It was a year of stormy headlines in 2013, from the fierce partisan rancor surrounding "Obamacare" to the emotionally charged divisions over guns, gay marriage, and race – as well as the devastating weather that afflicted the nation's heartland.
But 2013 also saw some new beginnings: New York's One World Trade Center officially became the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere at 1,776 feet – a symbolic presence of US resilience and renewal. But even as a rebuilt "Freedom Tower" heralded the beginning of a new era of sorts, anxieties old and new were a heavy presence in many people's minds. Indeed symbols of freedom were suddenly jarred with the bombings at the Boston Marathon, a reminder of the more-than-decade-long threat of terrorism. And an ocean of secret documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed a gasp-inducing picture of government surveillance – domestic spying meant to shield Americans from further harm.
None of these events, however, is your top-ranked US-based story of 2013 – at least not directly. Here are 10 top stories Americans followed in 2013, ranked by respondents to a Nov. 21-25 Monitor/TIPP poll according to the percentage who said they followed the story very closely.
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