(Feb. 27) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day - The Explorer: Today's Headlines

(Feb. 27) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day

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Posted: Thursday, February 27, 2014 9:14 am

1. Brewer vetoes Arizona's anti-gay bill

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would have allowed businesses to deny service to gay customers on religious grounds. "I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve," she said. Gay rights activists and politicians from both parties applauded, but the conservative Family Research Council's Tony Perkins said Brewer was trampling on "people's religious freedoms." [NBC News, The Washington Post]

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2. Russia holds military exercises near Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent 150,000 troops near Ukraine for military exercises on Wednesday. Russia has complained that the overthrow of fugitive former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych threatened its interests. Russian media reported that Yanukovych was in Russia, asking to be protected from "extremists" back home. In Ukraine, tensions rose on Thursday as gunmen seized government buildings in the country's autonomous Crimea region and raised a Russian flag. [The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press]

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3. Judge calls Texas' ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional

A federal judge struck down Texas' same-sex marriage ban on Wednesday, saying it denied gay couples marriage rights "for no legitimate reason." Democrats and gay-rights advocates said Judge Orlando Garcia's ruling was a milestone for equality, while Republicans called Garcia an activist judge trying to reverse the will of the voters who approved the ban. However, the ruling won't have any immediate effect because Garcia stayed the decision pending the state's appeal. [The New York Times]

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4. Kerry compares Uganda's anti-gay law to apartheid

Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday likened Uganda's new anti-gay law to apartheid and anti-Semitism, stepping up already harsh criticism from the Obama administration. "You could change the focus of this legislation to black or Jewish and you could be in 1930s Germany or you could be in 1950s-1960s apartheid South Africa," Kerry said. Since the enactment of the law, Washington has started a review of its relations with Uganda. [Reuters]

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5. Army finds 588 troops not suited for sensitive jobs

The Army removed 588 soldiers from sensitive jobs — including some sexual assault counselors — after learning they had committed infractions ranging from sexual assault to child abuse to drunken driving, military officials said Wednesday. The Army reviewed files on 20,000 soldiers, counselors, recruiters, drill sergeants, and others under orders from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to reduce rapes in the military. [The Associated Press]

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6. Anti-graft commission targets Thailand's prime minister

Thailand's National Anti-Corruption Commission on Thursday called on embattled Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to answer negligence charges stemming from her handling of a subsidized rice program. The charges could, in theory, lead to her impeachment. The prime minister's supporters responded by blocking the gates to the commission's headquarters. The dispute comes after three months of protests demanding Yingluck's resignation. [The Associated Press]

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7. Report questions some cases of deadly force at the border

An independent review criticized Border Patrol agents for the inappropriate use of deadly force. Investigators reviewed 67 cases that involved 19 deaths, and reported that in some cases agents might have deliberately stepped in front of oncoming cars to justify firing at their drivers. In other cases agents allegedly shot at people throwing rocks from the Mexican side of the border. [Los Angeles Times]

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8. One of British soldier's killers sentenced to life

A British court has handed down lengthy prison sentences to two radical Islamist men who drove a car into British soldier Lee Rigby and then hacked him to death last May. Michael Adebolajo, 29, was sentenced to life; Michael Adebowale, 22, was sentenced to 45 years. Neither of the defendants was in the courtroom when the terms were announced; they had been removed for shouting at the judge. [Irish Times]

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9. Kepler telescope detects 715 planets beyond the solar system

NASA's Kepler Space Telescope has spotted 715 confirmed planets, astronomers announced Wednesday. "We've almost doubled today the number of planets known to humanity," NASA planetary scientist Jack Lissauer said. That's just the beginning. The Kepler team has said it has found several thousand potential "exoplanets" outside our solar system, but scientists have not been able to confirm most of them yet. [The Washington Post]

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10. George W. Bush paintings are going on display

Paintings by former president George W. Bush will go on display at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas starting in April. The exhibit, The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy, will include more than two dozen portraits by Bush, along with photographs and other artifacts. Bush began painting after leaving the White House. [Houston Chronicle]

Compiled by theweek.com

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