Content Section
  1. NUKE FALLOUT EU Nears Iran Oil Ban Vahid Salemi / AP Photo

    1. EU Nears Iran Oil Ban

    Consider the economic noose around Iran tightened. The European Union has reportedly neared a decision to ban oil purchases from Iran, a move to signal disapproval in the nation’s nuclear program. The new, harsher sanctions will be announced by the end of the month. The U.S. has given a thumbs up to the action, saying that to get Iran’s attention, the world needs to focus on the oil sector. Iran meanwhile, dismissed the new threats, saying that the West is incorrect in assuming it is moving toward nuclear weapons.

    January 4, 2012 8:02 PM

  2. NOT HAPPY Romney Slams Obama's Pick Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP Photo

    2. Romney Slams Obama's Pick

    Mitt Romney obviously has his sights set on the presidency, but more specifically the president. The Iowa caucus winner attacked President Obama’s move to make a recess appointment of former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray to lead the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In a statement, Romney slammed the choice as a representation of "Chicago-style politics and is precisely what then–Senator Obama claimed would be the ‘wrong thing to do.’” The Washington Post explains that the current congressional Republicans have purposely been turning breaks into “pro forma” sessions so as to stop the president from making recess appointments. While Obama technically could have appointed Cordray—or anyone—during the few minutes that lapsed between congressional sessions, White House lawyers instead have deemed the Republican “pro forma” tactic irrelevant and nonbinding, so didn’t bother rushing during the small break. Romney argues that “instead of working with Congress to fix the flaws in this new bureaucracy, the President is declaring that he ‘refuses to take no for an answer’ and circumventing Congress to appoint a new administrator.”

    January 4, 2012 5:29 PM

  3. FAREWELL Bachmann Drops Out Joshua Lott, Reuters / Landov

    3. Bachmann Drops Out

    It’s over: Michele Bachmann dropped her bid to be the Republican presidential nominee on Wednesday, one day after coming in sixth in the Iowa caucuses. “I look forward to the next chapter in God’s plan. He has one for each of us, you know,” she said at the press conference. A campaign source struck a more dour note to National Journal, saying Bachmann quit because she saw “no viable way forward.” She captured just 5 percent of votes in Iowa, dead last among those competing. Bachmann took some shots at President Obama's health-care initiative in her swan song, saying it was the reason she decided to run for president and she would continue her fight against it.

    January 4, 2012 11:00 AM

  4. INEVITABLE? GOP Elite: Romney Hard to Stop Now Jewel Samad, AFP / Getty Images

    4. GOP Elite: Romney Hard to Stop Now

    Mitt Romney was never supposed to win Iowa. For months, the political pundits kept reminding us that conservative evangelicals couldn’t vote for a Mormon former governor of Massachusetts who flip-flopped more times than John Kerry. But Romney eked out an eight-vote win on Tuesday, besting a field that had taken turns overshadowing him in the polls. And now John McCain’s endorsed the candidate. With Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich staying in the race until South Carolina—thus sapping conservative support for Rick Santorum—and Romney’s campaign finances strong, GOP elites tell Politico that the nomination is all but guaranteed. One former House Republican said, “I sort of think it’s over, right?” He added that South Carolina and Florida will be the “nails in the coffin” in clinching the nomination, just like they were for McCain.

    January 4, 2012 11:53 PM

  5. TRAGIC Dozens Dead in Philippines Landslide Jeoffrey Maitem

    5. Dozens Dead in Philippines Landslide

    At least 150 were buried in the Philippines late Wednesday after a landslide struck a gold mining site in the south. So far, 25 have been reported dead. The landslide happened in the middle of the night, and many of the victims were sleeping. Army soldiers are heading to the area to dig out survivors and bodies.  The site of the landslide, Compostela Valley, is where more than 1,000 were killed last month in floods.

    January 4, 2012 11:07 PM

  6. CONNECTIONS L.A. Arson Suspect Probed in Germany AP Photo

    6. L.A. Arson Suspect Probed in Germany

    After a string of more than 50 fires in Los Angeles this week, German police are investigating the possibility that the suspect, Harry Burkhart, may have been behind similar fires in his hometown of Frankfurt. Burkhart has been under investigation in Frankfurt after a fire burned a home owned by his family. The suspect is a German national, though police have not said when he last visited his native country.

    January 4, 2012 12:49 PM

  7. CASH FLOW Santorum Raises $1M Overnight Scott Olson / Getty Images

    7. Santorum Raises $1M Overnight

    Will Rick Santorum really be "the guy"? Well, that’s what Santorum’s New Hampshire aides think—and the people who reportedly have donated a total $1 million since the GOP candidate lost the Iowa caucuses by only 8 votes Tuesday night. Santorum’s top strategist told Politico that the small donations, which were mostly from online donors, crashed the campaign’s server. Meanwhile, Santorum made the rounds on television Wednesday, telling CNN that he didn’t say he did not want to help black people, and that while contraception is immoral, it shouldn’t be illegal.

    January 4, 2012 7:46 PM

  8. Newspaper Wars Former NotW Editor Gets New Gig Geoff Caddick / Getty Images

    8. Former NotW Editor Gets New Gig

    This means war. Just months after News of the World closed and Colin Myler, the paper’s editor, was canned, he now has a new job. Myler has been appointed editor in chief of the New York Daily News, the city’s biggest-selling tabloid and the great rival of the New York Post—where Myler served five years as the second-ranking editor starting in 2001. Myler was reportedly unhappy with the way NotW owner Rupert Murdoch treated him as the scandal unfolded. Murdoch hired Myler to replace disgraced NotW editor Andy Coulson and to clean up the paper’s image.

    January 4, 2012 8:08 PM

  9. TEXAS

    9. Girl Mistakenly Deported

    When 14-year-old Jakadrien Turner ran away from her home in Texas, she probably didn’t expect to wind up in Colombia. Turner, who was reportedly upset with her parents' divorce and grandfather’s death, fled to Houston, where she was picked up by local authorities for theft. Turner gave police a fake name, which belonged to an undocumented immigrant. Officials with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency reportedly took her fingerprints, but failed to confirm her identity before putting her on a plane to South America. A spokesman for ICE says the organization is investigating the matter.

    January 4, 2012 7:16 PM

  10. SPAT Olbermann Feuds With Current TV Virginia Sherwood / AP Photo

    10. Olbermann Feuds With Current TV

    Michele Bachmann may not be the only casualty of the Iowa caucuses. Anchor Keith Olbermann is in a fight with Current TV after he refused to lead the network’s coverage of the GOP race Tuesday. Olbermann has hired a lawyer to find out what his rights are in his five-year contract. Current TV CEO Joel Hyatt said that while he’d like to have Olbermann with the network in the future, “everybody is replaceable.” The Wrap reports that the host is not happy with Current TV’s ratings and its “shoddy” working conditions. With the New Hampshire primary coming up fast, it’s unclear whether Current TV will let Olbermann run the coverage on his terms.

    January 5, 2012 12:28 AM

  11. SCARE Nick Cannon Hospitalized Matt Sayles

    11. Nick Cannon Hospitalized

    Mariah Carey revealed Wednesday on Twitter that her husband, actor and rapper Nick Cannon, was hospitalized with kidney failure. Carey asked for prayers from fans and said she had been at Cannon's side in an Aspen, Colo., hospital during his recovery. "We're trying to be as festive as possible under the circumstances but please keep Nick in your thoughts because this is very painful."

    January 4, 2012 4:10 PM

  12. HUH? Scientists Find 'Hasselhoff' Crabs BBC News

    12. Scientists Find 'Hasselhoff' Crabs

    There must be a good explanation for this—they're scientists and they're supposed to be smart. British experts have found a variety of new species of crabs living around volcanic vents in the southern Atlantic Ocean. They've named one of the new types of hairy crabs (oh, maybe that's it!) "The Hoff" in honor of Baywatch actor David Hasselhoff. And you thought only the Germans were obsessed with him.

    January 4, 2012 3:05 PM

  13. TOOTHY Hybrid Sharks Discovered Pascal Geraghty, AFP / Getty Images

    13. Hybrid Sharks Discovered

    Jaws 2.0? Scientists identified the first-known hybrid shark off the coast of Australia. The researchers found multiple generations of a shark that is a mix between the common blacktip and the Australian blacktip, which lives in warmer waters. The researchers say the findings are unprecedented and that they don’t know what's causing the sharks to interbreed, but that overfishing and climate change are being investigated. The hybrid appears better at surviving in a wider range of water temperatures. 

    January 4, 2012 7:07 AM

  14. BIZARRE

    14. Poisoned Cat Kills China Tycoon

    Sometimes it’s better to stick to the chicken. Chinese police suspect that a billionaire logging tycoon was murdered when his lunch companion slipped a toxic herb into his slow-boiled cat-meat stew. Long Liyuan, 49, owned a forestry company and was meeting with Hunag Guang about leasing a piece of woodland. (BBC reports that there was also an embezzlement dispute between the two men.) After lunch, according to the Chinese police report, Long felt dizzy and sick, though a third man, who had eaten only a small portion of the stew because it tasted “bitter,” was fine. Long went into cardiac arrest and died the same day.

    January 4, 2012 12:39 PM

  15. NEXT UP Santorum Gets a Boost in NH Poll Andrew Burton / Getty Images

    15. Santorum Gets a Boost in NH Poll

    After trailing Mitt Romney in the Iowa caucuses by just eight votes, here’s some good news to start Rick Santorum’s day: he is gaining traction in New Hampshire. According to a CNN/ORC International poll of 554 likely Republican voters in New Hampshire, Santorum’s support has doubled from 5 percent to 10 percent. Mitt Romney’s numbers remained unchanged at 47 percent. Newt Gingrich, meanwhile, who came in fourth in Iowa, said he would go after Romney as they head to the Granite State, where the nation’s first primary will take place next Tuesday. Gingrich kicked off his New Hampshire blitz with a full-page ad in the Manchester Union Leader, the newspaper that endorsed him in November.

    January 4, 2012 8:34 AM

  16. HE'S BACK Schwarzenegger Wears Wedding Ring Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

    16. Schwarzenegger Wears Wedding Ring

    He did once say he’d be back. Arnold Schwarzenegger was spotted wearing his wedding ring. Recently, there were reports that Maria Shriver was doubting her decision to divorce the Terminator. In July, the couple split because of “irreconcilable differences,” after Schwarzenegger was found to have had a child with a former maid.

    January 4, 2012 1:10 AM

  17. ROGUE Soldier Carried Explosives on Plane Midland County Sheriff's Office / AP Photo

    17. Soldier Carried Explosives on Plane

    This is embarrassing for the TSA. A soldier accused of taking C4 explosives on a plane apparently carried them on a flight from North Carolina to Texas. Airport screeners found a military smoke grenade in his carry-on, confiscated it, and let him fly to Texas. But when he tried to fly back, screeners found C4 explosives in his bag as well. The soldier, Trey Scott Atwater, a demolitions expert returning from Afghanistan, says he didn’t realize the explosives were in his bag when he packed.

    January 4, 2012 7:05 AM

  18. MEANWHILE Obama Team Reassured by Iowa Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo

    18. Obama Team Reassured by Iowa

    Mitt Romney may have won the vote, but President Obama's team smells blood in the water. The total number of votes among Iowa Republicans is expected to be about half the number of the 2008 Democratic primaries, a sign that Republicans aren't excited about their options. Romney, especially, should be worried about his numbers, says Obama senior campaign strategist David Axelrod: he got almost exactly the same number of votes as he did in the last election. “You’d have to say the story is: Iowa to Mitt. No sale,” said Axelrod. “Beyond that, for all the patter about GOP enthusiasm, turnout was unimpressive.”

    January 4, 2012 6:29 AM

  19. HARDBALL Obama Makes Big Recess Appointment Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP Photo

    19. Obama Makes Big Recess Appointment

    Iowa must have put some spring back in his step: President Obama started Wednesday morning by making a recess appointment, in defiance of Republican warnings, to fill the top leadership position in the federal government's new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Taking the seat is Richard Cordray, the former attorney general of Ohio whom Republicans have blocked from being nominated to the position. The new agency will enact and enforce new financial regulations passed by Congress to curb predatory lending and establish greater accountability for financial institutions.

    January 4, 2012 10:28 AM

  20. PHOTO FINISH Romney Edges Santorum by 8 Votes Win McNamee / Getty Images

    20. Romney Edges Santorum by 8 Votes

    Any hopes Mitt Romney had of locking down the GOP nomination with an early Iowa victory were dashed by an incredibly close race between him and Rick Santorum. Romney eked out a victory by eight votes, 30,015 to 30,007. That's great news for Santorum, who trailed in the polls until recently, though it must be noted that while Santorum poured resources into the state, Romney ignored it for much of the year and even skipped the Ames straw poll. Ron Paul finished third with 26,219 votes. New Gingrich got 13 percent and says he's staying in, while Rick Perry got 10 percent and says he's returning to Texas to “assess” the results. Michele Bachmann got 5 percent and says she's not backing down. Next up: New Hampshire, where Romney has a commanding lead in the polls.

    January 4, 2012 6:23 AM

  21. Diplomacy U.S. Engages Muslim Brotherhood Khaled Desouki, AFP / Getty Images

    21. U.S. Engages Muslim Brotherhood

    As the Muslim Brotherhood looks like it may win a majority in Egypt's Parliament, the Obama administration has begun to make diplomatic overtures, including through recent high-level meetings. The shift in policy is partly an acknowledgment of the Brotherhood's new political power and partly the result of frustration with Egypt's military rulers, who have continued to use deadly force against protesters as they seek to hold on to power. But the U.S. isn't done working with Egypt's military yet, and hasn't threatened to take away the $1.3 billion in military aid it gives Egypt each year.

    January 4, 2012 6:47 AM

  22. GETTING HITCHED Report: Timberlake and Biel Engaged Jeff Vespa / Getty Images

    22. Report: Timberlake and Biel Engaged

    After a series of breakups, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel have decided to marry, they revealed exclusively to Us Weekly. The couple has been together on and off for four and a half years, and recently got back together after a three-month breakup. Timberlake proposed in the mountains of Wyoming. “When they reunited, they had a conversation about taking the next step,” an unnamed “insider” told the magazine.

    January 4, 2012 10:51 AM

  23. BACK FOR MORE Perry: ‘Here We Come South Carolina’ Andrew Burton / Getty Images

    23. Perry: ‘Here We Come, South Carolina’

    Rick Perry doesn’t think he’s taken enough of a beating yet: the Texas governor tweeted Wednesday that he's headed to South Carolina to continue his long-shot presidential campaign. “And the next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto State ... Here we come South Carolina,” Perry tweeted. A Republican official confirmed that Perry isn’t dropping out of the race. After finishing in fifth place at the Iowa caucuses, Perry said in his concession speech that he was going back to Texas to “assess” his campaign. Perry added that he would look to see if there’s a “path forward” for himself in the race, leading many to speculate that we had seen the last of the gaffe-prone candidate.

    January 4, 2012 12:05 PM

  24. NEXT UP Yahoo Names New CEO Paul Sakuma / AP Photo

    24. Yahoo Names New CEO

    Can the president of PayPal save Yahoo? Yahoo announced Wednesday that PayPal President Scott Thompson will take over the position vacated by Carol Bartz. Yahoo fired Bartz in September and the company has since been run by interim CEO Tim Morse, formerly its CFO. After Bartz's firing, Yahoo said it was considering selling the company, or possibly only the stakes it owns in Yahoo Japan and Alibaba. But then the board started looking for a new CEO, signaling that it might try to revive the company.

    January 4, 2012 9:15 AM

  25. NOT SCANDALOUS Priest Resigns Over Secret Family

    25. Priest Resigns Over Secret Family

    If only all Catholic sex scandals were this benign. A 60-year-old auxiliary bishop resigned from the Catholic Church on Wednesday after telling the Los Angeles Archdiocese in December that he had secretly fathered two children. Gabino Zavala resigned under canonical law that allows bishops to retire before the age of 75 for medical reasons or other circumstances that make them unfit to hold their positions. His two teenage sons live out of state with their mother.

    January 4, 2012 3:12 PM

  26. TRAGIC

    26. Police Kill Texas 8th-Grader

    Police shot and killed a middle-school student in Brownsville, Texas, after the student brandished what turned out to be a pellet gun Wednesday morning. The Cummings Middle School went on lockdown after an administrator saw the student with a gun and called the police. Police eventually located the student in a hallway and shot him; police said they told the 15-year-old to put the weapon down, but he refused. A seventh-grader in a nearby classroom told media outlets that he heard three shots after the school went on lockdown.

    January 4, 2012 6:00 PM

  27. MAVERICK McCain Endorses 'Landslide Romney' Jacquelyn Martin / AP Photo

    27. McCain Endorses 'Landslide Romney'

    Rick Santorum may have won some hearts in Iowa, but there’s one person who’s not convinced. Sen. John McCain endorsed Mitt Romney at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire on Wednesday. McCain said that because of President Obama, "we are believed around the world to be weak" and "in decline." McCain added that New Hampshire is a state that will "catapault" Romney to victory. He later teased: "By the way, we forgot to congratulate him on his landslide victory in Iowa." McCain beat Romney in the 2008 nomination battle, but despite the old rivarly, Rick Santorum attracted the ire of McCain's long-time aide Mark Salter whenSantorum said in May that McCain "didn't understand how enhanced interrogation works."

    January 4, 2012 7:00 PM