5 Things to Know This Morning

PHOTO: Leon Panetta and female Marine Corps pilot

Your look at the five biggest and most buzz-worthy stories of the morning.

1. Military Allows Women to Serve in Combat

The military is lifting the exclusion of women serving in combat, lifting a ban that has been in place since 1994. The Pentagon confirms that an official announcement will be made this afternoon.

2. Secy Clinton Takes Responsibility For Benghazi Attack

Testifying before a pair of congressional panels on Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she takes responsibility for the Benghazi consulate attack that killed four Americans. Clinton responded angrily to attack on UN Ambassador Susan Rice who originally blamed the raid on protests over an anti-Islamic video instead of terrorism.

3. Tennis Ace Stephens Defeated in Semifinal

American tennis player Sloan Stephens, who beat tennis superstar Serena Williams, was defeated by number one player Victoria Azarenka in the Australia Open semi-finals on Wednesday night. Azarekna won 6-1 6-4 to reach the final.

4. Smokers Die 10 Years Earlier

A study out Wednesday night in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that smokers die at least 10 years earlier on average than those who have never smoked. The study also found that smokers who quit before the age of 40 reduced their risk of death linked to continued to smoking by 90 percent.

5. Cops Help Deliver Baby in Traffic Jam

Chicago cops are being credited with helping a woman deliver her baby in the middle of a traffic jam caused by an accident. Hector Morales was able to flag down first responders directing traffic at the scene who rushed to help deliver the baby.

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