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  1. REFERENDUM Putin’s Party Sees Big Drop in Support VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO / Getty Images

    1. Putin’s Party Sees Big Drop in Support

    Vladimir Putin got some discouraging news from today's parliamentary elections in Russia. The party of the former president and current prime minister (and, if all goes to plan, future president) saw a steep drop in support, garnering about 49 percent of the vote, compared with 64 percent in 2007. If the projections hold up, the United Russia party will hold 220 seats in Parliament, down from 315. To make matters worse, websites that alleged poll violations were shut down by hackers. The election will be seen as a defeat for Putin, as it was a key test of his popularity heading into the presidential election.

    December 4, 2011 12:15 PM

  2. TRY AGAIN Senate Dems to Pitch New Tax Plan Bill Clark / Getty Images

    2. Senate Dems to Pitch New Tax Plan

    Time is ticking for the Senate to overcome an impasse over payroll taxes and unemployment benefits. On Fox News Sunday, Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota said that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would be introducing a new “compromise” soon, though he declined to give many details. Since the GOP initially balked at covering the costs of the package with a surtax on wealthy Americans, Conrad said that this new plan would be paid for “in a way that’s credible and serious.” Both parties said that a deal to extended unemployment benefits is likely to be reached soon. But if the chamber doesn’t take action by Dec. 31, payroll taxes will go up for millions of Americans.

    December 4, 2011 3:09 PM

  3. NEWT-NEWT-NEWT Cain to Endorse Gingrich David Goldman / AP Photo

    3. Cain to Endorse Gingrich: Report

    Looks as though his new mantra is Newt-Newt-Newt. Fox 5 Atlanta reports that former GOP candidate Herman Cain will endorse current GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich for the presidential nomination. The news comes a day after Cain quoted a Pokémon movie and “suspended” his race. Meanwhile, Iowa polls show that Gingrich has a strong 26 percent of the vote, while Mitt Romney has only 18 percent. Ater Cain dropped out, several candidates, including Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul, made their case for why Cain supporters should vote for them.

    December 4, 2011 10:39 PM

  4. Rounded Up Police Arrest Occupy D.C. Protesters Jewel Samad, AFP / Getty Images

    4. Police Arrest Occupy D.C. Protesters

    U.S. Park police arrested more than two dozen protesters participating in Occupy D.C. protests in McPherson Square in the nation's capital Sunday after the protesters refused to dismantle a wooden building they had constructed in the public square. Police warned protesters that they had an hour to begin tearing it down, then began making arrests around 2 p.m. The arrests happened peacefully, with police cuffing demonstrators who sat inside the structure and leading them to nearby law enforcement vehicles. The conflict seemed to be over the plywood shelter, as the police have left the group’s tent city alone for weeks.

    December 4, 2011 9:15 PM

  5. EUROS Leaders Meet to Keep Euro Afloat Martin Meissner / AP Photos

    5. Leaders Meet to Keep Euro Afloat

    Euro leaders will head to Brussels Friday to try to strike a deal to save the euro. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet to design a joint proposal. The deal, which is expected to have several parts, will aim to protect Italy and Spain and rework how the euro is managed. Sunday, Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Monti announced a €30 billion austerity bill that will spike taxes and raise the age for pensions. Italian Welfare Minister Elsa Fornero cried when announcing the pension cuts that will hurt retired people.

    December 4, 2011 11:30 PM

  6. NOT SORRY Obama Offers Pakistan ‘Condolences’ Rizwan Tabassum, AFP / Getty Images

    6. Obama Offers Pakistan ‘Condolences’

    Noble gesture or just not enough? President Obama phoned President Asif Ali Zardari to offer his “condolences” for the 24 Pakistani troops killed in a NATO air raid last month. Though the public in Pakistan has been fuming for the past eight days after the attack, Obama’s comments did not include a formal apology or video message. In a statement, the White House said that Obama made it clear that it was not a deliberate attack, and both sides are committed to their relationship. Last week, U.S. officials said that Pakistan's border control had authorized the attack on what was thought to be Taliban insurgents.

    December 4, 2011 4:54 PM

  7. RADIOACTIVE Fukushima Plant Has New Leak Kyodo / Landov

    7. Fukushima Plant Has New Leak

    More trouble for the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant: a pool of water was found to be contaminated, containing 300 times the level of radioactive cesium permitted. Officials say the leak will not disturb the cooling process of the facility, but it increases concerns that radioactive contaminants are entering the Pacific Ocean. A local report estimates that 220 metric tons of water has leaked from the factory to the ocean.

    December 4, 2011 9:49 PM

  8. WELCOME Church Drops Interracial Couple Ban Anne Ackermann / Getty Images

    8. Church Drops Interracial Couple Ban

    All believers are welcome! Eastern Kentucky’s Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church overturned a decision to ban interracial couples from joining the congregation Sunday. Aside from saying the highly controversial vote was discriminatory, the pastor of the church said that new bylaws can’t clash with local, state, and national laws. Believers of all “race, creed, or color” are welcome now.

    December 4, 2011 8:18 PM

  9. ROAR Tiger Woods Ends Title Drought Danny Moloshok / AP Photo

    9. Tiger Woods Ends Title Drought

    He’s back. Tiger Woods sank a six-foot birdie putt on the last hole to win his first tournament in two years Sunday. At the start of the final day of the Chevron World Challenge—which the golfer hosts—Woods trailed American Zach Johnson by one stroke. After clinching the victory, Woods did his signature fist pump, something his fans haven’t seen in quite a while. It’s the 95th win of his career, and first since the 2009 Australian Open.

    December 4, 2011 6:18 PM

  10. CONCERT Madonna to Perform at Super Bowl Luigi Costantini / AP Photo

    10. Madonna to Perform at Super Bowl

    Madonna is set to perform during the Super Bowl’s halftime show on Feb. 5. NBC made the announcement during Sunday’s Detroit–New Orleans game. The singer will collaborate with a team from Cirque du Soleil and others for the performance in Indianapolis. More than 162 million people tuned in to watch the Black-Eyed Peas perform from Dallas in February.

    December 4, 2011 11:27 PM

  11. FILM Peter Jackson Makes West Memphis Three’Doc Dan Steinberg / AP Photo

    11. Peter Jackson Makes West Memphis Three Doc

    Director Peter Jackson took a break from filming The Hobbit to produce a documentary, West of Memphis, with the aim of helping to exonerate the “West Memphis Three.” The three—Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley Jr. were convicted of murdering three 8-year-old boys in 1993 in West Memphis, Ark. The three were released in August after they entered an “Alford plea,” which means they can go free and maintain their innocence, but have a guilty plea entered against them. Peter Jackson and partner Fran Walsh have been working since 2005 to overturn “one of the most famous miscarriages of justice in American history.”

    December 4, 2011 9:27 PM

  12. UNDEAD ‘Twilight’ Wins Box Office Again Courtesy of Summit Entertainment, LLC.

    12. ‘Twilight’ Wins Box Office Again

    It won't give up, just like vampires. Breaking Dawn–Part 1 topped the U.S. box office for the third straight weekend, pulling in $16.9 million. The third Twilight movie has grossed $247.3 million in North America so far. But it was the second-slowest moviegoing weekend this year, with only $82 million in ticket sales. The Muppets was No. 2 again, with only $11.2 million, for a total $56 million since its debut.

    December 4, 2011 2:35 PM

  13. Keeping Up Khloe Kardashian Sued Mark J. Terrill / AP Photo

    13. Khloe Kardashian Sued

    More drama for the Kardashian clan. Khloe Kardashian is being sued for assault for a 2009 incident at a bar. A transgender woman claims Kardashian attacked her outside a club, and that afterward she suffered “severe mental anguish.” Chantal Spears, formerly Ronald Spears, said of the incident, “All I was telling [Kardashian's now-husband] Lamar Odom is maybe he is too young to get married and all of a sudden I get this big push from this girl.”

    December 3, 2011 9:48 PM

  14. Postal USPS May Abolish Next-Day Service Joe Raedle / Getty Images

    14. USPS May Abolish Next-Day Service

    The U.S. Postal Service will propose a cost-saving measure on Monday that would abolish next-day delivery for first-class mail. The proposal will include changing the standard of first-class mail from one to three days to two to five days. A postal service spokeswoman said, “These changes are being proposed because they will allow for significant consolidation of the entire postal network in terms of facilities, processing equipment, vehicles, and employee workforce.” The USPS has racked up $5.1 billion in debt this year, and needs to pay $5.5 billion to its health-care retirement fund by Dec. 18.

    December 3, 2011 9:46 PM

  15. SCRAMBLE Cain's Exit Leaves Two-Man Race Henny Ray Abrams / AP Photo

    15. Cain's Exit Leaves Two-Man Race

    With the exit of Herman Cain, the GOP presidential field has narrowed to a race between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. Gingrich is showing strength in Iowa, the location of the first caucuses, and Romney is strong in New Hampshire, the first primary. Both were participating in a Fox News forum hosted by former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, and faced tough questions posed by three conservative state attorneys general. Gingrich was pressed to promise that he would not "advance these sorts of big-government approaches" that he had pushed for in the past as House speaker, and Romney was asked about his health-care overhaul when he was governor of Massachusetts, with one A.G. saying there weren't many differences between "Obamacare" and Romney's approach.

    December 4, 2011 7:26 AM

  16. AUSTERITY Queen Hit With New Budget Cuts Peter Byrne / Getty Images

    16. Queen Hit With New Budget Cuts

    Even the Queen of England can't escape some cuts in these tough times. Elizabeth II has accepted austerity measures until 2015, which means a pay freeze and funding cuts. Prince Charles will have to pay for the staff of Will and Kate out of his own pocket, instead of with taxpayers' money. The Crown Estate will also have to make its own profits instead of relying on state funding. Repairs to Buckingham Palace will likely be halted.

    December 4, 2011 8:02 AM

  17. CHAOS 13 Injured in Football Celebration Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

    17. 13 Injured in Football Celebration

    Victory celebrations were marred when at least 13 people were injured—two in critical condition—as thousands of fans stormed the field after the Oklahoma State–Oklahoma college football game Saturday night. Students tore down the goalposts and fans were trampled after 13th-ranked OSU routed its archrival, 44-10. The crowd was so big that it took at least 45 minutes for the police to clear the fans out of the Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater.

    December 4, 2011 8:15 AM

  18. CUTE U.K. Gets First Pandas in 17 Years Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

    18. U.K. Gets First Pandas in 17 Years

    From China, with love: the first giant pandas to live in the United Kingdom in 17 years have arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland, sending the region into pandamania. Tian Tian and Yang Guang touched down after a nine-hour specially chartered flight from Chengdu, China. Tian Tian, meaning "sweetie," is the female, and Yang Guang, meaning "sunshine," is the male, though he reportedly likes snow. That shouldn't be a problem: temperatures in Scotland are below freezing.

    December 4, 2011 10:50 AM

  19. AFTER CAIN Gingrich Opens Up Big Lead in Iowa Michael Nagle / Getty Images

    19. Gingrich Opens Up Big Lead in Iowa

    Herman who? In a poll by the Des Moines Register that was conducted before Cain suspended his campaign, Newt Gingrich came out first, with Ron Paul in second place and Mitt Romney sliding to third. Gingrich won 25 percent support from likely caucusgoers, a huge surge after winning only 7 percent in a similar poll in October. But Romney is not going down without a fight, picking up a key endorsement by the Iowa newspaper the Sioux City Journal. In an interview with Fox News on Saturday, Romney stressed that he has been “in the mix” throughout the race while other Republican candidates had come and gone as frontrunners.

    December 3, 2011 9:08 PM

  20. ULTIMATUM Syria Faces New Deadline ODD ANDERSEN / AFP / Getty Images

    20. Syria Faces New Deadline

    The Arab League is giving Syria another ultimatum, issuing a Sunday deadline for the regime to end its bloody crackdown on protesters. Last month Syria ignored an Arab League deadline to allow observers into the country to monitor the unrest, which resulted in unprecedented economic sanctions against the country. The United Nations says at least 4,000 people have been killed in the crackdown since it began in March.

    December 4, 2011 7:57 AM

  21. SHE'S IN Pippa Invited to Royal Christmas Glyn Kirk, AFP / Getty Images

    21. Pippa Invited to Royal Christmas

    Sisters should stick together. Pippa Middleton has been invited to join the U.K. royal family's Christmas gathering in Sandringham to help her sister, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, feel more at home in her first holiday party with the Windsors. It's unusual for people outside the immediate royal family to join the traditional Boxing Day pheasant shoot. Pippa is reportedly an expert shot. Watch out, pheasants.

    December 4, 2011 1:37 PM

  22. FAMILY MATTERS Huntsman Gets Aid From Dad's Group Richard Ellis / Getty Images

    22. Huntsman Gets Aid From Dad's Group

    A political-action committee called Our Destiny has been running ads for GOP candidate Jon Huntsman, "explaining" to voters that the reason he is not well known is because his campaign isn't flushed with cash. But the group is financed in part by Huntsman's billionaire father. The ads have been running frequently in New Hampshire, where Huntsman has staked his 2012 bid. Since the ads began running two weeks ago, his poll numbers have reached double digits, though he is still far behind Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

    December 4, 2011 11:45 AM

  23. WHEW! Huge WWII Bomb Defused in Germany Harald Tittel / Getty Images

    23. Huge WWII Bomb Defused in Germany

    A massive World War II–era bomb was successfully defused in the German city of Koblenz. Earlier, authorities partially evacuated the city—about half of the 107,000 residents living within a 1.2-mile radius of the bomb had to leave their homes. The 1.8-ton bomb, dropped by the British more than 65 years ago, was discovered last month after a drought exposed it in the Rhine River.

    December 4, 2011 12:28 PM

  24. LANDSLIDE Egyptian Islamists Grab 60 Percent Tara Todras-Whitehill / AP Photo

    24. Egyptian Islamists Grab 60 Percent

    It's official: first-round results are in for Egypt's parliamentary elections, and the country's two biggest Islamist parties captured a big majority. The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party grabbed 36.6 percent, while the hardline Nour Party captured 24.4 percent, for a combined 60.1 percent. Although the strong showing worries liberal parties, the two groups have so far refused a coalition. Two more rounds of voting are scheduled over the next month.

    December 4, 2011 2:02 PM

  25. TENSE Report: Iran Shoots Down U.S. Drone JOEL SAGET / FILE / Getty Images

    25. Report: Iran Shoots Down U.S. Drone

    Iran's state TV claims the military shot down a U.S. reconnaissance drone Sunday, as tensions between the two countries escalate over growing evidence that Iran has been trying to build a nuclear bomb. A U.S. official denied any evidence to support Iran's claims, but a spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) did tell Reuters that an unmanned drone flying over western Afghanistan lost control last week, and may be the one in question. Meanwhile, the Iranian Foreign Ministry also warned Sunday that the price of oil would more than double if the West considers banning the country's exports as part of sanctions against the regime over the nuclear program.

    December 4, 2011 9:57 AM