Content Section
  1. DEFIANT Murdoch Defends News Corp. Sang Tan / AP Photo

    1. Murdoch Defends News Corp.

    Rupert Murdoch appears unfazed by the phone-hacking scandal in his first public statement. The News Corp. chairman told The Wall Street Journal, which he owns, that the company has handled the crisis “extremely well in every way possible” and that the damage is “nothing that will not be recovered.” Now that the scandal has derailed Murdoch's bid for BSkyB, Murdoch says he is buying back shares and “looking for better places to put our money.” He also called out former prime minister Gordon Brown, saying “He got it entirely wrong” when he claimed the Sunday Times, in addition to News of the World, hacked his phone. Murdoch and his son James are scheduled to appear before Parliament Tuesday.

    July 14, 2011 5:12 PM

  2. RESOLVED Lawmakers End MN Shutdown Hannah Foslien / Getty Images

    2. Lawmakers End MN Shutdown

    You see how it's done, Washington? After a two-week state shutdown, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and Republican legislators have finally reached a deal to get government running again. The move came after Dayton offered to accept the budget that Republicans offered in late June, but he added certain conditions. Dayton said he would accept the budgets if Republicans would agree to a $500 million bonding bill and if they would offer to take policy issues and state job cuts off the table. Dayton said the shutdown would be over, “very soon, within days.”

    July 14, 2011 6:58 PM

  3. HE’S BACK Yemen Prez to Return Sunday: Report Mohammed Hamoud / AP

    3. Yemen Prez to Return Sunday: Report

    This may not be a very welcome homecoming: Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was severely burned in an attack on June 3 and was spirited away to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment, will return to his country on Sunday, a senior party official said. Zaid Thari, a political adviser to Saleh’s party, said the president’s health is improving quickly. The return will also mark the 33rd anniversary of his rule. Thari said a massive celebration is being planned. Saleh and his officials have rejected widespread calls for him to step down.

    July 14, 2011 11:17 PM

  4. LAST RESORT McConnell Debt Plan Gains Steam Alex Brandon / AP Photo

    4. McConnell Debt Plan Gains Steam

    GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell’s backup debt plan certainly has detractors, but it’s gaining support from high places as U.S. default looms closer. McConnell’s plan would allow the president to unilaterally raise the debt limit in three installments through 2012. House Speaker John Boehner said, “If we’re unable to get an agreement, it might look pretty good a couple of weeks from now.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said anyone who hopes to raise the debt ceiling should be saying “Bravo to Senator McConnell.” Obama wants to know by Friday if a compromise deal can be struck—if not, he’ll look for alternative routes. Obama has previously said that he will not rule out any proposal except for a short-term debt-ceiling increase.

    July 14, 2011 7:43 PM

  5. Spreading FBI Investigating News Corp. Sang Tan / AP Photo

    5. FBI Investigating News Corp.

    The News of the World phone hacking scandal has crossed the pond. A law enforcement official says the FBI has opened an investigation into claims that News Corp. tried to hack into the phones of people who died in the September 11 terrorist attacks. The News Corp. tabloid News of the World is believed to have hacked into the voicemail of the victims of the 2005 London train bombings, as well as the families of dead soldiers. Seven people have been arrested so far in connection the hacking scandal, and Rupert and James Murdoch have agreed to go before Parliament next week.

    July 14, 2011 3:14 PM

  6. Socked Away Photos: Whitey Bulger’s Cash Stash

    6. Photos: Whitey Bulger’s Cash Stash

    No wonder so many people wanted to rent James “Whitey” Bulger’s apartment. Federal authorities have released photos of his Santa Monica pad, which show that the nabbed gangster had stashed more than $800,000 in cash. He also kept nearly three dozen weapons, including an assault rifle and a sawed-off shotgun. Bulger and his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, lived for years in California without the police knowing.

    July 14, 2011 7:50 PM

  7. RECONSIDER Obama: DADT Repeal Too Fast Jung Yeon-Je / Getty Images

    7. Obama: DADT Repeal Too Fast

    The Obama Administration, which has been the process of repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” for months, is now in the strange position of filing court motions to prevent it from happening too fast. It’s asking a California court to reconsider its order last week to immediately block the enforcement of the policy. The federal appeals court in California said “don’t ask, don’t tell” shouldn’t even be in effect in name, but the Obama Administration hopes to have a few more weeks to carry out steps to dismantle it.

    July 14, 2011 11:01 PM

  8. The Cloud Spotify Launches in the U.S. Daniel Ek, founder of Spotify. (William Philpott / AP Photo)

    Spotify Launches in the U.S.

    Watch out, Pandora. The Swedish music streaming service Spotify launched in the United States on Thursday, offering users free access to its catalog of more than 15 million songs. The company is letting users stream music for free for six months, after which they will be capped at 10 hours a month. For $4.99 a month users can listen without ads, and for $9.99 they can access music from mobile devices. The streaming service has partnered with Facebook, allowing users to share songs they like. Spotify launched in Europe in 2008 and now has 10 million registered users, 1.6 million of whom are paying subscribers.

    July 14, 2011 12:56 PM

  9. Not Good S&P Threatens U.S. Debt Downgrade Charles Dharapak / AP Photo

    9. S&P Threatens U.S. Debt Downgrade

    Maybe this will speed those talks along. Standard & Poor, the ratings agency, has put the U.S. on “CreditWatch with negative implications,” and said that there is a 50 percent chance that it will downgrade its credit rating within three months, “owing to the dynamics of the political debate on the debt ceiling.” In a statement, the company also said, “The political debate about the U.S.’ fiscal stance and the related issue of the U.S. government debt ceiling has, in our view, only become more entangled.” Moody’s Investors Service issued a similar warning earlier this week.

    July 14, 2011 8:50 PM

  10. Final Bow 'Glee' Stars Exit After Next Season Kevin Winter / Getty Images

    10. 'Glee' Stars Exit After Next Season

    Get ready for their swan song. Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, and Chris Colfer will not be returning to Glee after the show’s upcoming third season. Ryan Murphy, the creator of the Emmy-nominated series, said that many characters will graduate at the end of the third season, and these three stars—including Emmy-nominated Colfer—will be among them. “You can keep them on the show for six years and people will criticize you for not being realistic, or you can be really true to life and say when they started the show they were very clearly sophomores and they should graduate at the end of their senior year,” Murphy explained.

    July 14, 2011 3:38 PM

  11. BULLY PULPIT Obama on Debt: ‘It’s Decision Time’ Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

    11. Obama on Debt: ‘It’s Decision Time’

    Now he means business: President Obama told congressional leaders to talk with their members over the next 24 to 36 hours “to see what can be done” to reach a deficit-reduction deal and planned a news conference for Friday morning. Obama said, “It’s decision time. We need concrete plans to move this forward.” Although Obama also said he might call leaders back to the White House over the weekend for further discussion, one Republican aide said, “The White House talks are irrelevant, a sideshow. They have been overtaken by events.” Meanwhile support appeared to be growing for Mitch McConnell’s backup plan, which would give Obama power to raise the debt cap himself. Senator Harry Reid said that he had spoken to McConnell about the plan. Reid said, “I told him I appreciated his work and I would do everything I could to try to be positive about it.”

    July 14, 2011 11:27 PM

  12. INTEL Bin Laden Had New 9/11 Plot: Report AP Photo

    12. Bin Laden Had New 9/11 Plot: Report

    Information seized from Osama bin Laden's compound suggests that al Qaeda was planning a terrorist attack on American soil for the 10th anniversary of 9/11. The alleged plan was still in its early stages; bin Laden was reportedly in the process of choosing operatives to carry out the mission when he was killed by Navy SEALs on May 2. The new revelations also include fresh details about the al Qaeda chief’s frosty relationship with his operations deputy, Attiyah Abd al-Rahman. Rahman suggested men for the mission but they were all rejected by bin Laden.

    July 14, 2011 7:03 PM

  13. Breakthrough Pills Prevent HIV Infection Joe Raedle / Getty Images

    13. Pills Prevent HIV Infection

    Two separate studies released Wednesday have found that taking a daily pill containing AIDS drugs can help keep an uninfected person from catching the virus. “This is an extremely exciting day for HIV prevention,” said Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of AIDS prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. One of the studies, known as Partners PrEP, was conducted in Kenya and Uganda and found that participants who took a daily Truvada pill—a mix of tenofovir and emtricitabine—had a 73 percent lower chance of getting infected. Those who took a Viread pill, which contains only tenofovir, had a 62 percent lower chance. The second study, conducted in Botswana, found that those taking Truvada had a 63 percent lower chance of infection. These were the first studies to find these results in heterosexuals.

    July 13, 2011 8:38 PM

  14. LEAKED Pentagon: Sensitive Files Were Hacked USAF-Getty Images

    14. Pentagon: Sensitive Files Were Hacked

    In case 2011 wasn’t the year of the hacker already—from WikiLeaks to the News of the World—here’s the latest proof. The Pentagon says foreign hackers busted into the computer system of an unnamed defense contractor and obtained some 24,000 sensitive Defense Department files. Although much of what was taken was described as mundane info on small parts, some was not. “A great deal of it concerns our most sensitive systems, including aircraft avionics, surveillance technologies, satellite communications systems and network security protocols,” said Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn III. The Pentagon also refused to disclose what nation was suspected of orchestrating the hack, but it comes as the U.S. moves to beef up its cyberwar and cyberdefense capabilities.

    July 14, 2011 2:24 PM

  15. DELAYED JUSTICE Judge Declares Clemens Mistrial Alex Brandon / AP Photo

    Judge Declares Clemens Mistrial

    There are no mulligans in baseball, but the courtroom—like the golf course—may be about to see one. During just the second day of testimony in the trial of former baseball great Roger Clemens, Judge Reggie Walton called a recess and declared a mistrial. Clemens is accused of lying to lawmakers by saying he’d never used steroids or human growth hormone. But prosecutors showed a video Thursday that mentioned a former teammate’s wife’s comments that Clemens admitted to using the substances. Walton had ruled that jurors could not be told that the wife of Andy Pettitte confirmed that Clemens made the confession, saying it was hearsay. Walton scolded prosecutors, saying, “I think a first year law student would know that you can’t bolster the credibility of a witness with clearly inadmissible evidence.”

    July 14, 2011 11:55 AM

  16. Horrible Levi Aron Took Victim to Wedding Ramin Talaie / Getty Images

    16. Levi Aron Took Victim to Wedding

    Levi Aron told police that he took 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky to a wedding upstate before allegedly murdering and dismembering him. Kletzky got lost while walking to meet his mother yesterday, and ran into Aron, who says he took the boy to a wedding in Monsey, New York. When they got home at 11:30 p.m., Aron says he felt it was too late to bring the boy home. After working his shift at a hardware store the next day, Aron says he saw missing child fliers plastered to the wall, panicked, and allegedly killed Kletzky. Kletzky's feet were found in Aron's freezer, and the rest of his body was found in a suitcase in a dumpster two-and-a-half miles from his apartment.

    July 14, 2011 3:07 PM

  17. Television Emmy Nominations Announced Andrew Schwartz / HBO

    Emmy Nominations Announced

    Nominations for the 63rd Emmy Awards were announced Thursday. Squaring off for best drama will be new HBO shows Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones against established favorites Mad Men, The Good Wife, Friday Night Lights, and Dexter. Best-comedy nominees are Big Bang Theory, Glee, Modern Family, The Office, Parks and Recreation, and 30 Rock. Mildred Pierce, the HBO miniseries starring Kate Winslet, racked up the most nominations with 21; Mad Men received 19 nominations.

    July 14, 2011 9:03 AM

  18. Film Harry Potter Finale ‘Deeply Satisfying’ Warner Bros.

    Harry Potter Finale ‘Deeply Satisfying’

    The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis cried during Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 because, “It’s been unexpectedly moving growing older with these characters and actors perhaps simply because it’s invariably poignant watching children become adults.” Nevertheless, Ralph Fiennes as Lord Voldemort steals the show. “This is such great screen villainy it makes you regret there wasn’t more of Voldemort all along,” Dargis writes. His performance is one example of what has made the Harry Potter film franchise so successful: “One reason the movies work is that their scale never overwhelmed the extraordinary characters.”

    July 14, 2011 6:29 AM

  19. DEFAULT S&P Warns Lawmakers on Debt Ramin Talaie

    S&P Warns Lawmakers on Debt

    Another day, another sign that Wall Street is starting to freak out about the debt-ceiling debate. Standard and Poor’s, one of the two major U.S ratings agencies, has been privately warning lawmakers that failure to raise the debt ceiling will result in a downgrade in U.S. debt. And the agency shot down a proposal by some Republicans that the U.S. simply pay off bondholders first if it can’t raise the ceiling, saying that won’t preserve the national AAA credit rating. The private warnings come a day after Moody’s, the other major ratings house, announced it was putting America’s Aaa rating on review because of concerns of default.

    July 14, 2011 12:00 PM

  20. Debt Talks Obama: ‘Enough is Enough’ Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

    Obama: ‘Enough is Enough’

    President Obama is not known to lose his cool, but he is apparently running out of patience with the GOP over debt-ceiling negotiations. “Enough is enough,” the president said in Wednesday’s meetings. “This process is confirming what the American people think is the worst about Washington. Everyone is more interested in posturing, political position and protecting their base than in solving problems.” He rejected House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s call for a short-term fix, saying it would hurt the economy and that he didn’t want to punt the football. "Don't call my bluff," he warned Cantor at one point. “This may bring my presidency down, but I will not yield on this.” Not long thereafter, he walked out of the room. Meetings resume Thursday at 4:15.

    July 14, 2011 6:08 AM

  21. Dissidents Ai Weiwei Accepts Job in Berlin Ng Han Guan

    Ai Weiwei Accepts Job in Berlin

    Ai Weiwei, the dissident Chinese artist, has accepted a job as a visiting lecturer at the Berlin University of the Arts in 2012, but will the Chinese government allow him to accept it? He tells The New York Times he’s not sure and is not too hopeful, since the university “shows strong support for my moral position.” News of the job offer came as another prominent Chinese dissident, the writer Liao Yiwu, turned up in Berlin after secretly fleeing China.

    July 14, 2011 6:08 AM

  22. Afghanistan Suicide Attack at Karzai Service Mamoon Durrani, AFP / Getty Images

    Suicide Attack at Karzai Service

    A suicide bomber attacked a memorial service for Hamid Karzai’s brother, Ahmad, in Kandahar Thursday, killing four people and injuring 13. Among the dead is Hikmatullah Hikmat, a senior cleric. Ahmad was killed Tuesday by a bodyguard, who was hanged in a public square according to the Daily Mail (warning: graphic photos). Hamid Karzai, was not at the service, his spokesman said.

    July 14, 2011 6:08 AM

  23. Celebrity Pitt, Jolie to Marry? Francois Guillot, AFP / Getty Images

    Pitt, Jolie to Marry?

    Are Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie about to marry? The rumor has circulated before, but Us Weekly seems confident in its reporting this time, having gotten three separate sources to confirm that the couple will marry in the next few months. It is expected to be an informal ceremony. Pitt recently told USA Today that the couple’s six children were pressuring them to marry.

    July 14, 2011 6:35 AM

  24. Scandal New Arrest in Phone-Hacking Case Sean Dempsey, PA / AP Photo

    New Arrest in Phone-Hacking Case

    The phone-hacking scandal continued to grow Thursday, as police in London made their ninth arrest in the case. The suspect was a 60-year-old man, although neither his identity nor the charges against him have been disclosed. Meanwhile, several U.S. politicians, including Senator Jay Rockefeller and Rep. Pete King, have asked the Justice Department to investigate allegations that News International papers hacked 9/11 victims’ phones.

    July 14, 2011 6:08 AM

  25. MOGUL MADNESS Conrad Black: Don’t Blame Murdoch Scott Olson / Getty Images

    Conrad Black: Don’t Blame Murdoch

    Don’t blame Murdoch—or rather, don’t let the establishment off the hook, former Canadian media baron Conrad Black writes in a column Thursday. Black—who should know something about lawbreaking in the media, as he is about to return to jail for it in Sept.—calls Murdoch a perfect villain, a “great bad man,” and the most successful media owner ever. And he says that while Murdoch likely didn’t break laws, News Corp. should lose its satellite telecasting license if it “is reasonably found guilty of institutional criminality.” But the real blame, Black says, belongs with the British establishment, which has pretended to revile Murdoch for decades even as it shamelessly toadies to him—despite his repeated betrayals of allies. “There must be a reckoning with decades of establishment cowardice towards someone whose nature has been well known throughout that time. The fault is the British establishment’s and it must not be seduced and intimidated, so profoundly and durably, again.”

    July 14, 2011 9:54 AM

  26. UPDATE Rupert Murdoch Summonsed to Parliament Olivia Harris, Reuters / Landov

    26. Rupert Murdoch Summonsed to Parliament

    Parliament won’t have to ask the wizard of Oz three times. After declining an initial “invitation” to appear before the body’s media committee, Murdoch says he will comply with a summons to appear on Thursday. Because he and his son James, who has also been summonsed and will appear, are not British citizens, the summons is not compulsory, and initial reports suggested that Murdoch would play harder to get: he said he wasn’t available, but said he would give evidence to an inquiry being led by a judge that the government has announced. Rebekah Brooks, the former editor of the News of the World and now a News International executive, has also agreed to appear. MPs expressed frustration, saying they wanted to hear from all three.

    July 14, 2011 10:37 AM

  27. WARNING SIGN U.S. Credit Rating on Review Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

    27. U.S. Credit Rating on Review

    Memo to Congress: Those rumblings about default aren’t just “scare tactics.” Moody’s, one of the two leading ratings agencies, says it’s putting the United States on a review for a possible downgrade of its perfect Aaa bond rating, saying it’s concerned that the debt ceiling might not be raised. “There is a small but rising risk of a short-lived default,” the agency says. A lowered credit rating would force the government to pay higher interest rates on its debt. Some politicians have argued that the U.S. could avoid default by prioritizing payments to bondholders, but the Moody’s move suggests otherwise.

    July 13, 2011 5:56 PM

  28. Dry

    Minnesota Bars Dry Up

    The government shutdown in Minnesota is starting to hit people where it really hurts: their neighborhood bars. More than 300 bars and liquor stores are unable to buy booze because their $20 alcohol-purchasing licenses have expired, and the state agency that renews them is closed. State officials have also asked MillerCoors LLC to pull all 39 of its beer brands from store shelves because the state did not process the company’s brand-label fee before the shutdown. Minnesota’s state government shut down July 1 as the state’s Democratic governor and Republican legislature failed to agree on how to close a $5 billion budget gap.

    July 14, 2011 6:08 AM

  29. Crime Brooklyn Suspect Creeped Out Neighbors Facebook

    Brooklyn Suspect Creeped Out Neighbors

    Levi Aron, the man accused of murdering and dismembering a 9-year-old Hasidic boy in Brooklyn, apparently had a history of creeping out children: "The parents on the block wouldn't want their kids to go near him," a neighbor tells the New York Post, adding that “Sometimes he would just get angry out of nowhere.” Aron would drive neighborhood kids around in his Honda and leer at playgrounds, according to the Post. However, he had no previous criminal record, save a citation for public urination. His ex-wife, who lived with him in Tennessee, tells the Post: "I am in shock. I am not believing this...He loved children. He loved kids. My kids are now 13 and 10, but when we were married they were younger—and he loved them."

    July 14, 2011 6:29 AM