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KNOW IT ALL: Friday’s Top Stories at NBC News

Image: California wild fire

U.S. Forestry Service fire crews conduct a burnout operation as flames near homes in Azusa, Calif., on Thursday. Over 500 firefighters, air tankers, helicopters and bulldozers are working to contain the fire which grew to over 1,700 acres. STUART PALLEY / EPA

Good morning and happy Friday. Here are six of the top stories we are following this morning at NBC News:

1. Wildfires rage in California once again

Thousands have been forced to flee their homes while more that 1,700 acres of drought-impaired foothills above Los Angeles burned. Three men have been charged for an illegal campfire than spread far beyond the campsite. Read more in US NEWS

2. Happy Birthday, Mrs. Obama

First lady Michelle Obama turns the big five-O today, and the president has an active and upbeat bash planned for her tomorrow. Read more in US NEWS

President Obama started campaigning for well-wishes yesterday:

3. Cigarettes cause even more harm than previously thought

A report due Friday will link smoking to a slew of diseases beyond lung cancer. The number of smokers in America has decreased, but the government might not meet its 12 percent goal by 2020, since 18 percent of adults still light up. Read more in HEALTH

4. Oscar gets snubby

Some actors and movies got repeated Academy Award nominations on Thursday, while others were ignored completely. Read more in ENTERTAINMENT

Oprah is clearly not a sore loser though, she enjoyed time last night with one of the stars who did get a nomination for best supporting actress:

5. The president has something to say about the NSA

President Barack Obama will call for ending the government's control of phone data from millions of Americans. The move marks a significant change to the National Security Agency's controversial bulk phone record collection program. Read more in US News

Andrea Mitchell: Obama’s ‘middle ground’ on NSA 0:39

6. A senator stepping down sans scandal

Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn announced Thursday he would retire at the end of the current session of Congress, even though he was set to serve two more years. The Republican is battling health problems but said the reason he is giving up his spot is because he can better serve his family by shifting his focus. Read more in US NEWS

... What's trending today?

How did we live before the iPhone? Well, we bought a lot of stuff. A Radio Shack circular from 1991 shows about $2,000 of state-of-the-art tech on the front page. Your smartphone functions as all 15 gadgets, fits in your pocket and can do a whole lot more.

Vintage Cassette Tape Recording Device Isolated
Vintage cassette tape recorder