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  1. DOWN TO THE WIRE Pressure Grows for Debt Deal Charles Dharapak / AP Photo

    1. Pressure Grows for Debt Deal

    Hope nobody started to celebrate the debt deal yet. The White House and congressional Republicans played down rumors Thursday that there had been a pact reached on the budget, as the August 2 deadline for raising the debt ceiling approaches. The rumors followed feverish negotiations between the two camps, with Democratic sources saying a potential agreement had been reached that would call for $3 trillion in cuts over 10 years and a tax code rewrite by the end of 2012. “There is no progress to report,” said White House communications director Jay Carney. But House Speaker John Boehner was more blunt: “There is no deal. No deal publicly. No deal privately. There is absolutely no deal.” However rumors of a deal helped boost the stock market, with the Dow ending up 1.2 percent.

    July 21, 2011 11:19 PM

  2. SCANDAL Justice Dept. to Subpoena News Corp. Paul Taggart / Bloomberg / Getty Images

    2. Justice Dept. to Subpoena News Corp.

    The U.S. Justice Department is reportedly preparing subpoenas for Rupert Murdoch’s New York–based News Corp., a government official told The Wall Street Journal Thursday. The subpoenas, which haven’t been issued yet, would be part of an investigation into whether employees hacked into the September 11 terrorist victims’ phones and alleged foreign bribery. The Justice Department has said they are investigating whether News Corp.’s now-defunct News of the World paid bribes to British police, and the FBI has separately begun an inquiry into whether 9/11 victims’ phones were hacked. A News Corp. spokesperson said they had seen “no evidence” there was any hacking into the 9/11 victims’ phones, and there is no connection between the British newspaper’s activities and the U.S. properties.

    July 21, 2011 11:33 PM

  3. Progress End of 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' Near Activists gather in DC to push President Barack Obama's administration and the U.S. Congress to live up to promises to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to advance civil rights. (Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images)

    3. End of 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' Near

    Newly appointed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is recommending to President Obama that he repeals for the last time the military’s controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Panetta said he now can certify that changing the policy will not negatively affect the military. Congress had previously ordered enforcement of the ban to cease 60 days after certification, which means the ban should officially end in September. Panetta met recently with the chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines about lifting the ban, officials said, and the military has been training its forces for the end of the policy.

    July 21, 2011 10:41 PM

  4. The Plot Thickens DSK Ex-Wife Considers Lawsuit Emmanuel Dunand / AP Photo

    4. DSK Ex-Wife Considers Lawsuit

    Brigitte Guillemette, Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s ex-wife, is considering filing a defamation lawsuit against the mother of one of Strauss-Kahn's accusers. Journalist Tristane Banon alleges that Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her, and earlier this week her mother, Anne Mansouret, said she herself had sex with Strauss-Kahn in 2000. But Guillemette, who is also Banon’s godmother, does not believe these stories. In an interview with Le Nouvel Observateur, she said, “None of what that woman says is true: I am not one of her close friends, my daughter Camille was never a friend of Tristane Banon’s.”

    July 21, 2011 11:40 PM

  5. Finally Euro Zone Decides on Greece Rescue Plan AP Photo

    5. Euro Zone Decides on Greece Rescue Plan

    After weeks of debate, European leaders decided on a rescue plan for Greece that will give Europe’s bailout fund new powers to bolster flagging economies, though it may push Greece into temporary default. Part of the €109 billion aid package would exchange existing bonds for new ones with lower interest rates and longer maturities, which rating agencies warn may count as a limited form of default. The plan also gives the European bailout fund power to buy bonds and recapitalize banks, turning it into a European version of the International Monetary Fund. The agreement deals with Portugal's and Ireland’s debts as well, in what a draft calls a “European Marshall Plan.”

    July 21, 2011 4:22 PM

  6. Payment Taxpayers Will Foot Anthony’s Legal Bills Joe Burbank / AP Photo

    6. Taxpayers Will Foot Anthony’s Legal Bills

    Nobody knows where Casey Anthony is, but her legal bills stayed put, and Florida taxpayers could be covering the costs. In March 2010, the high-profile defendant was declared indigent by the courts when she ran out of money—and Anthony’s known revenue is the $537 jail canteen fund. So far, the state has reimbursed her defense lawyers $119,000, and another bill for $5,800 from the defense is pending. So far prosecutors have identified over $91,000 in costs, although they have yet to determine their overall expenses. Judge Belvin Perry will hold a hearing on August 25 to decide how much of the investigative and legal costs Anthony should cover. Anthony’s lawyers said she is doing fine, but refused to say where she is living or how she is supporting herself.

    July 22, 2011 12:19 AM

  7. SCATTERED AT SEA Hitler Henchman's Remains Exhumed Former site of Rudolf Hess' grave in Wunsiedel, Germany. (Lennart Preiss / AP Photo)

    7. Hitler Henchman's Remains Exhumed

    Rudolf Hess - one of Adolf Hitler's top henchmen - was disturbed from his eternal sleep on Thursday when officials dug up his bones from his burial site in the German town of Wunsiedel. His bones were then cremated and thrown out to sea. His gravesite had become a controversial attraction for Neo-Nazis, according to cemetery officials, and with the lease on the plot coming up for renewal in October, both Hess' family and authorities at the town's Lutheran church decided it was best to do away with the shrine. "There is now one less place of evil in the world," said Elan Steinberg of the New York-based American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants.

    July 21, 2011 6:28 PM

  8. CONTROVERSIAL Georgia Execution Recorded

    8. Georgia Execution Recorded

    The state of Georgia executed Andrew Grant DeYoung Thursday night in a rare recorded execution despite a last-minute plea by DeYoung’s lawyers. Superior Court Judge Bensonetta Tipton Lane stood by her order to film DeYoung's execution after hearing claims that the state’s allegedly swift lethal injection process caused unnecessary suffering. Lane did not allow her ruling to be reviewed by Georgia’s Supreme Court, insisting that “under these circumstances it is appropriate to preserve a film record of the event for possible discovery and trial.” No other death-penalty states allow filming of executions. Lane has ordered that the tape be immediately handed over to the court after the execution. It will then be reviewed by a defense expert who will also oversee DeYoung’s autopsy. Thursday night’s taping was likely the first filmed in the U.S. since 1992, said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center. DeYoung was executed for killing his parents and sister in 1993.

    July 21, 2011 8:53 PM

  9. Faith Pawlenty: Jesus Is My Political Hero Alex Brandon / AP Photo

    9. Pawlenty: Jesus Is My Political Hero

    Tim Pawlenty listed Jesus as one of his “political heroes” in response to a question from an Iowa voter. He said, “I’ve got a lot of political heroes too. I love Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln, Jesus Christ.” Pawlenty added that he and his wife “are people of faith and believers.” But his comments could have a more cynical motive: He mentioned the website, which redirects users to a page about organizing support for the upcoming Ames Straw Poll. Many have speculated that if he finishes worse than second in the poll, he may not be able to raise the money to maintain his campaign at its current size.

    July 21, 2011 11:50 PM

  10. Kickoff NFL Players: 'No Agreement' Mark Humphrey / AP Photo

    10. NFL Players: 'No Agreement'

    NFL players said there is no agreement in place to end the lockout after NFL owners announced they had ratified a proposal to end the lockout by Saturday.  The proposed agreement contained a “supplemental revenue-sharing system" that players say would end collective bargaining—a major sticking point for the players. The deal called for team facilities to open on Saturday and the league year will start next Wednesday. But even if this deal were approved, it's too late for the August 7 Hall of Fame Game between the Rams and the Bears, which has been canceled so all teams will have a four-game preseason.

    July 21, 2011 7:53 PM

  11. Mummy Hunter Egypt’s Zahi Hawass Rehired Again Amr Nabil / AP Photo

    Egypt’s Zahi Hawass Rehired Again

    In the movies, archeologists foolish enough to enter pyramids frequently emerge with deadly curses on their heads. In real life, however, one mummy hunter seems unassailable. Zahi Hawass was Egypt’s longtime antiquities minister, a slick self-promoter who expanded the fame of his country’s ancient sites while enriching himself with a National Geographic series. But he was also a longtime Hosni Mubarak loyalist, and he resigned under pressure in March, only to be quickly reinstated. He was then fired early this week, only to be rehired again Thursday after critics attacked his would-be successor. Hawass said he was unsure how long he’d remain back in his old job.

    July 21, 2011 10:28 AM

  12. Scandal

    12. Coulson Knew of Bribes: Report

    An anonymous source tells Reuters that police have financial records showing Andy Coulson, David Cameron’s former spokesman, knew of bribes to police officers when he was editor of News of the World. According to Reuters, police also have emails between Coulson and the paper’s disgraced royal correspondent, Clive Goodman, in which they discuss payments to police officers for information about royal-family members, including their phone numbers. Coulson has denied knowledge of the illegal practices.

    July 21, 2011 2:21 PM

  13. Retirement Atlantis Lands after Final Mission Joe Raedle / Getty Images

    Atlantis Lands after Final Mission

    The U.S. space shuttle Atlantis touched down at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida around 6 a.m. Thursday, officially ending NASA’s space shuttle program. The program launched 135 flights over 30 years, sending 355 astronauts into space. The Atlantis launched on its first mission in 1985. On its final mission, it dropped off a year’s supply of food and other supplies at the International Space Station.

    July 21, 2011 6:08 AM

  14. OBIT Artist Lucian Freud Dies at 88 Express Newspapers / Getty Images

    14. Artist Lucian Freud Dies at 88

    Lucian Freud, the celebrated figurative artist and grandson of Sigmund Freud, passed away on Wednesday night in his home in London. Freud, 88, died following a short-term illness, according to the artist’s dealer. His paintings challenged traditional portraiture: the role of painter and subject in Freud’s work became known as “interrogator and interrogated,” as art critic John Russell wrote. One of the perks he enjoyed as England's most prominent artist was 24-hour access to London's National Gallery, where he often wandered late at night. “I use the gallery as if it were a doctor," he said in a New York Times profile.

    July 21, 2011 4:06 PM

  15. Influence Koch Industries Helps Write State Laws Larry W. Smith, Bloomberg News / Getty Images

    Koch Industries Helps Write State Laws

    Koch Industries, the company of financiers David and Charles Koch, has helped states to write energy legislation through a Washington-based group, the American Legislative Exchange Council, that it funds. Koch isn’t the only company: ExxonMobil is a member of ALEC too. The group charges companies a membership fee as high as $25,000; then it charges them several thousand dollars more to draft specific items of legislation alongside elected officials, who are then expected to guide the bill to law. An ALEC spokeswoman says the group promotes “good conservative policy.” ALEC-sponsored energy bills are before legislatures in Oregon, New Hampshire, and New Mexico. Koch and Exxon paid between $3,000 and $10,000 to have a hand in writing those bills.

    July 21, 2011 6:22 AM

  16. EXTRA VACATION Memphis School Opening Delayed Mark Humphrey / AP Photo

    16. Memphis School Opening Delayed

    School’s out—for autumn? Alice Cooper couldn’t have foreseen what’s going on in Memphis, where the school board has voted to delay the opening of the academic year. The board is demanding $55 million from the Tennessee city before it starts classes for its 103,000 students, who were scheduled to return Aug. 8. The quarrel comes as the board and council feud over the role of the county and city schools—city residents’ taxes also fund the wealthier, higher-performing county school district, and the city district recently voted to dissolve itself and be absorbed by the county. Both sides expressed optimism that they’d reach a deal before the opening bell is scheduled to ring.

    July 21, 2011 11:43 AM

  17. Scandal New Papers Accused of Phone Hacking Chris Ratcliffe, Bloomberg News / Getty Images

    New Papers Accused of Phone Hacking

    News of the World has earned most of the attention, but plenty of other British tabloids may have been hacking phones—and not just papers owned by Rupert Murdoch. Five former journalists from News of the World’s Sunday rival, The People, say they witnessed phone hacking in the newsroom in the late '90s and the early 2000s. A former reporter for The Sunday Mirror, meanwhile, says the paper frequently hired private detectives to dig up information. And Murdoch’s The Sun has also been accused several times of phone hacking: At least 14 articles whose subjects have alleged hacking have disappeared from The Sun’s website altogether.

    July 21, 2011 6:47 AM

  18. Caddie Sack Tiger Woods Fires Steve Williams Jamie Squire / Getty Images

    Tiger Woods Fires Steve Williams

    Tiger Woods fired his longtime caddie Steve Williams, a close friend who worked with Woods for 12 years. "I want to express my deepest gratitude to Stevie for all his help, but I think it's time for a change," Woods said on his website. "Needless to say, this came as a shock," replied Williams on his own site. Williams was one of two caddies Woods employed on a regular basis, but their relationship began to deteriorate after Woods’ car crash and subsequent revelations of adultery.

    July 21, 2011 1:12 PM

  19. Headaches Bachmann Releases Doctor’s Note Bill Clark, Roll Call / Getty Images

    Bachmann Releases Doctor’s Note

    Michele Bachmann doesn’t want her migraines to become a political headache too: she released a note from Congress’s attending physician on Wednesday addressing concerns about her migraine condition, which a Daily Caller report said sometimes “incapacitated” her. “Your migraines occur infrequently and have known trigger factors of which you are aware and know how to avoid,” the doctor, Brian Monahan, wrote. “When you do have a migraine, you are able to control it with as-needed sumatriptan and odansetron.”

    July 21, 2011 6:34 AM

  20. Social Network Larry Summers: Winklevii Are ‘A—holes’ Brian Snyder, Reuters / Landov

    Larry Summers: Winklevii Are ‘A—holes’

    The encounter in The Social Network between Larry Summers and the Winklevoss twins was, apparently, on the mark. "Rarely, have I encountered such swagger, and I tried to respond in kind," Summers said at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference. "One of the things you learn as a college president is that if an undergraduate is wearing a tie and jacket on Thursday afternoon at three o'clock, there are two possibilities. One is that they're looking for a job and have an interview; the other is that they are an a--hole. This was the latter case." The Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler, had appealed to Summers in their fight against Mark Zuckerberg.

    July 21, 2011 6:34 AM

  21. Baby News Sarah Palin’s Daughter-in-Law Pregnant Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

    21. Palin’s Daughter-in-Law Pregnant

    Looks like Trig and Tripp will have another baby to play with. Palin’s son Track and his wife Britta are expecting their first child, according to Gawker. Gawker published photos from Britta’s Facebook page that show she is pregnant and surrounded by gifts. Britta, 21, and Track, 22, were married in May. Track is an Army reservist and Britta was studying to be a nurse. The Palins have not confirmed the news.

    July 20, 2011 7:23 PM

  22. Accidents Cathie Black in Car Crash After Party Michael Nagle / Getty Images

    Cathie Black in Car Crash After Party

    Cathie Black, the former New York City schools chancellor, had a bit of trouble finding her way out of a Hampton’s Bastille Day party: "As she backed out, she practically hit every tree in the driveway," one partygoer tells the New York Post. "One of the guests stopped her and wouldn't let her drive further." Black wasn’t injured, though she managed to dent the car, knock off the mirror, and strip several trees of bark. People at the party tell the New York Post that Black was drinking alcohol before the accident, but her publicist says she was not drunk. After the incident, a friend drove Black home.

    July 21, 2011 7:27 AM

  23. New Generation Al Qaeda to Recruit With Cartoon

    23. Al Qaeda to Recruit With Cartoon

    Al Qaeda is reportedly planning to create an animated film to recruit children to the terrorist group, one of its affiliates said Wednesday. Scenes from the proposed “Disney-like” film would show young boys participating in raids, killings, and terror plots—the latest attempt of the group to use multimedia to recruit new members. But a former jihadist warned that the move could backfire, since families may be angry that al Qaeda is so blatantly trying to recruit children. The cartoon is being proposed by al Qaeda in Yemen, a growing faction in the terrorist network.

    July 20, 2011 10:32 PM

  24. Capital Punishment Texas Executes 9/11 ‘Revenge Killer’ Texas Department of Criminal Justice / AP Photo

    Texas Executes 9/11 ‘Revenge Killer’

    The state of Texas executed Mark Stroman Wednesday night—a man convicted of murdering two men he mistook for Muslims after September 11. Stroman said he was acting out of patriotism. One of his victims was, in fact, Indian; the other was a Muslim-born Pakistani. Stroman also shot in the face a Bangladeshi convenience store worker, who survived. That man, Rais Bhuiyan, led a campaign to spare Stroman’s life but was unable to stop the execution.

    July 21, 2011 6:22 AM

  25. Ticking Clock Obama Open to Short-Term Debt Deal Mark Lennihan / AP Photo, Mark Lennihan

    Obama Open to Short-Term Debt Deal

    President Obama says he's open to a short-term debt deal—“a few days,” his spokesman said Wednesday—if it would buy time for a “grand bargain” to reduce the deficit. However, even as Senate Republicans work with Democrats on a framework to raise revenue and slash spending, House Republicans are giving no indication of backing away from their no-tax pledge. Eighty House Republicans have signed a letter pledging opposition to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan, to say nothing of the $3.7 trillion “Gang of Six” plan. Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that Wall Street firms have begun drafting “doomsday plans” in case the U.S. defaults on its debt.

    July 21, 2011 6:08 AM

  26. Plan B Boehner Wants Backup Plan Harry Hamburg / AP Photo

    26. Boehner Wants Backup Plan

    House Speaker John Boehner called for a backup plan Thursday, asking Obama and congressional leaders to formulate a Plan B as indecision on a debt-ceiling plan seems imminent. "I think it would be irresponsible on behalf of the Congress and the president not to be looking at backup strategies for how to solve this problem,” Boehner said in news conference. “But in the meantime, the House has acted. We've passed our cut, cap, and balance bill. It's time for the Senate to act." The Senate will most likely defeat the House bill in favor of a bigger deficit reduction. While Boehner is intent on meeting the Aug. 2 deadline, he also stressed the necessity of dealing with another issue at hand: controlling the nation's future debt. "If we don't deal with the size of our debt, our credit rating is going to be downgraded. If the United States of America's debt rating gets downgraded, every interest rate in America will go up,” Boehner said. “It is important for us to act on both fronts. If we're serious about getting our economy going again and growing jobs.”

    July 21, 2011 1:07 PM

  27. Sabotage Nurse Arrested for Suspicious Deaths Jon Super / AP Photo

    27. Nurse Arrested for Suspicious Deaths

    A 27-year-old nurse was arrested but not charged on suspicion of murder in the U.K. after five of her patients died under suspicious circumstances. The five people were at a hospital near Manchester and apparently died from sudden drops in their blood-sugar levels. A sixth person is in critical condition. Police found 36 bags of saline solution that had been sabotaged with insulin, which prompts the body to absorb sugar from the blood.

    July 21, 2011 3:46 PM

  28. HACKED Anonymous Claims NATO Hack

    Anonymous Claims NATO Hack

    If someone gets hacked, and no one leaks the content, were they ever really hacked? Well, yes—just ask NATO. Hackers from the group Anonymous, which is loosely allied with WikiLeaks, say they’ve breached security at the defense alliance and accessed restricted material. To prove they’d done so, they posted a PDF on Twitter with a “NATO Restricted” heading but said it would be “irresponsible” to publish most of what they acquired. Nonetheless, they said they would release some parts of the approximately one gigabyte of data in coming days. NATO has not commented. Anonymous targeted those who moved to cut off WikiLeaks’ funding in late 2010, and U.S. officials arrested 14 on suspicion of working with the group on Tuesday.

    July 21, 2011 9:37 AM

  29. PAYBACK Feds: Edwards Must Return $2.3M Gerry Broome / AP Photo

    29. Feds: Edwards Must Return $2.3M

    You can buy a lot of $400 haircuts with $2.3 million, but disgraced former presidential candidate John Edwards may have to go shaggy. The Federal Election Commission has ruled that the North Carolina Democrat—who was also a senator and 2004 vice presidential nominee—must return that amount to the government, repaying matching funds received by his 2008 presidential campaign, out of $13 million in federal funds received. Auditors said the campaign understated how much cash it had and overstated its expenses. It’s the latest accusation of impropriety for Edwards, who will soon go on trial for misusing campaign funds to cover up the affair and love child he had with a campaign videographer.

    July 21, 2011 11:49 AM

  30. Negotiations Obama, Boehner Say No Debt Deal Rex Features / AP Photo

    30. Obama, Boehner Say No Debt Deal

    White House spokesman Jay Carney denied reports that President Obama was nearing agreement with Republican leaders on a $3 trillion deal to raise the debt ceiling. “There is no deal. We are not close to a deal,” said Carney; John Boehner also tweeted that reports of a deal were "false." But sources still tell Politico and The New York Times that the deal is on the table, and that Vice President Joe Biden called congressional Democrats to tell them the two sides were moving toward a large deal. In addition to cutting spending, the arrangement would make changes to entitlement programs and pledge to reform the tax code later down the road.

    July 21, 2011 2:31 PM

  31. DAMNING NotW Execs: James Murdoch Testimony ‘Mistaken’ Bloomberg / Getty Images

    31. NotW Execs: James Murdoch Testimony ‘Mistaken’

    Two former senior News of the World executives said Thursday that News Corp. deputy COO James Murdoch was “mistaken” in his testimony before the Parliamentary Committee he faced Tuesday. Colin Myler, the editor of the paper until it was shut down two weeks ago, and Tom Crone, the paper’s former head of legal affairs, said testimony their former boss had given about an out-of-court settlement to Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Gordon Taylor was “mistaken.” They claim they had told Murdoch about an email that directly contradicted the “rogue reporter” theory of phone hacking. This directly contradicts what Murdoch told the select committee. Murdoch issued a statement denying that he misled the committee.

    July 21, 2011 8:25 PM

  32. Sizzling Deadly U.S. Heat Wave Spreads East Nati Harnik / AP Photo

    32. Deadly U.S. Heat Wave Spreads East

    After days of record temperatures, the U.S. is no closer to beating the heat. Soaring temperatures are still spreading eastward, meteorologists say, and heat advisories will be in place down the Eastern Seaboard throughout the weekend. Already, almost half the U.S. population has been affected, and 22 deaths have been attributed to the heat wave. On Tuesday, heat indices hit 129 in Newton, Iowa, and 123 in Hutchinson, Minnesota. Temperatures in the East, which the National Weather Service said it felt like between 100 and 110 degrees on Wednesday, with temperatures set to get even hotter on Thursday and Friday. 

    July 20, 2011 11:05 PM

  33. Departure Huntsman Campaign Manager Resigns Stan Honda / AFP / Getty Images

    33. Huntsman Campaign Manager Resigns

    Jon Huntsman's campaign manager, Susie Wiles, resigned this afternoon. Matt David, Huntsman’s communications director, will succeed her. Wiles is the first departure from Huntsman’s campaign, and, so far, the campaign has not given a reason for the change. However, Wiles did say in an interview, “I signed up to get it started. It’s like a phase. This morning I said it’s time to move on.”

    July 21, 2011 3:52 PM