(Jan. 3) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day - Tucson Local Media: Today's Headlines

(Jan. 3) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day

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Posted: Friday, January 3, 2014 8:39 am

1. Blizzard pummels the Northeast

A massive blizzard swept through the Northeast on Thursday night, dumping a foot of snow on some regions and forcing thousands of flight cancellations. More than 100 million people in 22 states have been affected by the ongoing storm, which has also ushered in subzero temperatures. [CNN]

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2. Sunni militants gain ground in key Iraqi cities

Two of Iraq's most strategically important cities, Fallujah and Ramadi, have been overwhelmed by Sunni rebels with ties to al Qaeda. The Iraqi government has rushed troops to the area to quell the violence as the extremists set fire to police stations and freed prisoners. The militants have also occupied mosques, using the mosques' loudspeakers to urge Iraqis to join their movement. [New York Times]

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3. Study finds emergency room visits increase with coverage

A new study has found that expanding health-care coverage may not reduce the number of emergency room visits. The research, which looked at Oregon's 2008 Medicaid expansion, showed a 40 percent increase in ER visits among low-income adults recently insured. The findings appear to undercut the argument that expanding coverage would decrease medical costs because more people can see primary care doctors. Under the Affordable Care Act, 25 states and the District of Columbia have extended Medicaid coverage to adults who earn less than 133 percent of the federal poverty line. [Washington Post]

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4. Fiat fully acquires Chrysler

Fiat struck a $4.35 billion deal that allows the company to buy the 41.5 percent of Chrysler it doesn't own and finish its acquisition of the third largest U.S. automaker. The terms of the agreement, which was a year in the making, include about $3.65 billion in payments to a union retiree health-care trust. The merger is expected to take place by January 20. [Fox]

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5. Senators encourage Karzai to sign agreement with U.S.

A congressional delegation to Afghanistan urged the country's leaders to sign a long-term pact with the United States. The trio — Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) — also warned Afghan President Hamid Karzai that a plan to release close to 90 militants accused of attacking American forces would further strain the relationship between the two countries. [New York Times]

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6. More than 1,000 make shortlist to live on Mars

Mars One, a Dutch endeavor to put people on Mars, has narrowed its list of applicants down to about 1,000. More than 200,000 people applied for the project, which hopes to establish a permanent human colony on Mars by 2025. A series of rigorous tests will help whittle down the list to the 24 who will eventually make the trip. [Reuters]

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7. Court allows immigrant without green card to practice law

The California State Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Sergio Garcia, an immigrant without a green card, can practice law until his residency paperwork is approved. The decision was the first of its kind and could help others in similar situations get their law licenses. Garcia, who is from Mexico, passed the bar four years ago. [Los Angeles Times]

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8. Trapped Antarctic researchers rescued by helicopter

After a handful of attempts, all 52 passengers stranded on a research ship stuck in ice near Antarctica have been rescued. A helicopter from a Chinese icebreaker boat transported the group to an Australian ship called the Aurora Australis. The passengers had been marooned for 10 days before help was able to arrive. [CNN]

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9. Jovan Belcher's family suing Chiefs over brain injuries

The mother of Jovan Belcher, the Kansas City Chiefs player who murdered his girlfriend and then killed himself in December 2012, is suing his former team for failing to diagnose his brain injuries. The lawsuit, which was filed in a Kansas state court, is separate from the massive class action lawsuit filed against the NFL. [Christian Science Monitor]

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10. Toronto mayor Rob Ford files to run for re-election

Rob Ford, the Toronto mayor who admitted to smoking crack, has filed the paperwork to run for re-election. Ford has been stripped of most of his power, but told reporters he was going to run on his record. "You're going to see action like you've never seen before," he promised. The city's municipal election is scheduled for October 27. [CBS]

Compiled by theweek.com

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