(September 12) Today's Top Headlines - Top 10 stories of the day - The Explorer: Today's Headlines

(September 12) Today's Top Headlines - Top 10 stories of the day

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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 9:23 am

1. Syrian rebels start receiving U.S. guns

The CIA began delivering light weapons to Syrian rebels over the last two weeks, ending months of delay, The Washington Post reported late Wednesday. The shipments mark an escalation of U.S. involvement in the country's two-and-a-half-year civil war, and began just as President Obama was pressing for now-delayed missile strikes to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime for allegedly killing 1,400 people in an August gas attack. [Washington Post]

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2. Putin lectures Americans on Syria in NYT op-ed

Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote an op-ed published in Thursday's New York Times, urging Americans to exercise caution in Syria. "We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement," he wrote. Commentators mocked Putin's sudden dovish turn. A White House official said what matters is that the Russian leader deliver on his proposal to get Syria to surrender its chemical arsenal. [New York Times, CNN]

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3. Kerry arrives in Geneva for Syria talks

Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Geneva early Thursday for talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, on Moscow's proposal to seize Syria's chemical-weapon stockpile. The two sides are sharply divided, however. The Obama administration wants a United Nations resolution authorizing force if Syria doesn't turn over its arsenal. Russia wants the U.S. to take the threat of missile strikes off the table. [New York Times]

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4. GOP leaders delay spending bill after Tea Partiers object

Facing a revolt by Tea Party conservatives, House GOP leaders on Wednesday postponed a vote on a temporary spending bill needed to prevent a government shutdown in October. The conservatives want to use the stopgap spending bill to block ObamaCare, but Republican leaders are proposing the legislation in a way that would let the Senate approve the must-pass funding bill while defeating the part that would defund the health-care law. [Associated Press]

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5. Pastor Terry Jones busted with kerosene-soaked Korans

Controversial Florida Pastor Terry Jones was arrested with nearly 3,000 kerosene-soaked Korans on Wednesday, the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Jones made headlines in 2010 with a plan to burn Muslim holy books on the same day in 2010. This time, police stopped Jones as he was riding in a pickup truck towing the Korans and a smoker. He faces felony charges of unlawfully transporting fuel and openly carrying a firearm. [Orlando Sentinel]

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6. Muslim rebel clashes spread in the Philippines

Fighting between soldiers and rogue Muslim rebels spread to a second island in the Philippines on Thursday. Members of a breakaway faction of the Moro National Liberation Front are holding dozens of hostages in Zamboanga City on the southern island of Mindanao, where the fighting started. The clashes have cast doubt on the strength of a peace deal reached last October with a larger rebel group to end four decades of conflict. [Reuters]

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7. Evidence suggests North Korea has restarted its Yongbyon reactor

Satellite images indicate that North Korea is restarting the plutonium reactor at its Yongbyon nuclear facility, potentially escalating tensions over its nuclear program just as they were beginning to ease. The images show two columns of steam rising from the building, suggesting the facility — shut down under a 2007 pact and considered a key to expanding the country's small nuclear arsenal — is nearly operational. [CNN]

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8. Japan protests French cartoon mocking Fukushima

The Japanese government plans to make a formal complaint to French satirical newspaper Le Canard Enchainé for a cartoon mocking the decision to award Tokyo the 2020 Olympics in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown. The drawing shows two scrawny sumo wrestlers with extra limbs grappling in front of nuclear reactors and reads: "Thanks to Fukushima, sumo has become an Olympic sport." Japan called the cartoon "extremely regrettable." [Bloomberg]

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9. Nagging ankle injury ends Jeter's season

The New York Yankees placed shortstop and team captain Derek Jeter on the disabled list due to a ankle injury, prematurely ending his season. Jeter missed the first part of the season, then played in only 17 games, twice returning to the disabled list due to lingering problems with the surgically repaired left ankle he broke in the playoffs last year. Jeter, 39, said the season was a nightmare but he will return next year. [Sports Illustrated]

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10. AMC confirms plans for a Breaking Bad spinoff

Breaking Bad fans, bracing for the popular drama's final episode this month, got good news on Wednesday, when AMC and Sony Pictures TV announced they had reached an agreement to make a spinoff based on the popular Saul Goodman character, played by Bob Odenkirk. The new series, Better Call Saul, would be a prequel, exploring Goodman's life before he became chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin Walter White's sleazy lawyer. [Variety]

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