(January 29) Today's Top Headlines - Top 10 stories of the day - Tucson Local Media: Today's Headlines

(January 29) Today's Top Headlines - Top 10 stories of the day

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Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 8:49 am

1. Obama says he will go it alone on the economy if Congress won't act

President Obama declared in his State of the Union address Thursday night that he would act on his own to boost the economy if Congress failed to act due to partisan gridlock. Starting what he said would be a "year of action," Obama announced several initiatives, including an executive order raising the minimum wage for federal contractors from $7.25 an hour to $10.10, and the creation of a new retirement savings plan, MyRA, to let workers without 401(k)s make before-tax investments in U.S. bonds. [The New York Times, Bloomberg]

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2. Southern states hit with a rare blast of snow

The South was hit by a "once in a decade" mix of snow and ice on Tuesday. Louisiana, Georgia, and South Carolina declared emergencies, and airlines canceled 3,400 flights. More flights were canceled in advance on Wednesday, after temperatures hit 10 to 20 degrees below normal. The Arctic blast is part of a front that has also put parts of the Northeast and northern plains under warnings for dangerous wind chills. [Reuters, USA Today]

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3. House passes bill barring the use of ObamaCare subsidies for abortion

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill seeking to bar any federal subsidies under the Affordable Care Act from being used to pay for a health-care plan covering abortion. The 227–188 vote, essentially along party lines, marked the 50th time the House had passed a measure seeking to repeal or limit ObamaCare. The bill is not expected to stand a chance in the Senate, which is run by Democrats, but it underscored Congress' partisan divide ahead of President Obama's State of the Union address. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

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4. Wendy Davis' daughters say critics are being unfair

The daughters of Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis pushed back in an open letter against GOP critics who say she gave a misleading account of her life. Davis has portrayed herself as a single mother who lived in a trailer park and went on to Harvard Law School. Her detractors have accused her of abandoning her daughters while her husband put her through Harvard. Her daughters, Amber and Dru, said the claims their mother abandoned them were "ridiculously unfair" and "completely untrue." [USA Today]

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5. Google shows off stylish frames for Google Glass

Google announced Tuesday that it would make its Google Glass face-mounted computers available in four prescription options and several styles of sunglasses. The fashionable alternatives to the original frames are Google's latest tweaks to make the devices more appealing to users ahead of the start of sales to the general public at the end of 2014. The newly designed frames with prescription lenses will run $225, while the three sunglass frames designed by Maui Jim will cost $150. [CNN]

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6. China faces deadly bird flu again

Evidence of the deadly H7N9 bird flu's comeback spread on Wednesday, with Hong Kong government officials reporting a third recent death there. China has gone on alert after reporting 96 infections and 19 deaths since the beginning of 2014. Shanghai is halting live poultry sales for three months starting Friday, and Hong Kong is stopping live-chicken sales for three weeks after poultry imported from China tested positive for the infection. [Reuters, Bloomberg Businessweek]

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7. Yahoo's revenue drop drags down its stock

Yahoo shares fell by 4 percent Tuesday after it reported declining revenue for the fourth straight quarter at the end of 2013, due to a slip in ad prices. The drop was relatively minor — net revenue was $1.2 billion, down from $1.22 billion a year ago — but it was disappointing for a company hoping for a turnaround under CEO Marissa Mayer, a former Google executive. On the positive side, Yahoo's stock price had doubled since the start of the year thanks to its one-quarter stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. [Los Angeles Times]

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8. Border Control grounds its drones

U.S. Border Control and Customs on Tuesday grounded its fleet of aerial drones, which it uses to patrol the Mexican border and waters off California, after one of the aircraft lost power and crashed into the Pacific Ocean on Monday night. The agency notified federal aviation authorities, although it said the mishap appeared to have been caused by a "mechanical failure." It said it was investigating but keeping its nine remaining drones on the ground "out of an abundance of caution." [The Wall Street Journal]

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9. Britain's Royal Household busts its budget

The British royal family exceeded its $51.4 million annual budget by $3.8 million last year, forcing it to dip into reserves and leaving Queen Elizabeth II with a "historically low" $1.6 million to cover unforeseen expenses, according to a report released Tuesday by British lawmakers. The fund had $58 million as recently as 2001. Last year, the household's utility bill alone was $16 million. Lawmakers said the Royal Household administrators need to cut spending and take better care of the royal estate. [NBC News, ABC News]

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10. Mötley Crüe calling it quits after farewell tour

Heavy metal rockers Mötley Crüe announced Tuesday that they were going on a big farewell tour, then retiring. The band — made up of Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, and Mick Mars — has been together for 33 years, and made nine studio albums, with a 10th due out later this year. "We just want to go out on top. Leave a legacy behind," Neil said, according to the band's Twitter account. "We won't be doing any more concerts after this. This is the final tour." [Fox News]

Compiled by theweek.com

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