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Top News Stories of 2013

SEPTEMBER: Salvage teams began hauling the capsized Costa Concordia cruise ship upright on the Italian island of Giglio September 16. Domnica Cemortan who was on the bridge of the Costa Concordia with captain Francesco Schettino when the cruiseliner hit a reef and capsized, admitted she had had an affair with him. Gunmen stormed a shopping mall in Nairobi September 21, killing at least 20 people in what Kenya says could be a terrorist attack, sending scores fleeing in search of safety. Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group said on September 24 its militants were still holed up in a Kenyan shopping mall they attacked, raising fears the death toll could be higher than 62. Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, blasted international sanctions against Iran on September 24. OCTOBER: The leader of Greece's far-right Golden Dawn party, Nikolaos Michaloliakos, appeared before an investigating magistrate on October 2. He faced charges of founding and belonging to a criminal organization, after being arrested following the killing of an anti-fascist rapper. President Barack Obama on October 1 blamed Republicans for an "ideological crusade" aimed at his healthcare program. Italy's coast guard on October 7 said officers had intercepted yet another migrant vessel off Sicily. NOVEMBER: The strongest typhoon in the world this year and possibly the most powerful ever to hit land smashed into the Philippines on November 8, forcing more than a million people to flee. A category-5 super typhoon, Haiyan, scoured the northern tip of Cebu Province and headed northwest towards Boracay Island, after lashing the central islands of Leyte and Samar. Survivors have begun rebuilding destroyed homes and emergency supplies started flowing in on November 16, as the United Nations estimated the number of homeless as nearly two million. Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis explained that he had a "moral and political responsibility" to resign after the collapse of the roof that killed 54 people. Iran and six world powers reached a breakthrough deal early on November 24 to curb Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for limited sanctions relief. Jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko declared an "unlimited hunger strike". DECEMBER: Thailand's anti-government protesters marched from various parts of the capital to the Government House on December 9 to bring down Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her administration. South African President Jacob Zuma said Nelson Mandela passed away peacefully on December 5 at his Johannesburg home, and he will be accorded a state funeral.

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