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  1. CONTROVERSIAL Feds Limit Morning-After Pill Access Joe Raedle / Getty Images

    1. Feds Limit Morning-After Pill Access

    The Health and Human Services Department has rejected a bid by the FDA to make the over-the-counter, morning-after pill available to young teenage girls. In a statement acknowledging HHS’s rejection, FDA administrator Margaret Hamburg argued that “there is … science-based evidence that Plan B One-Step is safe and effective and should be approved for nonprescription use for all females of child-bearing potential.” In a separate statement, HHS explained that it turned down the proposal because data submitted by the FDA did not “conclusively establish” that the emergency contraceptive could be used safely by girls of any age. The decision came as a surprise to many doctors, health advocates, and members of Congress who had backed relaxing restrictions to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

    December 7, 2011 2:27 PM

  2. TIME TO FIGHT Romney Ad Jabs Gingrich Joe Raedle / Getty Images

    2. Romney Ad Jabs Gingrich

    If this is what it means to turn up the heat, then Newt Gingrich is going to be just fine. In a new ad that will run in Iowa this week, Mitt Romney emphasizes his successful marriage, family life, and religious values. Gingrich, on the other hand, has had three marriages and one conversion to Roman Catholicism. With only a few weeks before voting begins, and Gingrich surging in Iowa polls, Romney is on the offensive—he’s even scheduled a rare television appearance on Fox News Sunday. Romney’s camp says that they never expected a “coronation” and that the shift in campaign intensity is a reflection of where they’re at in the election season. Apparently, it has little to do with Gingrich.

    December 7, 2011 10:12 PM

  3. DO OR DIE E.U. Leaders Brace for Summit Ralph Orlowski / Getty Images

    3. E.U. Leaders Brace for Summit

    Tensions are high as European Union leaders prepare for a "do-or-die" summit on how to fix the region's economic issues. Though the meeting isn't until Friday, leaders are already disagreeing. French officials have pledged not to leave Brussels without a "powerful deal," while German leaders express reluctance toward a "quick fix" and urge full changes to the Union's treaty. Britain, on the other hand, made clear that it wanted special protections in the event of treaty changes, since it is one of the E.U. nations that don't use the euro. Meanwhile, ratings agency Standard & Poor's warned that it may cut the European Union’s ratings—and those of several large euro-zone banks, too. The downgrades may go into effect if there is a mass downgrade of euro-zone countries—which hinges on whether leaders can find a fix for the debt crisis at Friday’s summit. S&P also warned that banks like NP Paribas and Deutsche Bank are in danger of downgrades.

    December 7, 2011 11:32 PM

  4. PENN STATE More Charges Filed Against Sandusky Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General / Newscom

    4. More Charges Filed Against Sandusky

    Former assistant Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested Wednesday on new charges of child abuse, raising the number of victims from eight to 10. The new charges include four counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and two counts of unlawful contact with a minor, the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office said. One victim, identified as Victim 9 in court documents, testified to the grand jury that Sandusky’s wife, Dottie, was home while the victim was being abused and “on at least one occasion, he screamed for help, knowing Sandusky’s wife was upstairs, but no one ever came to help him.” Victim 9, now 18 years old, reportedly met Sandusky through the Second Mile, the charity that Sandusky created and authorities believe is where he met all his victims. Sandusky is currently being held on $250,000 bail on the new charges.

    December 7, 2011 3:00 PM

  5. SENTENCED Blagojevich Gets 14 Years in Jail Paul Beaty / AP Photos

    5. Blagojevich Gets 14 Years in Jail

    Blago's off to jail. A Chicago judge sentenced the former Illinois governor to 14 years for a wide range of corruption charges—including trying to sell President Obama’s old Senate seat. The ruling is one of the stiffest sentences for corruption in the history of the state. "When it is the governor who goes bad, the fabric of Illinois is torn and disfigured and not easily repaired," the judge said at the hearing. Before the sentence came down, Blagojevich apologized for nearly 20 minutes. “My life is in ruins,” he said. "I have nobody to blame but myself for my stupidity and actions … and I am just so incredibly sorry.”

    December 7, 2011 1:35 PM

  6. RULEMAKING House Passes Bill to Enhance Veto Power J. Scott Applewhite

    6. House Passes Bill to Enhance Veto Power

    Just when you thought legislation couldn’t get any slower, the House of Representatives just passed a bill that requires Congress’s approval of any new regulation likely to cost more than $100 million. The act is part of a larger GOP effort to stop rulemaking that it says impedes businesses. Though the bill found support in the House from representatives on both sides of the aisle, it stands a much lower chance of passing the Senate. Its opponents deny that regulation slows the economy and argue that there are more benefits than costs to enforcing rules.

    December 7, 2011 6:15 PM

  7. ‘Down With Putin!’ Moscow Gears Up for Showdown Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP / Getty Images

    7. Moscow Gears Up for Showdown

    Moscow's Deputy Mayor Alexander Gorbenko warned rally organizers that a mass protest against parliamentary-election results—scheduled for Saturday at Revolution Square—should not exceed 300 people. So far, 20,000 have RSVP’d “yes” on social-networking sites. The deputy mayor addressed this issue by saying that if people do not heed his warning and attend an “unsanctioned part” of the rally, they’ll be “subject to all measures envisaged by the law.” If the law is broken, organizers can face a fine and up to 15 days in jail.

    December 7, 2011 11:44 PM


    8. 274 Troops’ Ashes Dumped in Landfill

    Last month it was revealed that the Air Force dumped incinerated remains of American troops in a Virginia landfill, but the military downplayed just how much had been dumped. Records now show that the partial remains of at least 274 American troops were dropped in that landfill, much more than originally acknowledged. The military has put an end to using the landfill for disposing of troop remains, a practice that was never formally authorized or disclosed to senior Pentagon officials. In order to determine exactly how many soldiers’ ashes were sent to the landfill, the records of every service member to have gone through the mortuary since 2001—more than 6,300—would have to be searched.

    December 7, 2011 9:08 PM


    9. Tour-Helicopter Crash Kills 5

    Four passengers and a pilot aboard a tour helicopter are dead after crashing into the River Mountains around Nevada’s Lake Mead late Wednesday. The group had been on a luxury tour of the Las Vegas Strip and Hoover Dam when their helicopter crashed. This is not the first accident for the aircraft’s company, Sundance Helicopters. Six passengers and a pilot were killed in a crash in Arizona in 2003, and in 2009 a pilot was forced to land in the Lake Mead Recreational Area due to an electrical problem.

    December 7, 2011 11:12 PM

  10. NEW GIG? Ryan Seacrest May Host 'Today' Show

    10. Ryan Seacrest May Host 'Today' Show

    Ann Curry may soon have a new co-host on NBC’s Today. Sources told The Wall Street Journal that Seacrest met with NBC executives Tuesday night to discuss possibly taking over for Matt Lauer, if the current co-anchor chooses to sign off when his contract expires at the end of this year. Seacrest, who hosts and produces a daily news show on NBCUniversal’s E!, along with the network’s Red Carpet specials, has reportedly been in talks for months about growing his role in the company. Lauer has been with Today since 1997, seeing the show through major changes, including the departure of his longtime co-anchor, Meredith Vieira, in June.

    December 7, 2011 7:05 PM

  11. DEFIANT Assad Denies Syrian Brutality Remy de la Mauviniere / AP Photo

    11. Assad Denies Syrian Brutality

    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is sticking to his story that the violence in his country is an armed uprising, not a protest against his rule. In an interview with Barbara Walters, Assad said most of the people who have died are his own supporters and troops. When Walters pointed to the many reports of civilians being tortured and murdered, Assad said, "To be frank with you, Barbara, I don't believe you.” Despite condemnation from the Arab League and reports from the United Nations that put the civilian death toll above 4,000, the Syrian regime insists it is besieged by foreign plotters and armed gangs. In response to Assad's comments in the interview, the U.S. State Department's deputy spokesman said today that the Syrian President seemed "utterly disconnected from the reality that's going on in his country and the brutal repression that's being carried out against the Syrian people. It's either disconnection, disregard or, as he said, crazy. I don't know."

    December 7, 2011 8:11 PM

  12. SNEAK PEEK Lohan’s Playboy Cover Revealed Trago / Getty Images

    12. Lohan’s Playboy Cover Revealed

    Poor Lindsay Lohan. The actress thought she had everything under control, planning to debut her much-anticipated Playboy cover in a Dec. 15 appearance on Ellen DeGeneres’s talk show, but it has already leaked online, giving the public a tease of her nude spread in the magazine’s January/February issue. The cover features a naked Lohan straddling the back of a bunny-shaped red chair, her assets strategically hidden.

    December 7, 2011 6:22 PM

  13. AWARDS SEASON Writers Guild Announces Nominees Greg Gayne / FOX ; HBO ; Mitchell Haaseth / NBC ; HBO

    13. Writers Guild Announces Nominees

    The nominees are in for this year’s Writer’s Guild Awards: HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and AMC’s Breaking Bad received three nods in the drama-series category, while ABC’s Modern Family received the most nominations for best comedy series. Game of Thrones, 30 Rock, and The Office followed with two nominations each. Showtime’s new Homeland was the only rookie to receive a best-drama mention. The only broadcast show to make the list was CBS’s The Good Wife.

    December 7, 2011 5:35 PM

  14. WATCH OUT Romney Spooked by Gingrich Surge Joe Raedle / Getty Images

    14. Romney Spooked by Gingrich Surge

    Unlike the Herman Cain or Rick Perry surges, Newt Gingrich's appears to have Mitt Romney worried. The presumptive nominee—increasingly trailing in Iowa—gave several signs that he's rebooting his campaign to combat his new rival. He told reporters he'd be stepping up his media appearances and interviews in the coming weeks, and that attacks on Gingrich are only a matter of time. “We’re going to make sure that the differences in our experience and our perspective and our views on issues are well aired and people can make a choice,” he said. “You can be sure I will not be quiet.” Romney's supporters are also pushing for more targeted attacks on Gingrich. “They know he has to hit Newt,” a campaign insider tells Politico. “The campaign thought somebody else would have done it by now. They’re now of the view that none of the others will do it or none of the others are effective at doing it, so he’s going to have to do it.”

    December 7, 2011 6:24 AM

  15. COMEDY Colbert Calls His Own Debate Mike Coppola / Getty Images

    15. Colbert Calls His Own Debate

    You never know when Stephen Colbert is joking or not. The comedian and host of The Colbert Report on Tuesday night challenged the Republican nominees for president for a debate, which he called “Stephen Colbert’s South Carolina Serious, Classy Republican Debate.” Talking in the style of Donald Trump, Colbert first praised Trump for calling for a debate, and then the comedian said he would hold his own debate “sometime in January,” televised on Animal Planet. It’s been a busy week for Colbert: he said Monday he would be teaming up with South Carolina Democrats to hold a hearing to get a referendum on that state’s ballot asking whether “corporations are people,” and on Sunday night, Newt Gingrich tweeted that Colbert was “brilliant” at the Kennedy Center Honors.

    December 7, 2011 8:31 AM

  16. RECORDS World's Oldest Dog Dies Kyodo / Reuters

    16. World's Oldest Dog Dies

    Pusuke, the world's oldest dog, has died at the age of 26—or 182 in dog years. Pusuke lived in Sakura, Japan, and was certified by Guinness in December of last year. His owner said he appeared to be in good health until Monday morning, when he suddenly refused to eat and seemed to have trouble breathing. He died in the afternoon, shortly after his owner came home from running errands. "I think (Pusuke) waited for me to come home,'' she said.

    December 7, 2011 8:09 AM

  17. EVICTION San Francisco Police Clear 'Occupy' Justin Sullivan / FILE / Getty Images

    17. San Francisco Police Clear 'Occupy'

    Police cleared out the last of the Occupy San Francisco encampments early Wednesday morning. At least 70 people were arrested, but there no reports of violent clashes between police and protesters as in other raids. Protesters said they awoke around 1 a.m. to find police circling the camp and giving a five-minute warning that it would be cleared out. Police Chief Greg Suhr said the raid came after talks broke down between occupiers and the city about moving the encampment to an abandoned elementary school nearby.

    December 7, 2011 10:35 AM

  18. HIDING Gaddafi Son Tried to Flee to Mexico Gregorio Borgia / AP Photo

    18. Gaddafi Son Tried to Flee to Mexico

    Mexican officials uncovered a plot by Saadi Gaddafi, the son of the former Libyan dictator, to sneak into Mexico using false documents. The plan involved opening bank accounts and buying properties in Mexico that would serve as safe houses for Gaddafi and his family. Two Mexicans, a Canadian, and a Dane have been implicated in the scheme and are under house arrest. Gaddafi is also under house arrest, in Niger.

    December 7, 2011 10:26 AM

  19. PRIVACY SETTINGS Zuckerberg Exposed in Facebook Glitch Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

    19. Zuckerberg Exposed in Facebook Glitch

    Ever wonder what it would be like to be “friends” with Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook? Thanks to a blogger who discovered a glitch in the social-media website’s security system, photos from Zuckerberg’s private albums were exposed to the public on Tuesday, including images of the Facebook CEO cooking with a lady friend and giving out candy to Halloween trick-or-treaters. The company attributed the leak to recent revisions in its software. The blogger said he happened upon the glitch accidentally, saying it was an example of “simply terrible programming on Facebook’s part.” Just weeks ago, the company settled a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission, which found it had misled users about their privacy settings.

    December 6, 2011 9:22 PM

  20. TERRORISM American Killed in Afghan Attack Allauddin Khan / AP Photo

    20. American Killed in Afghan Attack

    Another deadly day in Afghanistan: at least 19 civilians were killed in a roadside bomb attack, one day after at least 63 Shiites were killed in multiple bombings. President Hamid Karzai cut short his visit to Europe to return to Afghanistan after yesterday's assault, which targeted worshipers on the holiest day on the Shiite calendar. A Pakistani-based Sunni group claimed responsibility for yesterday's attack, which raises fears that a new strain of sectarian violence could be added to the unstable country. The U.S. Embassy confirmed that an American citizen was killed in yesterday's attacks.

    December 7, 2011 6:31 AM

  21. FREEDOM VA Man Exonerated After 27 Years Steve Helber / AP Photo

    21. VA Man Exonerated After 27 Years

    A Virginia court decided that Thomas Haynesworth had been mistakenly imprisoned for 27 years for rapes he did not commit. Haynesworth was arrested on his way to the grocery store when a woman who had been raped days before identified him as her attacker. He was 18 at the time. Haynesworth's break came when authorities tested semen collected at one of the 1984 rapes, and the DNA evidence cleared him and pointed to another man who had already been convicted of rape. “I am very happy,” said Haynesworth. “Me and my family can finally put this behind us, and I can go on with my life. And I can finally vote.”

    December 7, 2011 7:00 AM

  22. HEALTH Pakistan Prez Has Heart Attack: Report Anjum Naveed / AP Photo

    22. Pakistan Prez Has Heart Attack: Report

    Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is in a Dubai hospital for a heart condition, according to his spokesman. The report prompted rumors that the head of state would resign, which the spokesman denied. A source tells Reuters that Zardari suffered a minor heart attack, but his spokesman downplayed Zardari's hospitalization, saying it was for planned medical tests and check-ups. Zardari's government has been embroiled in scandal since the release of a memo detailing a request for U.S. help against a possible military coup.

    December 7, 2011 6:22 AM

  23. OOPS Obama Names Wrong State in Speech Charlie Riedel / AP Photo

    23. Obama Names Wrong State in Speech

    Where am I again? During his fiery populist speech in Kansas yesterday, Obama briefly thanked the wrong state—but some claimed the president was making a joke. “It’s great to be back in the state of Tex--,” the president said before catching himself and saying Kansas. Obama explained the gaffe by saying that he had been ribbing Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self, whose main rival is the University of Texas. But the momentary lapse provided plenty of fuel for the president’s detractors, and brought up memories of his infamous 2008 statement that he had been campaigning in “57 states.”

    December 7, 2011 8:37 AM

  24. BIG BOX India Cancels Walmart Plans Mohd Zakir, Hindustan Times / Getty Images

    24. India Cancels Walmart Plans

    It looks like Walmart will have to wait to get a crack at the Indian market. The government suspended a plan to allow overseas retailers to open stores in the country after protests by opposition parties. The government had announced on Nov. 24 that it would allow foreign companies to own 51 percent of supermarkets and 100 percent of single-brand stores, good news for companies like Walmart and Tesco that had been eyeing the Indian market. But opposition parties said the move would kill Indian mom-and-pop stores. Now Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee says foreign retail is "suspended until a consensus is developed through consultations with various stakeholders."

    December 7, 2011 6:59 AM

  25. DIPLOMACY U.S. Won’t Recover Drone in Iran US Air Force / AP Photo

    25. U.S. Won’t Recover Drone in Iran

    The U.S. considered several options to deal with the stealth drone that crashed in Iran last week, including launching an airstrike to destroy the remaining parts and sending commandos in to retrieve it. In the end, U.S. officials decided the risk of sparking a confrontation with Iran was too high and hoped Iran hadn't noticed the drone had crashed. That hope vanished when Iranian media announced the drone had been shot down. The U.S. said it suffered a technical malfunction and crashed.

    December 7, 2011 6:27 AM

  26. RECALL Radiation Found in Japan Baby Formula Mark Baker / AP Photo

    26. Radiation Found in Japan Baby Formula

    Japanese authorities announced on Wednesday they are recalling some 400,000 cans of baby formula that have been found to have trace amounts of radiation from the country’s devastating nuclear disaster earlier this year. The formula had traces of radioactive cesium, but the manufacturers of the formula, Meiji Co., said it had no way of knowing how many tainted cans had reached consumers because it was made in March and shipped in April. Meiji officials said that babies would not suffer ill health effects even if they drank the contaminated formula every day, but some environmentalists questioned this claim. Wednesday’s warning came on the heels of the news that 45 tons of highly radioactive water leaked from a filtration system at an atomic plant, making the baby-formula news the second time this week that authorities have warned of continuing aftereffects from the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant following the March earthquake.

    December 7, 2011 12:33 PM

  27. REPRIEVE Mumia Abu-Jamal Off Death Row Jennifer E. Beach / AP Photo

    27. Mumia Abu-Jamal Off Death Row

    Prosecutors have dropped the death penalty against former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted in 1981 of killing a police officer. In the 30 years since his conviction, Abu-Jamal became a cause célèbre among death-penalty opponents and critics of racial bias in the legal system. A federal appeals court ruled that instructions given to the jury were potentially misleading and ordered a new sentencing hearing, resulting in the dropping of the death sentence in favor of life in prison.

    December 7, 2011 12:12 PM

  28. RUSSIAN SPRING Gorbachev: Russia Needs New Vote Pascal Guyot, AFP / Getty Images

    28. Gorbachev: Russia Needs New Vote

    Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said Wednesday that Russian authorities should hold a new election amid the reports of voter fraud. Gorbachev declared that “more and more people” are saying that the results of Sunday’s election are not fair—and that authorities “must admit there have been numerous falsifications and ballot stuffing.” “I believe ignoring public opinion discredits the authorities and destabilizes the situation,” Gorbachev said.  Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party won less than 50 percent of Sunday’s vote, but he nonetheless registered to run for the presidency in March. Thousands protested the contested vote in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and more demonstrations are expected Wednesday, along with a pro-Putin rally in Moscow. At least 51,500 Russian police and 2,000 armed Interior Ministry troops have been deployed in Moscow since the election to quell the riots.

    December 7, 2011 8:50 AM

  29. LAX Alec Baldwin Booted Off Flight Jemal Countess / Getty Images

    29. Alec Baldwin Booted Off Flight

    When flight attendants warn passengers to turn off their electronic devices, they mean business. Alec Baldwin was removed from an American Airlines flight Tuesday afternoon when he declined to turn off his cellphone. Baldwin tweeted that he was "reamed out" for playing the popular smartphone game Words With Friends "while we sat at the gate, not moving." His rep cheekily explained the situation in an email to CNN: "He loves WWF so much that he was willing to leave a plane for it." American Airlines issued a statement on Facebook that Baldwin stood up while the seatbelt light was lit and then slammed the lavatory door so hard that the cockpit crew heard it and "became alarmed." Since the incident and Baldwin's subsequent Twitter rant about it, the actor shut down his Twitter account after tweeting Tuesday night that he wanted to "crash this acc and start again."

    December 7, 2011 11:30 AM

  30. SYRACUSE DA: Too Late for Charges Against Fine Jim McIsaac / Getty Images

    30. DA: Too Late for Charges Against Fine

    A district attorney in upstate New York said Wednesday that he will not pursue criminal charges against former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine because the statute of limitations has passed. Onondaga District Attorney William Fitzpatrick, who has been critical of both the local police and Syracuse University in their handling of the sexual-abuse allegations, said he found the two accusers in his jurisdiction credible but that it is too late to pursue any charges. "Bobby, I'm sorry it took so long," Fitzpatrick said in a press conference, addressing one of the accusers, Bobby Davis. Three men, including two former ballboys for the team, have accused Fine of molesting them in their homes, on the road with the team, and in team facilities—allegations that Fine has denied.

    December 7, 2011 11:05 AM

  31. SCARY Letter Bomb Sent to German Bank Michael Probst / AP Photo

    31. Letter Bomb Sent to German Bank

    After receiving a report that a letter bomb was sent to the CEO of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, the NYPD is stepping up security around Deutsche Bank locations in the city and warning all New York bank-security officials to “take precautions.” The package containing an explosive device was “detected by X-ray technology inside the mail room” at Deutsche Bank’s overseas headquarters, an official confirmed, and did not detonate.

    December 7, 2011 3:50 PM

  32. VALUE VOTERS Perry: Obama Has a ‘War on Religion’ Henry Ray Abrams / Getty Images

    32. Perry: Obama Has a ‘War on Religion’

    In a new ad airing in Iowa, Rick Perry accuses President Obama of a “war on religion” while asking why gays can serve in the military but children can’t pray in school. “You don’t need to sit in a pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school,” Perry says in the 30-second advertisement. He continues on to say, “As president, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion. And I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage.” The ad will be running in rotation with an “energy jobs” ad that claims, “It’s high time we kick our foreign-oil habit.”

    December 7, 2011 12:13 PM

  33. INFIDELITY AND THE CITY Bushnell Accuses Husband of Affair Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

    33. Bushnell Accuses Husband of Affair

    Candace Bushnell and her husband, ballet dancer Charles Askegard, are getting a divorce, which was reportedly proceeding smoothly when the the Sex and the City creator discovered Askegard was having an affair with fellow ballerina Georgina Pazcoguin. The two had worked together with the New York City Ballet for eight years before Askegard left to form his own company. Bushnell believes they could have been sneaking around for a while.

    December 7, 2011 6:32 PM