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Top stories of 2013

<p>Jodi Arias was accused of first-degree murder in the death of 30-year-old Travis Alexander, whose body was found in the shower of his Phoenix valley home in June 2008. Arias reacts as a guilty verdict is read in her first-degree murder trial in Phoenix, May 8, 2013. REUTERS/Rob Schumacher/Arizona Republic/Pool</p>

Jodi Arias was accused of first-degree murder in the death of 30-year-old Travis Alexander, whose body was found in the shower of his Phoenix valley home in June 2008. Arias reacts as a guilty verdict is read in her first-degree murder trial in...more

Jodi Arias was accused of first-degree murder in the death of 30-year-old Travis Alexander, whose body was found in the shower of his Phoenix valley home in June 2008. Arias reacts as a guilty verdict is read in her first-degree murder trial in Phoenix, May 8, 2013. REUTERS/Rob Schumacher/Arizona Republic/Pool

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<p>Two simultaneous explosions ripped through the crowd at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring hundreds on a day when tens of thousands of people pack the streets to watch the world famous race. Runners continue to run towards the finish line of the Boston Marathon as an explosion erupts near the finish line of the race in Boston, April 15, 2013. REUTERS/Dan Lampariello</p>

Two simultaneous explosions ripped through the crowd at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring hundreds on a day when tens of thousands of people pack the streets to watch the world famous race. Runners continue to...more

Two simultaneous explosions ripped through the crowd at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring hundreds on a day when tens of thousands of people pack the streets to watch the world famous race. Runners continue to run towards the finish line of the Boston Marathon as an explosion erupts near the finish line of the race in Boston, April 15, 2013. REUTERS/Dan Lampariello

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<p>George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida, was acquitted of murder in July. A message is displayed on the face of Keesha Clark during a march to protest Zimmerman's acquittal in Los Angeles, July 20, 2013. REUTERS/David McNew</p>

George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida, was acquitted of murder in July. A message is displayed on the face of Keesha Clark during a march to protest Zimmerman's acquittal in Los Angeles, July...more

George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida, was acquitted of murder in July. A message is displayed on the face of Keesha Clark during a march to protest Zimmerman's acquittal in Los Angeles, July 20, 2013. REUTERS/David McNew

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<p>President Obama reaches out to help Affordable Care Act beneficiary Karmel Allison, who began to faint during the president's speech about healthcare from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, October 21, 2013. The rollout of Obama's signature healthcare law, which requires most Americans to get health insurance or face fines, was plagued by a glitchy website and political opposition. REUTERS/Jason Reed</p>

President Obama reaches out to help Affordable Care Act beneficiary Karmel Allison, who began to faint during the president's speech about healthcare from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, October 21, 2013. The rollout of Obama's...more

President Obama reaches out to help Affordable Care Act beneficiary Karmel Allison, who began to faint during the president's speech about healthcare from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, October 21, 2013. The rollout of Obama's signature healthcare law, which requires most Americans to get health insurance or face fines, was plagued by a glitchy website and political opposition. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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<p>Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed extensive details of global electronic surveillance by the U.S. spy agency. Snowden left his post in Hawaii in May and went public with his first revelations about the NSA from Hong Kong a few weeks later. Later in June, he left for Russia and stayed at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport until the Kremlin granted him temporary one-year asylum after nearly six weeks. Protesters supporting Snowden hold a photo of him during a demonstration outside the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong, June 13, 2013. REUTERS/Bobby Yip</p>

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed extensive details of global electronic surveillance by the U.S. spy agency. Snowden left his post in Hawaii in May and went public with his first revelations about the NSA from Hong...more

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed extensive details of global electronic surveillance by the U.S. spy agency. Snowden left his post in Hawaii in May and went public with his first revelations about the NSA from Hong Kong a few weeks later. Later in June, he left for Russia and stayed at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport until the Kremlin granted him temporary one-year asylum after nearly six weeks. Protesters supporting Snowden hold a photo of him during a demonstration outside the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong, June 13, 2013. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

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<p>Former South African President Nelson Mandela died aged 95 on December 5 in Johannesburg and was buried in his home village of Qunu following 10 days of emotion-charged mourning in South Africa. Anda, a 15 year-old local boy, watches from his hut's window the burial ground of Mandela ahead of his funeral in Qunu, December 15, 2013. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis</p>

Former South African President Nelson Mandela died aged 95 on December 5 in Johannesburg and was buried in his home village of Qunu following 10 days of emotion-charged mourning in South Africa. Anda, a 15 year-old local boy, watches from his hut's...more

Former South African President Nelson Mandela died aged 95 on December 5 in Johannesburg and was buried in his home village of Qunu following 10 days of emotion-charged mourning in South Africa. Anda, a 15 year-old local boy, watches from his hut's window the burial ground of Mandela ahead of his funeral in Qunu, December 15, 2013. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

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<p>Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to Prince George, who is third in line to the British throne, on July 22, 2013, ending weeks of feverish anticipation about the arrival of the royal baby. Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate appear with their baby son outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, in central London July 23, 2013.  REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton</p>

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to Prince George, who is third in line to the British throne, on July 22, 2013, ending weeks of feverish anticipation about the arrival of the royal baby. Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate appear...more

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to Prince George, who is third in line to the British throne, on July 22, 2013, ending weeks of feverish anticipation about the arrival of the royal baby. Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate appear with their baby son outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, in central London July 23, 2013. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

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<p>Considered the deadliest garment factory accident in history, 1,129 people died when the eight-story Rana Plaza building collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on April 24, 2013. More than 2,500 injured workers were rescued from the rubble. Rescue workers attempt to rescue garment workers from the rubble of the collapsed building, April 28, 2013. REUTERS</p>

Considered the deadliest garment factory accident in history, 1,129 people died when the eight-story Rana Plaza building collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on April 24, 2013. More than 2,500 injured workers were rescued from the rubble. Rescue workers...more

Considered the deadliest garment factory accident in history, 1,129 people died when the eight-story Rana Plaza building collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on April 24, 2013. More than 2,500 injured workers were rescued from the rubble. Rescue workers attempt to rescue garment workers from the rubble of the collapsed building, April 28, 2013. REUTERS

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<p>Hundreds were killed on August 21, 2013 when rebel-controlled areas in Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, were struck by rockets containing the chemical agent sarin. The attack sparked international debate on whether to intervene in the escalating civil war in Syria. A view shows bodies of children whom activists say were killed by gas attack in Ghouta, August 21, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed Abdullah</p>

Hundreds were killed on August 21, 2013 when rebel-controlled areas in Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, were struck by rockets containing the chemical agent sarin. The attack sparked international debate on whether to intervene in the escalating civil...more

Hundreds were killed on August 21, 2013 when rebel-controlled areas in Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, were struck by rockets containing the chemical agent sarin. The attack sparked international debate on whether to intervene in the escalating civil war in Syria. A view shows bodies of children whom activists say were killed by gas attack in Ghouta, August 21, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed Abdullah

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<p>Two years after resigning from U.S. Congress due to a sexting scandal, Anthony Weiner again admitted in July 2013 to sending explicit messages to women in 2012 using the alias "Carlos Danger," during his bid to become New York City mayor. Despite calls to drop out, Weiner continued his campaign, receiving just 5% of the vote in the mayoral primary. Anthony Weiner reacts while making a campaign stop in the Queens borough of New York, July 29, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton</p>

Two years after resigning from U.S. Congress due to a sexting scandal, Anthony Weiner again admitted in July 2013 to sending explicit messages to women in 2012 using the alias "Carlos Danger," during his bid to become New York City mayor. Despite...more

Two years after resigning from U.S. Congress due to a sexting scandal, Anthony Weiner again admitted in July 2013 to sending explicit messages to women in 2012 using the alias "Carlos Danger," during his bid to become New York City mayor. Despite calls to drop out, Weiner continued his campaign, receiving just 5% of the vote in the mayoral primary. Anthony Weiner reacts while making a campaign stop in the Queens borough of New York, July 29, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

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<p>Super typhoon Haiyan reduced almost everything in its path to rubble when it swept ashore in the central Philippines on November 8, killing at least 6,069 people, leaving 1,779 missing and 4 million either homeless or with damaged homes. Residents look at a ship that was swept by Typhoon Haiyan in downtown Tacloban city in central Philippines, November 21, 2013. REUTERS/Erik De Castro</p>

Super typhoon Haiyan reduced almost everything in its path to rubble when it swept ashore in the central Philippines on November 8, killing at least 6,069 people, leaving 1,779 missing and 4 million either homeless or with damaged homes. Residents...more

Super typhoon Haiyan reduced almost everything in its path to rubble when it swept ashore in the central Philippines on November 8, killing at least 6,069 people, leaving 1,779 missing and 4 million either homeless or with damaged homes. Residents look at a ship that was swept by Typhoon Haiyan in downtown Tacloban city in central Philippines, November 21, 2013. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

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<p>After the Newtown tragedy in December 2012, Connecticut passed several new gun control and mental health measures, but a similar effort pushed by President  Obama failed in the U.S. Senate. Neil Heslin, father of 6-year-old Newtown victim Jesse Lewis, cries during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 27, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas</p>

After the Newtown tragedy in December 2012, Connecticut passed several new gun control and mental health measures, but a similar effort pushed by President Obama failed in the U.S. Senate. Neil Heslin, father of 6-year-old Newtown victim Jesse...more

After the Newtown tragedy in December 2012, Connecticut passed several new gun control and mental health measures, but a similar effort pushed by President Obama failed in the U.S. Senate. Neil Heslin, father of 6-year-old Newtown victim Jesse Lewis, cries during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 27, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

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<p>The execution of Kim Jon Un's uncle Jang Song Thaek in December was the biggest upheaval in years in North Korea, which has conducted three nuclear tests and this year raised the possibility of nuclear war with South Korea and the United States. North Korean soldiers look to the South as they patrol at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarised zone separating the North from South Korea in Paju, 34 miles north of Seoul, March 19, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won</p>

The execution of Kim Jon Un's uncle Jang Song Thaek in December was the biggest upheaval in years in North Korea, which has conducted three nuclear tests and this year raised the possibility of nuclear war with South Korea and the United States....more

The execution of Kim Jon Un's uncle Jang Song Thaek in December was the biggest upheaval in years in North Korea, which has conducted three nuclear tests and this year raised the possibility of nuclear war with South Korea and the United States. North Korean soldiers look to the South as they patrol at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarised zone separating the North from South Korea in Paju, 34 miles north of Seoul, March 19, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

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<p>A meteor exploded over the Russian region of the Urals on February 15, 2013, injuring 1,500 from the resulting blast and shock wave as fragmentary meteorites fell from the sky. The trail of the meteor is seen above a residential apartment block in Chelyabinsk, in this still image taken from video, February 15, 2013. REUTERS/OOO Spetszakaz</p>

A meteor exploded over the Russian region of the Urals on February 15, 2013, injuring 1,500 from the resulting blast and shock wave as fragmentary meteorites fell from the sky. The trail of the meteor is seen above a residential apartment block in...more

A meteor exploded over the Russian region of the Urals on February 15, 2013, injuring 1,500 from the resulting blast and shock wave as fragmentary meteorites fell from the sky. The trail of the meteor is seen above a residential apartment block in Chelyabinsk, in this still image taken from video, February 15, 2013. REUTERS/OOO Spetszakaz

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<p>Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope on March 13, after his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict resigned on February 28, saying he no longer had the physical and spiritual strength to lead the 1.2 billion member Roman Catholic Church. Francis has proven to be hugely popular because of his statements urging the Church to be closer to the poor and to be more merciful and less condemning. Pope Francis leads the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) procession during Good Friday at the Colosseum in Rome, March 29, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi</p>

Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope on March 13, after his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict resigned on February 28, saying he no longer had the physical and spiritual strength to lead the 1.2 billion member Roman Catholic Church. Francis has...more

Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope on March 13, after his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict resigned on February 28, saying he no longer had the physical and spiritual strength to lead the 1.2 billion member Roman Catholic Church. Francis has proven to be hugely popular because of his statements urging the Church to be closer to the poor and to be more merciful and less condemning. Pope Francis leads the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) procession during Good Friday at the Colosseum in Rome, March 29, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

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<p>In June, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a landmark victory for gay rights by overturning a federal law that barred federal benefits for same-sex marriages in states where such marriages are legal. Two same-sex couples fill out their marriage license at City Hall in San Francisco, June 29, 2013. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals officially ended California's ban on gay marriage following the landmark ruling at the Supreme Court. REUTERS/Stephen Lam</p>

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a landmark victory for gay rights by overturning a federal law that barred federal benefits for same-sex marriages in states where such marriages are legal. Two same-sex couples fill out their marriage...more

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a landmark victory for gay rights by overturning a federal law that barred federal benefits for same-sex marriages in states where such marriages are legal. Two same-sex couples fill out their marriage license at City Hall in San Francisco, June 29, 2013. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals officially ended California's ban on gay marriage following the landmark ruling at the Supreme Court. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

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<p>Egypt's army-backed government cracked down hard on the Muslim Brotherhood after the army deposed former President Mohamed Mursi on July 3 after mass protests against his rule, killing hundreds of its supporters and arresting thousands more. An injured supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi carries a poster of Mursi as they run from tear gas fired by riot police during clashes on the Sixth of October Bridge over the Ramsis square area in central Cairo, July 15, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany</p>

Egypt's army-backed government cracked down hard on the Muslim Brotherhood after the army deposed former President Mohamed Mursi on July 3 after mass protests against his rule, killing hundreds of its supporters and arresting thousands more. An...more

Egypt's army-backed government cracked down hard on the Muslim Brotherhood after the army deposed former President Mohamed Mursi on July 3 after mass protests against his rule, killing hundreds of its supporters and arresting thousands more. An injured supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi carries a poster of Mursi as they run from tear gas fired by riot police during clashes on the Sixth of October Bridge over the Ramsis square area in central Cairo, July 15, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

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<p>Three kidnapped women -- Amanda Berry, 27, Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32, along with Berry's 6-year-old daughter fathered by their captor Ariel Castro -- escaped from the house they had been confined in for a decade in May. Castro pleaded guilty to nearly 1,000 counts, including kidnapping, rape and aggravated murder for causing Knight to miscarry by beating and starving her. He was sentenced to life in prison, but was found hanged in his cell just one month into his sentence. Knight pauses to wipe away tears as she reads her statements during the sentencing of Castro at a court hearing in Cleveland, August 1, 2013. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk</p>

Three kidnapped women -- Amanda Berry, 27, Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32, along with Berry's 6-year-old daughter fathered by their captor Ariel Castro -- escaped from the house they had been confined in for a decade in May. Castro pleaded...more

Three kidnapped women -- Amanda Berry, 27, Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32, along with Berry's 6-year-old daughter fathered by their captor Ariel Castro -- escaped from the house they had been confined in for a decade in May. Castro pleaded guilty to nearly 1,000 counts, including kidnapping, rape and aggravated murder for causing Knight to miscarry by beating and starving her. He was sentenced to life in prison, but was found hanged in his cell just one month into his sentence. Knight pauses to wipe away tears as she reads her statements during the sentencing of Castro at a court hearing in Cleveland, August 1, 2013. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk

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<p>Gunmen from a Somali Islamist group killed 72 people after storming the Westgate shopping mall in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on September 21, 2013, sending scores fleeing into shops, a cinema and onto the streets seeking safety.  An injured woman cries for help, September 21, 2013. REUTERS/Noor Khamis</p>

Gunmen from a Somali Islamist group killed 72 people after storming the Westgate shopping mall in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on September 21, 2013, sending scores fleeing into shops, a cinema and onto the streets seeking safety. An injured woman...more

Gunmen from a Somali Islamist group killed 72 people after storming the Westgate shopping mall in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on September 21, 2013, sending scores fleeing into shops, a cinema and onto the streets seeking safety. An injured woman cries for help, September 21, 2013. REUTERS/Noor Khamis

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<p>The U.S. government partially shut down for the first time in 17 years in October as a standoff between President Obama and congressional Republicans over healthcare reforms closed many government offices, museums and national parks and slowed everything from trade negotiations to medical research. Fay Wagstaff of El Paso, Texas, sits disappointed upon finding out the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum is closed in Washington, October 1, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque</p>

The U.S. government partially shut down for the first time in 17 years in October as a standoff between President Obama and congressional Republicans over healthcare reforms closed many government offices, museums and national parks and slowed...more

The U.S. government partially shut down for the first time in 17 years in October as a standoff between President Obama and congressional Republicans over healthcare reforms closed many government offices, museums and national parks and slowed everything from trade negotiations to medical research. Fay Wagstaff of El Paso, Texas, sits disappointed upon finding out the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum is closed in Washington, October 1, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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<p>The city of Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history on July 18, and it has more than $18 billion in debt. A vacant and blighted home, covered with red spray paint, sits alone in an east side neighborhood once full of homes in Detroit, January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook</p>

The city of Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history on July 18, and it has more than $18 billion in debt. A vacant and blighted home, covered with red spray paint, sits alone in an east side neighborhood once full of homes in...more

The city of Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history on July 18, and it has more than $18 billion in debt. A vacant and blighted home, covered with red spray paint, sits alone in an east side neighborhood once full of homes in Detroit, January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

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