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  1. Scandal James Murdoch Could Be Ousted Chris Ratcliffe, Bloomberg /Getty Images

    1. James Murdoch Could Be Ousted

    BSkyB's board meeting Thursday could decide much about James Murdoch's future. Rupert's son, as deputy COO of News Corp. and  chairman of BSkyB, attempted to orchestrate a$12 billion takeover of the British broadcaster. However, News Corp. dropped its bid in the wake of the hacking scandal. “The biggest issue is whether James Murdoch is to remain chairman,” said Steve Liechti, an analyst at Investec Securities in London. Meanwhile, more ties between the British government and senior News Corp. executives were revealed Tuesday, as a diary posted on the website of Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne showed cozy relations. Osborne was crucial in bringing in former News of the World editor Andy Coulson as Prime Minister David Cameron’s communications secretary.

    July 27, 2011 12:51 AM

  2. Not So Bad U.S. May Pay Bills Until Aug. 10 Getty Images

    2. U.S. May Pay Bills Until Aug. 10

    It looks like the U.S. has a rainy day fund after all. Even if the U.S. government does not come to an agreement on the debt ceiling by Aug 2 and defaults, there will be enough money to pay the bills until Aug. 10. President Obama has insisted Aug. 2 is a “hard deadline” and the U.S. will no longer be able to cut Social Security checks if it cannot borrow more money. But some analysts say the analogy is more like this: The government will max out its credit card on Aug. 2, but it will have enough cash in its wallet to last until Aug. 10. But all told, the government plans to borrow some $500 billion in August, and if interest rates are raised by a tenth of a percentage point because of a credit-rating downgrade, the annual cost would rise by $500 million.

    July 27, 2011 12:25 AM

  3. Terrorism Al Qaeda’s Days Numbered AP Photo

    3. Al Qaeda’s Days Numbered

    U.S. counterterrorism officials said Tuesday that al Qaeda may not last much longer, pushed to the brink of collapse by seven years of CIA drone strikes and the death of Osama bin Laden. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta declared during a recent visit to Afghanistan that “we’re within reach of strategically defeating al Qaeda,” and other senior counterterrorism officials at the CIA have expressed similar views. They credit bin Laden’s death as a turning point, causing the end of the al Qaeda as “global, borderless, united jihad,” one official said. But despite these victories, officials have also warned that al Qaeda in Yemen is actually growing—in fact, on Tuesday, a 10-minute audio message was posted on Islamic websites Tuesday of al Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate pledging loyalty to bin Laden’s successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

    July 27, 2011 12:28 AM

  4. Replacements Rep. Wu’s Seat Up for Grabs Don Ryan / AP Photo

    4. Rep. Wu’s Seat Up for Grabs

    Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber will set the date for a special election to replace Rep. David Wu, who resigned Tuesday after he was accused of unwanted sexual advances with an 18-year-old girl. If the date is less than 80 days after Wu’s resignation, then party officials will nominate new candidates, but if it is more than 80 days, there will be a public primary to determine the candidates. If a primary occurs, there are already two clear Democratic frontrunners: Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian and State Sen. Suzanne Bonamici. Avakian had already been planning to mount a primary challenge to Wu; Bonamici has not officially declared yet. One lobbyist predicted, “It will be a highly competitive race.” It is also possible that Republicans will compete, but it is unlikely, as both George W. Bush and John McCain suffered heavy losses in Wu’s district.

    July 26, 2011 4:47 PM

  5. Back on the Table CBO: Boehner Plan Falls Short Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo

    5. CBO: Boehner Plan Falls Short

    Looks like House Republicans have some rewriting to do.The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said late Tuesday that House Speaker John Boehner’s proposed debt plan would not cut as much from the budget as he claimed. The CBO said in a letter that Boehner’s proposal will cut only $850 billion from the budget, not $1.2 trillion, as he said. A Boehner spokesman said congressional staffers are currently reviewing ways to rework the proposal to cut $1.2 trillion from the budget, and will now only vote on the bill on Thursday. The blow came as Republicans in the House said they would not back Boehner’s proposal, saying the plan does not cut enough. Rep. Jim Jordan, the influential Ohio Republican, said Tuesday he is “confident” there are not enough Republicans willing to back Boehner’s proposal.

    July 26, 2011 8:08 PM

  6. Postponed DSK Hearing Delayed Emmanuel Dunand, Pool / AP Photo

    6. DSK Hearing Delayed

    It appears Dominique Strauss-Kahn will have some more time to enjoy New York. A status hearing for the former IMF chief, accused of attempting to rape a maid in a New York City hotel on May 14, has been pushed back until Aug. 23. It had originally been scheduled for mid-July, but then was postponed until Aug. 1, as defense attorneys have attempted to poke holes in the credibility of the accuser, and prosecutors have tried to determine if there is enough evidence to move forward. Meanwhile, the accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, has come forward and spoken with Newsweek and ABC News, a move that some said could imperil her case.

    July 26, 2011 6:38 PM

  7. Exclusion 9/11 Health Program Won’t Cover Cancer Kathy Willens, File / AP Photo

    7. 9/11 Health Program Won’t Cover Cancer

    The firefighters and police officers who worked at Ground Zero on September 11 and in the days following will not have cancer treatments covered as part of a government health program, the World Trade Center Health Program said Tuesday. Program administrator John Howard said there are inadequate “published scientific and medical findings” linking the dust particles from the site to cancer in responders and survivors. After a heated and lengthy battle, President Obama signed the $4.2 billion legislation in January to provide health care for the first responders, but now many of the lawmakers and survivors who supported the bill have spoken out about the exclusion of cancer. New York police officer Reggie Hillaire, who worked at Ground Zero for 11 days and then the Staten Island landfill, called the decision “heartbreaking.”

    July 26, 2011 9:09 PM

  8. Sighting Lockerbie Bomber Seen at Libya Rally File, Newscom

    8. Lockerbie Bomber Seen at Libya Rally

    Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who was convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, was seen on a live broadcast of a rally in Tripoli. Megrahi was released from prison in 2009 on "compassionate grounds" after Scottish authorities determined he had only three months to live. During the rally, at which Megrahi appeared in a wheelchair, a presenter suggested that his conviction was the result of an international plot, saying that “half of the world conspired against” him.

    July 26, 2011 9:20 PM

  9. Dangerous Fukushima Daiichi: Most Risky Plant An aerial view shows the quake-damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant in the Japanese town of Futaba, Fukushima prefecture on March 12, 2011. Credit: Jiji Press / Getty Images

    9. Fukushima Daiichi: Most Risky Plant

    Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi, which was destroyed after the March 11 earthquake and subsequently caused one of the worst nuclear disasters of all time, was long ranked as world’s most dangerous plant. The rankings were tracked by Fukushima’s operator Tokyo Electric Power, and in the U.S., the plant would have required more scrutiny from the Nuclear Regulatory Committee. "After the Fukushima accident, we need to reconsider the cost of nuclear power," Tatsujiro Suzuki, vice chairman of Japan's Atomic Energy Commission, told Reuters. As part of a bid to win back trust, the utility promised to repair a “safety culture” that it said failed in the disaster, and safety experts have been tapped to audit the nuclear power plant operators and regulators.

    July 26, 2011 10:46 PM

  10. NATURE ATTACKS Woman, 94, Battles Kangaroo Rob Griffith / AP Photo

    10. Woman, 94, Battles Kangaroo

    Next time you start to complain about doing your laundry, think of Phyllis Johnson. The 94-year-old Australian woman was hanging her wash on Sunday in an Outback town when a red kangaroo attacked her. "I thought it was going to kill me," she said. "It was taller than me, and it just plowed through the clothes on the washing line straight for me." With the aid of a broom and her dog, Johnson fought back against the raging ‘roo, but she was badly injured enough that she had to be taken to a hospital for treatment. The animal was apparently a pet who had escaped, and it was subdued after a police officer arrived on the scene and pepper-sprayed it. Police said that kangaroo attacks on humans are rare; this was the first recorded instance of one being subdued with pepper spray.

    July 26, 2011 3:23 PM

  11. TRAGEDIES Norway Shooter Insane: Attorney Facebook via Getty Images

    Norway Shooter Insane: Attorney

    A lawyer hired to represent Anders Behring Breivik, the suspect in the Norway attacks, says his client is probably “insane” and added that he might quit the case if Breivik won’t agree to psychological tests. Geir Lippestad, a member of the Labor Party, which Breivik allegedly targeted with a bomb and shooting, said that while he felt it was important that Breivik get representation so justice could be done, he couldn’t understand why the suspect had chosen him. He also said Breivik had elaborated further on his claims that he was part of a right-wing network with cells elsewhere in Norway and throughout Europe, and had asked about the number of people he killed. Police, meanwhile, detonated a cache of explosives at Breivik's farm, but a police prosecutor declined to say how many explosives were found at the farm.

    July 26, 2011 9:54 AM

  12. AILING Doctor: Mubarak Won’t Eat, Drink Sean Gallup / Getty Images

    12. Doctor: Mubarak Won’t Eat, Drink

    With his Aug. 3 trial date approaching, Hosni Mubarak’s chief doctor says the ousted Egyptian leader’s physical condition is “almost stable,” but that he is refusing to eat or drink and is severely depressed. Medics at the hospital where Mubarak has been under house arrest since April said they might feed him intravenously if his condition worsens. But critics are wary of the rumors of his deteriorating health, and speculate that he may be trying to make himself sicker to avoid standing trial on charges of corruption and killing protesters.

    July 26, 2011 5:02 PM

  13. FUNERAL Winehouse to Be Cremated Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images

    Winehouse to Be Cremated

    Friends and family gathered at an emotional funeral service for Amy Winehouse in London on Tuesday, after which the singer will reportedly be cremated. Kelly Osbourne and Mark Ronson were among those in attendance. Reg Traviss, Winehouse's boyfriend of two years, did not attend the service, though he had spent time with her in the days leading up to her death. In an interview with The Sun, Traviss rejected rumors that she had died in a drug-riddled haze. "She has been full of life and so upbeat recently, exercising every day and doing yoga," he said. "This terrible thing that happened is like an accident." Winehouse's ex-husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, who is currently serving a 32-month jail sentence and has been blamed for introducing her to hard drugs, was not in attendance. Though Winehouse's family reportedly believes she died of a heart attack or seizure, her cause of death will not be officially released until October.

    July 26, 2011 12:18 PM

  14. DISGRACED Oregon Rep. David Wu Resigns Don Ryan / AP Photo

    Oregon Rep. David Wu Resigns

    There will be no painful, drawn-out Anthony Weiner-style denouement for Rep. David Wu. The Oregon Democrat has resigned from Congress after an allegation of an unwanted sexual encounter made by the 18-year-old daughter of a campaign donor. Wu came under fire earlier in 2011 when his bizarre behavior on the campaign trail—including sending a picture of himself in a tiger costume to a staffer—was revealed. Wu had weathered that storm, although two Democrats were running to unseat him a primary, and when the latest allegations emerged over the weekend, he sought to contain them by announcing he wouldn’t run for re-election. But with Democratic leaders demanding an ethics inquiry into the allegation, Wu’s days were numbered. “With great sadness, I therefore intend to resign effective upon the resolution of the debt-ceiling crisis,” Wu said in a statement. “This is the right decision for my family, the institution of the House, and my colleagues.”

    July 26, 2011 12:25 PM

  15. TICKING CLOCK IMF Chief Warns on U.S. Debt Richard Drew / AP Photo

    IMF Chief Warns on U.S. Debt

    Whose side will she take? Christine Lagarde, the new chief of the International Monetary Fund, has weighed in on the crisis over the debt ceiling as an Aug. 2 default date draws precariously near. It appears as though Lagarde may be siding with President Obama. She cautioned that drastic cuts could result in a “jobless recovery.” She also addressed the euro crisis, saying the global economy was still at risk as it emerges from a recession and called on EU leaders to tackle sovereign debt immediately.

    July 26, 2011 10:37 AM

  16. NIGHTMARE N.Y. Woman Framed for Robberies Seth Wenig / AP Photo

    16. N.Y. Woman Framed for Robberies

    Queens, N.Y., resident Seemona Sumasar, an unassuming Wall Street analyst, was facing 25 years in prison for a series of armed robberies when cops finally admitted that she was innocent—and that she had been set up by a vengeful ex-boyfriend. Sumasar’s ex, Jerry Ramrattan, was a CSI and Law & Order fanatic who was furious that Sumasar had him arrested on rape charges and used his TV knowledge to carefully orchestrate the ploy, bribing people to report bogus robberies. His ex-girlfriend is free now, but she is suing the police who put her away. “I can never have faith in justice in this country again,” Sumasar says.

    July 26, 2011 12:13 PM

  17. Britain The Mirror Launches Phone-Hack Probe Dave Hogan / Getty Images

    The Mirror Launches Phone-Hack Probe

    Were non-Murdoch tabloids in Britain also hacking phones? Trinity Mirror, which owns The Daily Mirror, has launched a review to determine whether its papers ever used the illegal practice. The Mirror has been accused of hacking phones to uncover the affair between Sven-Göran Eriksson, who was the manager of England's national soccer team, and British TV personality Ulrika Jonsson in 2003. James Hipwell, a former Mirror reporter, says the practice was widespread at the paper. CNN's Piers Morgan edited the paper at the time, and he has strenuously denied the accusation. Meanwhile, the Daily Mail said Tuesday its reporters have never engaged in phone hacking.

    July 26, 2011 6:54 AM

  18. Fast Food McDonald’s Adds Fruit to Happy Meals Eric Risberg / AP Photo

    McDonald’s Adds Fruit to Happy Meals

    Would you like apple with that? McDonald’s will begin serving fruit or vegetables with all Happy Meals, according to the Los Angeles Times, as well as shrinking the size of the french-fry portion to 1.1 ounces from 2.4. (The company considered cutting fries altogether, but customers demanded them.) The fruit or vegetable dish will vary, including apples, carrots, raisins, mandarin oranges, and pineapple. McDonald’s says the new Happy Meals, on average, will contain 20 percent fewer calories.

    July 26, 2011 6:51 AM

  19. CALLING IT OFF Jesse James, Kat Von D Split Neilson Barnard

    Jesse James, Kat Von D Split

    Jesse James just might have to admit he's not a one-woman man. Having split with wife Sandra Bullock in June 2010 after numerous women attested to affairs with the married man, James announced he was engaged to tattoo artist Kat von D early in January. "I feel like I'm the luckiest girl," she said at the time, adding, "I don't care what anyone thinks." But she's since changed her tune, announcing their breakup on Twitter. This would have been the fourth marriage for James.

    July 26, 2011 11:43 AM

  20. Inequality Wealth Gap Widens Between Whites, Minorities Paul Sancya / AP Photo

    Wealth Gap Widens Between Whites, Minorities

    Has the latest recession erased 25 years of progress? The wealth gap between whites and minorities is the widest it’s been in a quarter-century, with white households having 20 times the net worth of Hispanic and black households. ($113,149 for whites in 2009 versus $6,325 for Hispanics and $5,677 for blacks.) In 1995, the wealth ratio was 7 to 1, whites to minority. Hispanics were hardest hit by the recession: Between 2005 and 2009, median wealth fell more than percent from to just over $6,000. The discrepancy is explained, in part, by the fact that many whites derive their wealth from stocks and corporate savings, while minority families are mostly invested in their homes.

    July 26, 2011 6:25 AM

  21. COPYCAT Johann Hari Stripped of Orwell Prize

    Johann Hari Stripped of Orwell Prize

    Renowned left-wing commentator and journalist Johann Hari has had his 2008 Orwell Prize revoked after allegations that he may have used a quote stolen from another book in one of his stories. Hari, who writes for the Independent, has denied plagiarism in spite of other allegations of his penchant for recycling quotes. The Independent has suspended Hari and launched a plagiarism investigation. A spokesman for the Council of the Orwell Prize said “a clear and unanimous decision” has been reached to take back his award, though Hari's editor says the writer did not have a chance to defend himself fully.

    July 26, 2011 10:00 AM

  22. Backlash Netflix Releases Slow Growth Forecast Amy Sancetta / AP Photo

    22. Netflix Releases Slow Growth Forecast

    Despite exceeding expectations in its second-quarter earnings, Netflix Inc. issued on Monday a negative growth forecast due to its planned price hike. Since the company announced two weeks ago the change in subscription rates starting in September, Netflix’s shares have fallen by more than 10 percent. Netflix expects to add between 190,000 to 1.29 million subscribers in the upcoming quarter, which would make it the slowest growth in years. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings insisted they are feeling “great” about the decision to change the subscription prices, despite saying they agreed that customers irked by the new prices will leave the company.

    July 26, 2011 12:50 AM

  23. Showdowns Obama, Boehner Spar on TV J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

    Obama, Boehner Spar on TV

    President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner took to the airwaves to make their case to the American people Monday—a sign that they are farther apart than ever before, just one week before a possible federal default. President Obama is now supporting Senate Democrats’ $2.7 trillion plan, which does not require any new revenue; Boehner’s plan would raise the debt ceiling by $1 trillion in exchange for $1.2 trillion in cuts, before raising it again next year contingent on further cuts. It’s unclear, however, if Boehner’s own caucus will support his plan. Although he tried to win over conservatives by previewing the plan to Rush Limbaugh, many Republicans in the House oppose any plan other than the “Cut, Cap, and Balance” plan passed last week. Those opposed include Rep. Jim Jordan, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, who stood beside Boehner Monday as he announced the plan.

    July 26, 2011 6:21 AM

  24. Tragedies Norway Names Its Victims Emilio Morenatti / AP Photo

    Norway Names Its Victims

    The world will not be seeing Anders Breivik for some time. He will be in custody for the next eight weeks, including four of solitary confinement, and it could be a full year before his trial begins. In the meantime, Norway has begun identifying the victims of his attack. They include the 51-year-old stepbrother of Norway’s crown princess, Trond Bernsten, a police officer who died while saving his 10-year-old son. The youngest victim of the attacks was 14-year-old Johannes Buo. Also among the victims: Ismail Haji Ahmed, a 20-year-old dancer who appeared on Norway’s Got Talent.

    July 26, 2011 6:30 AM

  25. EPIDEMIC Teen Suicides Sweep Bachmann’s District Brett Flashnick / AP Photo

    25. Teen Suicides Sweep Bachmann’s District

    An unsettling rash of suicides among teenagers in Rep. Michele Bachmann’s Minnesota district, particularly among both gay teens and bullied teens, is troubling residents and state public-health officials, and is leading critics to blame the Republican congresswoman and her antigay allies. "I feel if I hadn't moved to this district my daughter wouldn't have died,” said the mother of a seventh-grade girl who took her own life. Nine teens in the area have killed themselves over the past two years, leading state officials to designate it a "suicide contagion area." Bachmann’s office declined to comment, but her history of lenience with bullying and refusal to support anti-bullying state legislation in 2006 has critics citing her response as fostering the cultural crisis. While Bachmann remains mum, the Justice Department and Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights are both investigating allegations of antigay bullying in connection to the spike in suicide rates.

    July 25, 2011 10:57 PM

  26. Tragic Two Charged in Laura Ackerson’s Death

    26. Two Charged in Laura Ackerson’s Death

    North Carolina police on Monday arrested Grant and Amanda Hayes for allegedly killing his ex-girlfriend Laura Ackerson, whose dismembered body was found 1,200 miles away in Texas. Ackerson, 27, was reported missing on July 15 when she failed to pick up her two children from Hayes, with whom she was locked in a custody dispute. Police said they believe Hayes and his wife bought several ice chests and a U-Haul just days after Ackerson disappeared and allegedly used them to transport her body to Texas. Police also recovered a machete from an outhouse near where the Hayes lived.

    July 25, 2011 11:39 PM

  27. Bosses Murdoch ‘Fully Engaged’ at News Corp. Sang Tan / AP Photo

    Murdoch 'Fully Engaged' at Papers

    Rupert Murdoch said he did not know about phone-hacking and illegal payments at News Corp.—fishy statements when you consider how involved he typically is with his papers. The New York Times describes him as a “fully engaged” boss, with former editors at News of the World and The Sun saying he called frequently to communicate what one former editor describes as “telephone terrorism.” Murdoch is said to sometimes have been so involved as to write headlines—a former adviser to Tony Blair says Murdoch himself chose the one-word headline “Treachery” for a News of the World criticizing the then-prime minister. Murdoch also apparently fumed at editors of his British papers for turning down an opportunity to purchase information on parliamentary expense accounts, allowing a rival paper, The Telegraph, to snatch the scoop.

    July 26, 2011 6:41 AM


    Moroccan Plane Crash Kills 78

    Morocco has suffered its worst plane crash since the 1970s. Seventy-eight people were killed when a C-130 military-transport plane struck a mountain during bad weather. The personnel on the plane were traveling to northern Morocco from a city in Western Sahara, a hotly disputed breakaway territory that Morocco claimed in 1979 but which has attempted to maintain its independence. Of the dead, 60 were members of the military, 12 were civilians, and nine were members of the crew. Three people on board survived, according to the Royal Armed Forces.

    July 26, 2011 9:32 AM

  29. RETIREMENT George Soros Quits Hedge Fund Axel Schmidt / AFP-Getty Images

    29. George Soros Quits Hedge Fund

    After a storied four-decade run, billionaire hedge-fund manager George Soros is calling it quits, according to Bloomberg News. Soros will give back capital from outsiders by the end of the year and will manage only his own billions, the report stated. His chief investment officer will be departing. Soros’ pullout comes as financial regulations increase on hedge funds. Traditionally, the funds have been minimally regulated. During the past 30 years, Soros says, he has given more than $8 billion to funds that foster democracy and free speech.

    July 26, 2011 8:23 AM

  30. Scandals DSK Maid Imperils Case

    DSK Maid Imperils Case

    Nafissatou Diallo, the hotel maid who says Dominique Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her, broke her silence Sunday with an interview in Newsweek. In doing so, she may have imperiled her legal case. The New York Times says it is “virtually unheard of” for a person alleging sexual assault to identify herself during the investigation—a sign, perhaps, that Diallo and her lawyers expect Manhattan prosecutors to drop the charges against Strauss-Kahn. The risk for Diallo, according to the New York Post, is that she could introduce new inconsistencies into her story. She may have, in fact—she told Newsweek and ABC News that Strauss-Kahn spoke to her, after having previously said that they never spoke.

    July 26, 2011 6:34 AM

  31. SEALED AND DELIVERED U.S. to Close 3,700 Post Offices Scott Olson / Getty Images

    31. U.S. to Close 3,700 Post Offices

    Your local post office may soon be a relic. The U.S. Postal Service has declared that as many as 3,700 post offices will be closed across the country, following an announcement in January that the service had suffered net losses of $8.5 billion in fiscal year 2010, a huge spike in comparison with the $3.8 billion lost in the previous year. "The Postal Service of the future will be smaller, leaner, and more competitive, and it will continue to drive commerce, serve communities, and deliver value," said Postmaster General Patrick Donahue. Closings are slated to begin in the next four to six months.

    July 26, 2011 2:09 PM

  32. TECH FAIL House Websites, Phones Crash Pete Souza / The White House via Getty Images

    House Websites, Phones Crash

    Many economists warn that failure to raise the debt ceiling could cause an economic crash, but the frantic negotiation over it has already caused another crash—of Congress’s websites and phones. After President Obama told Americans in a speech Monday night that they should call their representatives, calls and website visits have deluged House systems and overwhelmed them. Calls to House numbers are sometimes producing busy signals, and the websites of some congressional leaders on both sides are failing to load.

    July 26, 2011 11:50 AM