NEW YORK - The glitch-plagued rollout of President Obama's health-care overhaul was the top news story of 2013, followed by the Boston Marathon bombing and the dramatic papal changeover at the Vatican, according to the Associated Press' annual poll of U.S. editors and news directors.
The saga of the Affordable Care Act received 45 first-place votes out of the 144 ballots cast for the top 10 stories. The Boston bombing received 29 first-place votes and the papal transition 21.
The first AP top-stories poll was conducted in 1936, when editors chose the abdication of Britain's King Edward VIII.
Here are 2013's top 10 stories, in order:
Health-care overhaul. The White House had hoped the Oct. 1 launch of open enrollment would be a showcase. Instead, the website became a symbol of dysfunction. The site improved, but a wave of cancellation notices from insurers undercut Obama's oft-repeated pledge that people who liked their existing coverage could keep it.
Marathon bombing. In seconds, celebration transformed into carnage, as two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in April. Three people were killed and more than 260 injured. Authorities soon identified two suspects - Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who died in a shootout with police, and his brother, Dzhokhar, 20, who faces multiple charges.
Vatican changeover. Pope Benedict XVI stunned Catholics around the world with his announcement in February that he would resign. The cardinal elected to succeed him, soon known as Pope Francis, proceeded to captivate Catholics and non-Catholics alike with a tone of openness, modesty, and tolerance.
Divided Congress. Polls showed Congress with historically low ratings, and the key reason was partisan conflict. Among the consequences were the automatic spending curbs known as sequestration and October's government shutdown.
NSA spying. The ripples continue months after the world learned of Edward Snowden, the former NSA analyst who leaked troves of documents detailing NSA surveillance operations.
Gay marriage. The gay-rights movement won a huge victory in June with two Supreme Court decisions. One cleared the way for ending a ban on same-sex marriages in California. The other struck a 1996 law passed by Congress that banned federal recognition of same-sex marriages. Other states soon followed.
Nelson Mandela. With the South African leader's death at 95, his compatriots, world leaders, and countless other admirers mourned the loss of a one-of-a-kind hero.
Philippines typhoon. The toll wreaked by Typhoon Haiyan was stunning in its scope after it struck Nov. 8. More than 6,000 people died; hundreds remain missing. The typhoon damaged or destroyed the homes of more than 16 million people, with rebuilding expected to take years.
Syria. The death toll rose past 120,000 as Syria's nearly three-year-old civil warfare raged on with no signs of resolution.
Missing women found. A call for help came May 6, and the revelations that followed were grim. A former bus driver, Ariel Castro, had abducted three females from the streets of Cleveland from 2002 to 2004 when they were 14, 16, and 20. He kept them chained and raped and assaulted them until their escape. He pleaded guilty to multiple charges, and in September, faced with life in prison, hanged himself in his cell.