(September 18) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day - The Explorer: Today's Headlines

(September 18) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day

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Posted: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 8:34 am

1. Tea Partiers force a showdown over ObamaCare

The threat of a government shutdown is growing as House Republicans move toward voting to strip ObamaCare of its funding in a bill needed to keep federal agencies open after September 30. GOP leaders, under threat of a revolt by Tea Party conservatives, are expected to announce the plan Wednesday. An attempt to undercut the health-care law would set up a stalemate with Senate Democrats, leaving federal agencies unable to open on October 1. [Washington Post, National Review]

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2. Details emerged about suspected Navy Yard killer's troubled, violent past

The Washington Navy Yard remains closed to all but essential employees on Wednesday as authorities investigate a murderous rampage that killed 12 people there on Monday. The tragedy sparked renewed calls for toughening gun laws, as reports emerged that the suspected gunman, Navy contractor Aaron Alexis — who was killed by police — had a history of violent outbursts and mental health problems, but still managed to buy guns and enter the base. [CNN, New York Daily News]

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3. Russia and the U.S. clash over the threat of force in Syria

The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council met Tuesday to negotiate a draft resolution on holding Syria to its promise to hand over its stockpile of chemical weapons, but the talks stalled over whether to include the threat of military action if Syria reneges. Russia, Syria's main ally, opposes mentioning force. The U.S., Britain, and France insist it is necessary to ensure that Syria doesn't drag its feet. [New York Times]

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4. Markets are cautious ahead of the Fed's stimulus announcement

Financial markets were stable early Wednesday as investors awaited an expected announcement from the Federal Reserve that it will start cutting back on its effort to stimulate the economy by buying up bonds. The Fed has been purchasing $85 billion worth of assets monthly to pump money into the economy. Experts polled by Reuters expect the Fed to move slowly, starting with a $10 billion cut, as the economy gets back on track. [Reuters]

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5. Fire officials say Jersey Shore boardwalk fire was an accident, not arson

Investigators have concluded that a fire that destroyed several blocks of the Boardwalk in Seaside Park, N.J., last week was caused by wiring that might have been damaged by flooding from Hurricane Sandy last year. Many shops along the beach were preparing to close after a slow summer season, and some locals had suspected arson. The superstorm ravaged the town and others nearby along the Jersey Shore, and the Boardwalk had just been rebuilt. [New York Times]

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6. Brazilian leader postpones U.S. visit over NSA spying allegations

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Tuesday that she had postponed an October state visit to the U.S. to protest the National Security Agency's alleged spying on her government. The interception of Brazilian government and private communications "is incompatible with democratic coexistence between friendly countries," her office said. White House spokesman Jay Carney said President Obama "understands and regrets" her concerns. [USA Today]

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7. Deadly storm batters Acapulco and strands tourists

Thousands of tourists struggled to get out of Acapulco on Tuesday after Tropical Storm Manuel flooded the city's airport and blocked twin roads leading to Mexico City with landslides. Families waited up to eight hours for spots on commercial jets, military helicopters, and cargo planes. The death toll from the one-two punch of Manuel and Hurricane Ingrid, which hit the Gulf Coast, rose to 47 on Tuesday. [USA Today]

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8. Starbucks asks customers to leave their guns at home

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz released an open letter to customers late Tuesday asking them to stop bringing guns into the coffee chain's stores. Gun rights advocates in August held "Starbucks Appreciation Days" because Starbucks's old policy was to defer to local "open carry" laws allowing people to enter stores armed. Schultz said the events falsely portrayed Starbucks as a champion of "open carry" and "made our customers uncomfortable." [Associated Press]

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9. AMC to split Mad Men's final season

AMC announced Tuesday that it is splitting the final season of its popular drama series Mad Men in two, airing seven episodes in 2014 and seven in 2015. The goal is to build up anticipation for the final episodes to boost ratings. The cable channel used the same strategy with Breaking Bad, which attracted nearly twice as many viewers to the premiere of the second half of its final season than it had for any other episode. [Variety]

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10. NFL considers raising Super Bowl prices... a lot

National Football League officials confirmed Tuesday they might jack up prices on tickets to February's Super Bowl. The move, though not final, would push prices on 9,000 club-level seats at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium as high as $2,600. Last year's highest price was $1,250. NFL officials said they wanted close the gap between the face value of tickets and the market value, as reflected in prices charged by scalpers. [New York Post]

compiled by theweek.com

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