Content Section
  1. Secret War U.S. Drones Fire in Somalia Mohamed Sheikh Nor / AP Photo

    1. U.S. Drones Fire in Somalia

    The U.S. expanded its drone campaign to Somalia last week, according to new statements from an American official, apparently wounding two members of the al Qaeda-aligned militant group al-Shabab. The strike was reportedly ordered after growing concerns that al-Shabab was working with al Qaeda to coordinate terror attacks outside of Somalia. This makes Somalia at least the sixth nation to be targeted by U.S. drones, along with Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq, and Yemen. Al-Shabab has become “somewhat emboldened” lately, an American official told The Washington Post.

    June 30, 2011 12:08 AM

  2. One More Rhode Island to Allow Civil Unions Victoria Arocho / AP Photo

    2. Rhode Island to Allow Civil Unions

    Less than a week after New York approved gay marriage, Rhode Island's senate approved a bill Wednesday allowing same-sex couples to enter civil unions. Gov. Lincoln Chafee said he is inclined to sign the bill. The bill, which was passed in the house chamber this week, will allow gay couples the same rights and benefits given to married couples under Rhode Island law. But several same-sex marriage groups are urging Chafee to veto the bill because it allows religious institutions to ignore rights given through civil unions. Thirty-nine states have banned same-sex marriage outright.

    June 29, 2011 11:12 PM

  3. Libya France: We Armed Libyan Rebels Jacques Brinon / AP Photo

    3. France: We Armed Libyan Rebels

    Becoming the first NATO nation to admit to directly arming Libya’s rebels, a French military spokesman on Wednesday admitted to sending “assault rifles, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades and launchers” to anti-Gaddafi forces. In May, the United Nations requested a “humanitarian pause” so they could deliver relief items to civilians in Misurata. A French military spokesman said that in addition to airdropping food and medical supplies, “troops also airdropped arms and ammunition several times.” The timing of the weapons drops roughly coincides with the rebels suddenly taking control of Nafusah Mountains, and could be perhaps explain their successes since.

    June 29, 2011 4:47 PM

  4. Rulings Court Upholds Health-Care Reform Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

    4. Court Upholds Health-Care Reform

    The Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled Wednesday that President Obama’s health-care overhaul can legally require Americans to purchase minimum insurance coverage. A conservative law center had issued the challenge to the law. Although over 30 legal challenges have been filed in response to the law, this is the first time a federal appeals court has ruled on the issue.

    June 29, 2011 2:23 PM

  5. NOT BACKING DOWN Saudi Police Arrest Women Drivers Hassan Ammar / AP Photo

    Saudi Police Arrest Women Drivers

    Saudi women aren’t giving up their fight for the right to drive—and religious police aren’t showing any signs of giving in. Almost two weeks after 42 women organized a mass drive on June 17, five women in Jiddah—Saudi Arabia’s second biggest city—were arrested by the religious force for violating the law by getting behind the wheel. Four were in one car, while the fifth was arrested later in a different neighborhood. But activists struck a defiant pose. “This will not scare us,” said blogger Eman al-Nafjan.

    June 29, 2011 5:33 PM

  6. Unhealthy

    6. FDA Panel Rejects Breast Cancer Drug

    A Food and Drug administration panel voted Wednesday to take popular breast cancer drug Avastin off the market, despite pleas by patients and the company that manufactures the drug. The final decision lies with FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, but the influential six-member advisory panel unanimously concluded the drug is harming women more than helping them. While doctors could still prescribe the drug “off-label” for other cancers, insurers will stop paying for the drug once it is revoked by the FDA—at a cost of $88,000 per patient. Avastin was cleared by the FDA in 2008 under a fast-track approval process.

    June 29, 2011 10:56 PM

  7. DEFRIENDED MySpace Sold for $35 Million Martin Keene, Press Association / AP Photo

    7. MySpace Sold for $35 Million

    Like Tila Tequila and the other celebrities it created, MySpace seems to be headed to the junk heap of popular culture. News Corp. has sold the struggling early social network to Specific Media, an advertising company, for $35 million. That’s a steep drop from the stunning $580 million News Corp. paid for it in 2005. News Corp. had been shopping MySpace around for some time, but had hoped to get at least $100 million—a far cry from the $1 billion valuation it once boasted. It will halve its staff from 400 to 200, and C-suite sweep is expected. Specific is reportedly interested in harvesting data about MySpace users that it could use for ad targeting, but MySpace also gives the major ad player its own space—fittingly enough—in which to place ads.

    June 29, 2011 2:50 PM

  8. UNORTHODOX FBI Invited Westboro Church to Base Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

    8. FBI Invited Westboro Church to Base

    There aren’t many places the Westboro Baptist Church—the fringe group that pickets soldiers’ funerals with hate speech—can get a warm welcome. But the FBI asked Pastor Fred Phelps and his gang to Quantico Marine Base in Virginia for training agents on how to stay calm when dealing with a witness or suspect with whom they would “have a strong, visceral disagreement.” Westboro wasn’t paid for the sessions, but the bureau quickly deep-sixed the arrangement anyway. Westboro’s visit was controversial within the FBI, with some 200 agents and officers sending a memo asking why the church had been brought in.

    June 29, 2011 4:08 PM

  9. PARCHED Texas Declared a Natural Disaster Mike Grazcyk / AP Photo

    9. Texas Declared a Natural Disaster

    Somehow the climate didn’t get that memo about not messing with Texas. With an extreme drought afflicting large swaths of the South, the federal government has designated 254 counties—the entire state—to be a natural disaster, which qualifies them for federal aid funding. So far, this year only ranks as the state’s third-worst drought, but it’s closing in on the top two. Estimated losses may already exceed the 2006 record of $4.1 billion. “We’ve had over two million acres of dry land cotton being declared 100 percent abandoned…It’s just a dreadful set of circumstances,” said Texas Agricultural Commissioner Todd Staples.

    June 29, 2011 4:24 PM

  10. Congratulations Denise Richards Adopts Baby Girl Gregg DeGuire / AP Photo

    10. Denise Richards Adopts Baby Girl

    Looks there will be one less bedroom at the Richards house for Charlie Sheen to crash in. His ex-wife, Denise Richards, has adopted a baby girl, Richards’ publicist confirmed Wednesday. Richards named the girl Eloise Joni, after her mother, who died from breast cancer in 2007. “Denise and Eloise’s big sisters couldn’t be happier and feel incredibly blessed,” said Richards’ rep. Richards has two daughters, Sam, 7, and Lola, 5, from her marriage to Sheen.

    June 29, 2011 11:03 PM

  11. OUCH Hackers Cripple al Qaeda Network AP Photo

    11. Hackers Cripple al Qaeda Network

    A “sophisticated” cyber-hack has crippled al Qaeda’s online communication networks, a terrorism expert said on Wednesday. The attack, which will cut the terror cell’s ability to communicate for at least a few days, was pulled off with “an unusual cocktail of relatively sophisticated techniques.” The strike has the hallmarks of a government operation and it mirrors a recent hack by the British government that left cupcake recipes in the place of bomb-making instructions on the group’s English language magazine.

    June 29, 2011 6:00 PM

  12. WARNING S&P Could Slash U.S. Credit Andrew Harrer/ Bloomberg via Getty Images

    12. S&P Could Slash U.S. Credit

    Consider the stakes on debt-ceiling negotiations officially raised. Standard & Poor’s, one of the two major credit-rating agencies, says that if the U.S. fails to make a scheduled debt payment on August 4, it will lower the country’s triple-A rating immediately—and not just a little bit, but all the way to D, the lowest notch on S&P’s scale, signifying default. That should put pressure on Congress, which is stalled in negotiations to raise the national debt ceiling, a crucial step toward making the payment.

    June 29, 2011 6:11 PM

  13. Eerie UFOs Spotted in London

    UFOs Spotted in London

    Is there something out there—at least above London? Two separate recordings captured three white discs hovering above the British capital last Friday. Both tapes depict the floating saucers over some famous London landmarks, including the Tower Bridge and the BBC headquarters. A similar sighting in New York’s Chelsea last year turned out to just be runaway balloons.

    June 29, 2011 9:57 PM

  14. BROKEN PROMISES Giuliani Not Marrying Gay Friends Joe Raedle / Getty Images

    14. Giuliani Not Marrying Gay Friends

    Same-sex marriage is now legal in New York, but is there going to be any penalty for being a bad friend? Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani once famously told his gay friends that “if it becomes legal in New York, you’ll be one of the first ones I’ll marry,” but he’s now apparently reneging on that promise. Howard Koeppel and Mark Hsiao let Giuliani stay with them in 2001 when his marriage was falling apart—and occupied front-page space in New York’s tabloids. Ten years later, Koeppel said the 2008 Republican presidential candidate has not returned any of his calls.

    June 29, 2011 7:14 PM

  15. Celebrity Shia LaBeouf: I Hooked Up With Megan Fox Dave Hogan / Getty Images

    Shia LaBeouf: I Hooked Up With Megan Fox

    Shia LaBeouf “nods affirmatively” when asked by Details if he hooked up with Megan Fox while filming the first two Transformers films. “Look, you're on the set for six months, with someone who's rooting to be attracted to you, and you're rooting to be attracted to them," he explains. "I never understood the separation of work and life in that situation. But the time I spent with Megan was our own thing, and I think you can see the chemistry onscreen." Asked then about Fox’s longtime boyfriend, Brian Austin Green, LaBeouf says “I don’t know” 12 times. LaBeouf also fesses up to “philandering around” with another Transformers actress, Isabel Lucas.

    June 29, 2011 6:54 AM

  16. DISHEARTENING More than 1,000 Injured in Cairo Khalil Hamra / AP Photo

    16. More than 1,000 Injured in Cairo

    Meet the new bosses, same as the old boss. Less than five months after mass protests forced longtime Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down, violence returned to  Cairo's streets, with more than 1,000 people injured in in clashes over the last two days. And just like Mubarak, the military junta controlling the country—which has promised to oversee a transition to civilian power—has sent heavily armed riot police to contend with the thousands of demonstrators in Tahrir Square. The protesters are upset about a perceived lack of accountability and transparency in the new government, and also about delayed trials for former ministers accused of killing protesters.

    June 29, 2011 3:26 PM

  17. ANIMAL CONTROL Turtles Shut Down JFK Runway Alex Dorgan-Ross / AP Photo

    17. Turtles Shut Down JFK Runway

    It might be time to erect a “Turtles Xing” sign on the runways of JFK Airport in New York. About 100 diamondback terrapins crawled out of the marshes Wednesday morning and started crossing Runway 4 Left, prompting a shutdown for more than an hour. Port Authority specialists had to pick them up and relocate them out of harm’s way. Delays were minor because the runway isn’t used much right now. Why did the turtle cross the road? It’s breeding time, and the reptiles were heading to a sandy spot on the other side of the runway to lay their eggs. A similar thing happened in 2009.

    June 29, 2011 11:36 AM

  18. Press Conference Obama to Congress: Help Create Jobs Charles Dharapak / AP Photo

    Obama to Congress: Help Create Jobs

    President Barack Obama tried to put the focus back on the economy in his press conference Wednesday at the White House. He said his administration is taking steps to create more jobs—like promoting manufacturing training for 500,000 workers. But he pointed the finger at Congress, urging members to pass trade agreements to sell goods to Asia and South America. And he called on Congress to pass a bill to expedite loans to private companies to build roads and bridges and employ construction workers. He also said Congress should extend payroll tax cuts to the middle class for one more year. “That’s pending in Congress, right now,” he said repeatedly.

    June 29, 2011 12:01 PM

  19. DEMOCRACY Greece OKs Austerity Plan Petros Karadjias / AP Photo

    Greece OKs Austerity Plan

    A furious 48-hour general strike failed to keep the Greek parliament from passing new austerity measures. As youths armed with rocks battled police armed with tear gas, the troubled country’s government approved austerity measures that are a key condition of a 110 billion euro, or roughly $158 billion, bailout package from the EU and IMF. They include tax hikes and serious spending cuts, which rankle Greeks faced with unemployment higher than 16 percent; the finance minister called them “unfair” but necessary. The cuts passed by a 155-138 margin.

    June 29, 2011 9:52 AM

  20. Breakthrough Amanda Knox Scores Legal Coup Tiziana Fabi, AFP / Getty Images

    20. Amanda Knox Scores Legal Coup

    An Italian judicial panel has found that some of the DNA evidence used in Amanda Knox’s murder conviction may have been contaminated. During the trial, prosecutors had said that Knox’s DNA was on the knife, a possible murder weapon, and her ex-boyfriend Rafael Sollecito’s DNA was on the bra clasp. However, the clasp was not collected by police for several weeks after the murder. In their new report submitted to the panel and obtained by The Daily Beast, the experts stated, “One cannot exclude that the results obtained could have derived from phenomena of environmental contamination and/or contamination, which could have taken place in any of the phases of the evidence gathering and/or manipulation.”

    June 29, 2011 10:04 AM

  21. FREAKY Jellyfish Disrupt Nuclear Plant Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

    21. Jellyfish Disrupt Nuclear Plant

    It’s bad enough when a tsunami shuts down a nuclear plant. But the sea is finding new and innovative ways to disrupt power generation. A nuclear power plant at Torness on the east coast of Scotland has been forced to shut down its reactors after jellyfish swarmed the pool of water used to cool the reactors, obstructing water filters. The low-tech problem will require some time to resolve: according to a pre-planned program for such occasions, the plant’s two reactors will restart July 5 and 6, respectively. Scientists say the problem could become more common. They say that warmer temperatures encourage greater jellyfish growth in northerly places like Scotland where they’re usually rarer. But can we rule out the possibility that Poseidon is upset about something?

    June 29, 2011 2:20 PM

  22. FREE AT LAST French Journalists Freed Jacky Naegelen, Reuters / Landov

    French Journalists Freed

    There’s a happy ending to the story of French journalists Hervé Ghesquière and Stéphan Taponier. The pair, kidnapped by Taliban fighters two years ago, along with their native guides, have been released and are headed back to their home country in good health. They were taken hostage on December 29, 2009 in the village of Umar Khel, northeast of Kabul. Details of their release—as well as the status of their driver and fixer—are not yet known. The men were the longest-held French hostages since the Lebanese civil war and had become a media fixation.

    June 29, 2011 10:21 AM

  23. Feuds Tom Petty to Bachmann: Quit It Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images

    Tom Petty to Bachmann: Quit It

    Tom Petty, a liberal? The rocker has issued a cease-and-desist letter to Michele Bachmann, asking her to stop playing his 1977 song, “American Girl,” at campaign events. Previously, Petty had given permission to Hillary Clinton to use the song in 2008. However, he had also denied George W. Bush’s request to use “I Won’t Back Down.”

    June 29, 2011 6:35 AM

  24. Terrorism Eighteen Killed in Taliban Hotel Attack S. Sabawoon, EPA / Landov

    Eighteen Killed in Taliban Hotel Attack

    NATO helicopters helped to end the Taliban siege of an international Kabul hotel, but not before the attackers killed at least 10 people Tuesday. The siege on the Hotel Inter-Continental lasted five hours. Eight attackers entered the hotel after killing the security guards at the entrance. They then went to the roof and shot rocket-propelled grenades at the vice president’s house. At least three explosions went off inside the hotel. After four hours, NATO choppers killed insurgents on the roof before Afghan police forces swept the hotel. All eight attackers died in the clash; at least one detonated a suicide bomb.

    June 29, 2011 6:06 AM

  25. Pity Party Madoff: I Was ‘Human Pinata’ Mario Tama / Getty Images

    Madoff: I Was ‘Human Pinata’

    Bernard Madoff has spoken up from prison, again, to attack the judge who sentenced him to 150 years. He tells the New York Times the judge, Albert Chin, made him; “the human piñata of Wall Street.” “In my mind, Chin was anything but fair, with zero understanding of the industry,” Madoff says, who adds financial firms and government regulators “caused the recession, not me.” He also notes, “There’s a big difference with dying in prison, you know, and dying outside with your family.” Chin tells The New York Times that he considered giving Madoff, 73, a sentence that would have allowed him to walk free before he died. “In the end, I just thought he didn’t deserve it,” Chin explains. “The benefits of giving him hope were far outweighed by all of the other considerations.”

    June 29, 2011 7:10 AM

  26. Gruesome

    Woman Found Dead in Ventilation System

    A 26-year-old woman reported missing in Austin, Texas one month ago was found dead on Monday in the ventilation system of the restaurant where she once worked. Jamie Minor’s body was recovered in the ductwork above Perry’s Steakhouse. Surveillance footage shows Minor tried to enter the restaurant through a side door the night of her disappearance; on June 2, workers found some of her personal belongings near an exhaust grate of a parking garage attached to the building that houses the restaurant. Minor had a history of mental illness; police have not announced the cause of death, yet.

    June 29, 2011 6:35 AM

  27. TRAGIC Lightning Strikes Uganda School, Kills 19 Paul Newton / AP Photo

    Lightning Strikes Uganda School, Kills 19

    In Uganda, 18 students and a teacher were killed Tuesday when lightning struck their school in Runyana. Another 51 students were injured in the incident. The same day, lightning struck another school elsewhere in Uganda, injuring 37 students and two teachers. At least 34 Ugandans have been killed in electrical storms in the last few weeks, but experts say schools tend to be especially vulnerable because they’re built on high ground and unlikely to have lightning rods.

    June 29, 2011 11:04 AM

  28. Dissidents Ai Weiwei Faces $2M in Fines, Taxes Ng Han Guan

    Ai Weiwei Faces $2M in Fines, Taxes

    Ai Weiwei’s troubles aren’t over yet: After holding him in prison for three months, Chinese authorities are now seeking nearly $2 million in fines and unpaid taxes from the artist, according to his mother. She says two tax bureau officials visited him Monday, seeking $770,000 in back taxes from his company, Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd., and another $1.1 million in fines. Ai refused to pay and demanded that his accountant—who is still being held, along with two other members of his staff—be released to assist him. Ai confirmed to The New York Times that there was a disagreement over the figure, but refused to elaborate.

    June 29, 2011 6:21 AM

  29. 2012 Obama, Palin Visit Iowa Charlie Neibergall / AP Photo

    Obama, Palin Visit Iowa

    Sarah Palin wasn't the only one in Iowa Tuesday: President Obama stopped by the Hawkeye State to tout a manufacturing initiative. Still, most of the attention was on the former Alaska governor, who debuted her film The Undefeated in Pella. The 300 people who attended the premiere "clapped every few minutes," according to the Des Moines Register. Josh Green notes that fans liked its "dramatic imagery": volcanoes, earthquakes, snipers, lions. Palin, however, wasn't revealing her 2012 plans yet. ""Still thinking about it," she told The New York Times.

    June 29, 2011 6:07 AM