also must cope with a nearly $20 billion funding hole for police, firefighter, and city worker pensions. [CNN]

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5. Abbott and Davis win Texas gubernatorial primaries

Texas' closely watched governor's race gets underway in earnest on Wednesday, following Tuesday's primary victories for Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) and state Sen. Wendy Davis (D). Abbott beat four GOP rivals with 90 percent of the vote, and Davis defeated her lone opponent with 80 percent. George P. Bush, son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, launched his political career by winning the GOP primary for Texas Land Commissioner. [Austin American-Statesman, The Huffington Post]

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6. Scientists find high-protein diets can be deadly

People who eat a lot of meat and cheese in middle age are four times more likely to die of cancer than those with low-protein diets, according to a new study by U.S. and Italian researchers. A risk factor like that would be roughly as dangerous as smoking. The researchers said, however, that once people grow older than 65 they might benefit from eating more protein as their muscles weaken. [The Washington Post]

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7. Judge decides against forcing parents to pay teen's tuition

A New Jersey judge on Tuesday turned down 18-year-old honor student Rachel Canning's request to make her parents pay for her private high school and then college tuition, along with $650 in weekly child support. Her parents, Elizabeth and Sean Canning, kicked her out of the house when she turned 18 for failing to follow their rules. An independent investigator told the court the cheerleader and lacrosse player is "spoiled." [New York Daily News]

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8. Yosemite bears go back to natural food

Black bears at Yosemite National Park are kicking the habit of pilfering food from humans. The bears gorged on human food starting in 1923, when the park started feeding the herbivores to lure them away from places frequented by tourists. From 1974 to 1985, human food still made up a third of the bears' diet, but thanks largely to bear-proof food lockers and campground patrols, the proportion has dropped to 13 percent, about where it was in 1919. [Los Angeles Times]

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9. RadioShack closes 1,100 stores

RadioShack CEO Joe Magnacca announced Tuesday that the electronics chain was shutting 1,100 stores, 20 percent of its U.S. footprint. Magnacca said the company, which lost $400 million last year, was "broken." The company was once the go-to store for electronics parts and stereos, but has failed to keep up in the digital age. The chain promised an upgrade in a Super Bowl ad in which an employee says, "The '80s called. They want their store back." [The Washington Post]

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10. Chipotle warns of looming guac-pocalypse

Chipotle is warning its shareholders that weather disruptions "associated with global climate change" could drive up prices for some of its ingredients, possibly forcing the burrito chain to occasionally stop serving guacamole and certain salsas. Chipotle goes through 97,000 pounds of avocados a day to make guacamole. Scientists say rising temperatures could reduce California's avocado production by 40 percent over three decades. [Think Progress]

Compiled by theweek.com

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