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  1. SHOCKING Powell Boys Killed by Chops to Neck John Froschauer / AP Photo

    1. Powell Boys Killed by Chops to Neck

    This story could not get any worse. Police now say that Charles and Braden Powell, the two young boys who were killed when their father intentionally set off an explosion in his house, were killed by "chops to the neck" and carbon-monoxide poisoning. The weapon used was either a hatchet or small ax. The boys reportedly had recently just begun to talk about the night their mother went missing, their grandparents’ attorney said on Monday. “The oldest boy talked about that they went camping and that Mommy was in the trunk. Mom and Dad got out of the car and Mom disappeared,” Steve Downing told the Associated Press. Susan Powell has been missing since 2009.

    February 6, 2012 10:30 PM

  2. ELECTION SWAG Obama Opens Super PAC to Donors Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

    2. Obama Opens Super PAC to Donors

    The gloves are off as President Obama signaled to top aides that they should encourage Democratic donors to donate to Priorities USA Action, the party’s leading super PAC. Whether the campaign should encourage contributions to the PAC has been hotly debated in Democratic circles. These latest signals from the White House reverse Obama’s previous position on super PACs, which can take unlimited contributions. But it’s a decision the president likely felt pressured to make by the aggressive fundraising of similar Republican groups. “We’re not going to fight this with one hand tied behind our back,” said Jim Messina, manager for Obama’s reelection campaign. In other news, fundraisers for the incumbent’s campaign began selling designer tote bags emblazoned with the president’s name.

    February 6, 2012 11:20 PM

  3. STRIKEOUT Greece Delays Rescue Deal Kostas Tsironis / AP Photos

    3. Greece Delays Rescue Deal

    Europeans are on the edge of their seats as negotiations over a $170.5 billion bailout stalled, delaying a deal that was supposed to have been finalized today to make a European Union deadline. Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and other political leaders could not reach a deal to pass austerity measures and reforms required of the Greek government in order for the EU to send a rescue package to avoid default by mid-March. But the government did announce that it will cut 15,000 state jobs this year.

    February 6, 2012 5:35 PM

  4. ASSAULT Syria Shells City of Homs Newscom

    4. Syria Shells City of Homs

    Syria is spiraling further into violence after a U.N. resolution criticizing President Bashar al-Assad’s regime failed to pass. The shelling of Homs has resumed with a vengeance, killing dozens so far, according to activists. Videos reportedly show constant gunfire and extremely loud explosions every half hour. The spike in violence led the U.S. to pull out of Damascus on Monday, closing its embassy and sending its employees out of the country. Rebels say that a hospital is being targeted and that the assault is one of the largest in the 11-month uprising. Syria’s biggest opposition group said Russia and China, the two nations that vetoed the resolution, are “responsible for the escalating acts of killing.” Russia and China claimed that supporting the resolution would have amounted to taking sides in a civil war. On Tuesday, Russia's foreign minister will head to Syria to reportedly tell Assad to end the brutal crackdown.

    February 6, 2012 11:45 PM

  5. PORK Earmarks Flow Near Lawmakers’ Property Win McNamee / Getty Images

    5. Earmarks Flow Near Lawmakers’ Property

    Having a congressman in your neighborhood may make property values go up. More than $300 million in taxpayer money has gone to projects within two miles of property owned by 33 members of Congress, according to a Washington Post investigation. In Tuscaloosa, Ala., $100 million went to projects near a senator’s offices. Nearly $500,000 went to a bike lane near a Michigan representative’s residence. The earmarks are legal under congressional ethics rules, and last week the Senate struck down a bill that would have outlawed earmarks. Lawmakers defended the earmarks by saying their constituents benefited from the projects.

    February 6, 2012 10:25 PM

  6. NETWORK Disney, Univision News Channel?

    6. Disney, Univision News Channel?

    A deal reportedly in the works between Disney and Univision could ignite a new round of cable wars as they bet on the growing number of English-speaking Hispanics. Disney-ABC Television Group declined to comment on the pending deal, but the companies’ goal, if all goes according to plan, is to have a 24-hour cable news channel up by the elections in November. Sources familiar with the negotiations said that for Univision, long known for its Spanish-language programming, the deal is a move to steal viewers from its competitors and a calculated wager that English-speaking Hispanics represent a growing, and lucrative, market share.

    February 6, 2012 8:21 PM

  7. TOO LATE Bachmann: ‘I Was the Perfect Candidate’ Cliff Owen / AP Photo

    7. Bachmann: ‘I Was the Perfect Candidate’

    Republican voters, you really dropped the ball on this one. Despite having ditched her presidential bid after a poor performance in the Iowa caucuses, Michele Bachmann wants conservatives to know she was “the perfect candidate.” In an interview that aired over the weekend, the Minnesota congresswoman told Bloomberg TV’s Al Hunt that “America had their chance” to nominate the most eligible candidate in the GOP race but missed it. As for those who remain, Bachmann said any of them will be “more than acceptable” because they would all do a much better job in the White House than President Obama. She added that she was happy that the four remaining candidates are pushing to repeal Obamacare, the biggest mission of her campaign. Bachmann announced last week that she will be running for reelection in Congress this year.

    February 6, 2012 10:11 PM

  8. Just An Ad Eastwood Denies Obama Affiliation Christopher Polk / AFI-Getty Images

    8. Eastwood Denies Obama Affiliation

    "I am certainly not politically affiliated with Mr. Obama," Clint Eastwood told an O'Reilly Factor producer. "It was meant to be a message ... just about job growth and the spirit of America. I think all politicians will agree with it." Eastwood was referring to the Chrysler ad that aired during the Super Bowl to which he lent his voice. The ad has been criticized as supportive of the Obama administration and the auto bailout. But, the actor insisted, he is "not supporting any politician at this time" and also suggested that if "Obama or any other politician wants to run with the spirit of that ad, go for it."

    February 6, 2012 6:02 PM

  9. REDUX

    9. Former Intern: I Slept With JFK

    The world will be shocked—shocked!—to hear that Bill Clinton may not be the first president to have had an affair in the White House. Mimi Alford’s new book, Once Upon a Secret: My Affair With President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath, will be published on Wednesday. Alford was a 19-year-old intern and a virgin when the president invited her for drinks, she says. She claims they began the affair when the first lady was away, sleeping together in Jackie’s bedroom. Alford also says that she was with Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and he confided in her that he’d rather have his children converted to communism than have them wind up dead in a war. Alford, who ended the affair because she was getting married, also helped console the president after the death of his son Patrick.

    February 6, 2012 3:30 PM

  10. PREMIERE ‘Smash’ Gets Glowing Reviews Mark Seliger / NBC

    10. ‘Smash’ Gets Glowing Reviews

    NBC’s much-anticipated Smash premiered tonight, and so far it’s meeting critics’ high expectations. The Los Angeles Times’s Mary McNamara hailed it as a “triumph” and praised creator Theresa Rebeck for successfully adapting musical theater to TV as no one has before. “The creators of Smash honor both genres,” writes McNamara, “and what easily could have lurched across the screen like some dramatic-arts Frankenstein is instead as supple as a showgirl.” McNamara’s analogy is fitting, given that the premiere revolves around two actresses competing for the role of the most supple showgirl of all time. Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty are both convincing as Marilyn Monroe, McNamara says. The general consensus among critics seems to be that you don’t have to like musicals to enjoy Smash. Entertainment Weekly called it “one damn lively show with a lot of promise.”

    February 7, 2012 12:05 AM

  11. Dispute Romney Complains About ‘Flawed’ Poll Emmanuel Dunand, AFP / Getty Images

    11. Romney Complains About ‘Flawed’ Poll

    A poll released Monday morning showed that Mitt Romney’s support was sinking and that nationally President Obama was beating him significantly. Romney’s campaign has, unsurprisingly, taken issue with these statistics. The GOP frontrunner’s pollster says that the numbers, from a Washington Post/ABC poll, should be ignored because “the poll introduced specific negative information about Governor Romney, immediately prior to asking the ballot match-up against President Obama.” The Washington Post’s polling director, however, argues that the results are legitimate. “The result is also in line with other publicly released polls. That said, we published our full questionnaires—with exact question wording—for just such scrutiny.”

    February 6, 2012 4:43 PM

  12. UNSPORTSMAN-LIKE Gisele Rips Pats Receivers Mark Humphrey / AP Photo

    12. Gisele Rips Pats Receivers

    Oh well, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady couldn’t bring home another Super Bowl win. But his wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, didn’t take it in stride. To be fair, somebody had taunted her, yelling out “Eli owns your husband!” while she was leaving the stadium, referring to New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who’s beat Brady twice in the big game. That was enough for her to lose her patience. “You [have] to catch the ball when you’re supposed to catch the ball,” she said, caught on video. “My husband cannot fucking throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time. I can’t believe they dropped the ball so many times.” Last week Bündchen reportedly emailed her friends and family, asking them to pray for her “Tommy,” but God apparently was too busy to answer. The Patriots lost to the Giants 21–17. The New England receivers were already contrite (“I let the team down,” Wes Welker said), so don’t pile it on, Gisele.

    February 6, 2012 9:59 AM

  13. Cold Snap Hundreds Die in Europe Freeze Fabrice Coffrini / AFP / Getty Images

    13. Hundreds Die in Europe Freeze

    A wave of cold and snow has blanketed much of Europe, killing hundreds of people, trapping thousands more, and holding up travel across the continent. Eastern Europe has been hit hardest, with 131 reported dead in Ukraine alone. London’s Heathrow Airport was forced to cancel more than 600 flights on Sunday, and Bosnian helicopters have been put into action in order to access villages hit with up to six feet of snow. Italy experienced a blackout, and residents of Rome are furious with their mayor’s slow response to icy roads, even calling for his ouster. In the Netherlands, however, the deep freeze offers a rare chance to hold a traditional 125-mile skating race through the nation’s canals that has been called off since 1997 due to thin ice.

    February 6, 2012 12:19 PM

  14. CYCLING Contador Stripped of Tour Title Jaime Reina / AFP / Getty Images

    14. Contador Stripped of Tour Title

    Three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador was stripped Monday of his 2010 title after the Court of Arbitration for Sport reversed a February 2011 decision that acquitted him of doping. Contador had tested positive for the anabolic steroid clenbuterol during the race in July 2010—the results were announced that September, after he had won the tour. He was suspended but appealed the decision after claiming that he had eaten contaminated meat that left trace amounts of the drug in his system. The CAS upheld the ban, which will retroactively suspend him from cycling for two years. The ban will end in August, which means he’ll miss this year’s Tour de France. The Spaniard also faces a fine of more than $3 million.

    February 6, 2012 12:16 PM

  15. TENSE Egypt Charges 19 Americans Muhammed Muheisen / AP Photo

    15. Egypt Charges 19 Americans

    Egypt’s military government is moving ahead with its threat to charge 19 Americans on trial. The Americans, along with two dozen others, are being charged with violating Hosni Mubarak–era licensing laws designed to control nonprofit groups. If Egypt wanted to provoke a political backlash, they picked the right target: the two American-financed groups have close ties to the congressional leadership, and one of the Americans to be charged is Sam LaHood, son of Ray LaHood, the secretary of transportation. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, President Obama, and members of Congress all have warned that the move would jeopardize the $1.55 billion in aid Egypt expects from the U.S. this year.

    February 6, 2012 6:37 AM

  16. Newt Who? Romney Campaign Targets Santorum Ed Andrieski / AP Photo

    16. Romney Campaign Targets Santorum

    As Rick Santorum gains momentum in upcoming primary states, (one poll shows a dead heat in Minnesota) he is starting to pose the most realistic threat to Mitt Romney. As a result, the Romney campaign has begun slamming the former Pennsylvania senator. A recent conference call with reporters focused on Santorum’s “long history of earmarks and pork-barrel spending,” and the Romney campaign distributed a research dossier to reporters with “a summary of his past discredited attacks against Governor Romney” with regard to Massachusetts’ health-care law. Former presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty is helping the Romney effort to bring down Santorum, releasing a statement Monday that says, “Rick Santorum is a nice guy, but he is simply not ready to be president.”

    February 6, 2012 11:45 AM

  17. CENSORED Madonna 'Vogues' at Super Bowl Christopher Polk / Getty Images

    17. Madonna 'Vogues' at Super Bowl

    It’s not a Super Bowl halftime show without a bit of controversy. Madonna hit the stage dressed like royalty, dusting off some old tunes like “Vogue” for the audience. But when she was joined by Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. for her new single “Give Me All Your Luvin,” things got a little weird. At the end of the song, M.I.A. raised her middle finger and said, “I don’t give a (expletive)” The screen then went blank. While M.I.A. doesn’t care, the FCC probably does. More than 100 million people watch the Super Bowl. The bright side of the performance? Cee Lo Green joining Madonna on stage to sing “Like a Prayer.”

    February 5, 2012 10:30 PM

  18. ADVERTISING Super Bowl Ad Hits Racist Notes Douglas Graham / Getty Images

    18. Super Bowl Ad Hits Racist Notes

    There were plenty of inspirational Super Bowl ads that tried to play on fears about America’s decline, but former Rep. Peter Hoekstra’s Senate campaign took a different approach. The ad, which aired during the game in Michigan, features an Asian woman wearing a conical straw hat, riding a bike through a rice-paddy field and saying things like “Your economy get very weak. Ours get very good.” Despite controversy about the ad, Hoekstra’s spokesperson stood by it, saying that it was satirical and the woman’s broken English was meant to bring attention to the Chinese education system. “It exhibits another way in which China is competing with us globally,” said the spokesman. Asian-American groups and even some GOP consultants have criticized the ad.

    February 6, 2012 7:07 AM

  19. TIME TO ACT Greece on the Brink of Default Louisa Gouliamako, AFP / Getty Images

    19. Greece on the Brink of Default

    Bankruptcy, collapse, default. Just another day in Greece. The nation moved dangerously closer to default late Sunday as it seeks to strike a deal and accept proposed austerity measures by noon on Monday. European leaders are pressuring Greece to make deep spending cuts and market reforms in order to obtain another €130 billion bailout. After five hours of discussion, Greece’s three leaders of the national unity government were still unable to reach agreement. The government did strike a tentative deal to extend spending cuts. It’s being called a “make or break” moment for the nation, as more funding hangs on a “razor’s edge.”

    February 5, 2012 11:51 PM

  20. 2012 Poll: Obama Would Beat Romney Pool / Getty Images

    20. Poll: Obama Would Beat Romney

    Mitt Romney may have won Nevada, but the brutal primary campaign appears to be taking a toll on his national support. A poll by The Washington Post and ABC News finds the Republican frontrunner clearly losing to President Obama for the first time. Obama's approval rating came in at 50 percent—the highest since the killing of Osama bin Laden—and he is beating Romney 52 percent to 43 percent in a general-election matchup. Voters said they disapprove of things the GOP primary candidates have said during the race, and by more than 2 to 1, voters said that the more they learned about Romney, the less they like him. As Romney suffers from the primary fight, Obama is benefiting from increasingly good jobs numbers. Even worse for Romney, the poll found that the two are evenly matched in voters' minds when it comes to job creation.

    February 6, 2012 6:14 AM

  21. DISASTER 6.9 Quake Strikes Philippines STR / AFP / Getty Images

    21. 6.9 Quake Strikes Philippines

    A magnitude-6.9 earthquake hit a central Philippine island Monday, setting off landslides and prompting officials to issue a tsunami alert. At least 13 people were killed, and 40 are believed missing. In a mountain village as many as 30 houses were buried with as many as 40 residents trapped inside. Soldiers and police have been sent to help with the rescue. A magnitude-7.7 quake killed more than 1,600 people on Luzon in 1990.

    February 6, 2012 6:49 AM

  22. RENEW Acid-Attack Survivor’s Sight Restored Mike Marsland / Getty Images

    22. Acid-Attack Survivor’s Sight Restored

    It was a horrific attack: in 2008 a man, a spurned ex-boyfriend arranged for another man to throw acid on the face of former British TV presenter and model Katie Piper. She suffered third-degree burns and had to have facial-reconstruction surgery. Piper, 28, also became partially blind. But thanks to stem-cell surgery, her sight has been restored after doctors used eye tissue from the cornea of a donor to grow cells that were later stitched into Piper’s left eye. “My sight was the one injury I’d say to myself was permanent and least expected to change,” the courageous Piper said. “I do feel like I'm winning.” Yes, you are.

    February 6, 2012 11:55 AM

  23. Gloating Trump Takes Credit for Romney Win Ethan Miller / Getty Images

    23. Trump Takes Credit for Romney Win

    Donald Trump unabashedly took credit for Mitt Romney’s win in Nevada over the weekend, boasting that it was his endorsement of the GOP frontrunner that pushed him to victory. “There was a lot riding on that particular race in Nevada, and it was interesting, because the numbers were much, much greater than you thought,” he said Monday on Fox and Friends. “And a lot of people are giving me credit for that. And I will accept that credit.”

    February 6, 2012 10:04 AM

  24. WARFARE U.S. Drones Target Funerals: Report Kirsty Wigglesworth, File / AP Photo

    24. U.S. Drones Target Funerals: Report

    A report by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism may undercut President Obama’s claim that U.S. drones haven’t caused many civilian casualties. According to the bureau, the U.S. has repeatedly targeted rescuers who responded to the scene of a drone strike, as well as mourners at funerals. It found that at least 50 civilians have been killed in the follow-up strikes and another 20 at funerals. The report is based on interviews with witnesses in Pakistan’s tribal area, and American officials have questioned its accuracy.

    February 6, 2012 6:47 AM

  25. DISLIKE India Censors Google, Facebook Paul Sakuma / AP Photo

    25. India Censors Google, Facebook

    Google India removed content Monday on the orders of the Indian government after a court gave the search giant, as well as sites like Facebook, YouTube and Blogspot, two weeks to present plans to police their networks for “antireligious” and “antisocial” content. The case is raising censorship fears in the world’s largest democracy. The government has been furious about material insulting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, ruling Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi, and religious groups. Indian officials say the internet standards of the U.S. are not acceptable for a country like India.

    February 6, 2012 11:37 AM

  26. Revisionist History

    26. Newt Campaign Defends Wiki Edits

    Newt Gingrich can’t change his past, but that won’t stop him from trying to hide it. The former speaker’s communications director, Joe DeSantis, has gotten a lot of flack recently for making more than 60 changes to Newt’s Wikipedia page as well as wife Callista’s. The deletions include any mentions of his three marriages and his House ethics charges. DeSantis has petitioned Wikipedia to make these changes for months, and started directly editing the page himself in June of 2011. Last week, one Wikipedia editor commented on an edit discussion page that “this micro-managing by a Gingrich campaign director is a matter of concern to me even though you are now identifying yourself. Pointing out factual error is one thing, but your input should not go beyond that.” Another editor wrote more explicitly: “The fact that Callista is Speaker Gingrich’s third wife is well-known and indisputable. Please do not remove it from her biography.” DeSantis, however, defends his changes and insists that he has not made direct edits since informed of the site’s rules. 

    February 6, 2012 1:05 PM

  27. HATER Woman Tried to Extort Duggars Doug Meszler / Splash News / Newscom

    27. Woman Tried to Extort Duggars

    The nerve! A woman who tried to extort the Duggar family has been nabbed by the FBI after she threatened to release “scandalous” photos of their niece. Teresa Hunt demanded that Discovery Communications, parent company of the network that airs the Duggar reality show, pay her $10,000 or cancel the show unless it wanted her to release the photos. Hunt sent a letter to Discovery Communications stating that she had inappropriate pictures of Amy Duggar with an older musician, adding that the two snuck off to hotel rooms to have sex. Amy was mortified and vowed that the story was false. “He is a longtime family friend who has always been supportive of my music career,” she said in a statement. “He’s a good Christian and it’s upsetting that his generosity has been exploited like this.” Hunt also contacted Radar Online to sell the pictures; Radar reports that they aren’t the least bit incriminating.

    February 6, 2012 6:59 PM

  28. SCANDAL L.A. School Closed in Sex Probe Damian Dovarganes / AP Photo

    28. L.A. School Closed in Sex Probe

    An elementary school in Los Angeles will close Tuesday and Wednesday as authorities investigate alleged lewd activity by two teachers that has scandalized the community. Mark Berndt and Martin Springer were arrested last week for alleged sex abuse, and there have been concerns that the other teachers at Miramonte Elementary School might be traumatized by the disturbing accusations. Berndt was alleged to have spoon-fed his semen to blindfolded students as part of a “tasting game,” and Springer is accused of fondling two girls inside his classroom in the last three years.

    February 6, 2012 1:48 PM

  29. ESCALATION Obama Tightens Iran Sanctions Susan Walsh / AP Photo

    29. Obama Tightens Iran Sanctions

    President Obama doesn’t want to attack Iran, but he sure is pressuring the nation. The White House announced increased sanctions on Iran in order to get the regime to halt its nuclear program. Obama’s executive order froze all property of the central bank of Iran and the Iranian government in the United States. Under the order, other countries may be subject to penalties if they do business with Iran’s central bank. The administration said the executive order “reemphasizes this administration’s message to the government of Iran—it will face ever-increasing economic and diplomatic pressure until it addresses the international community’s well-founded and well-documented concerns regarding the nature of its nuclear program.”

    February 6, 2012 5:39 PM

  30. BONANZA! Super Bowl Breaks All Records Michael Dwyer / AP Photo

    30. Super Bowl Breaks All Records

    Did you see that? Yes, we did. Everybody did. Sunday night’s Super Bowl XLVI broke the record to become the most-watched show in TV history. More than 111.3 million people saw the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots 21–17 on NBC, edging out last year’s 111 million viewers on Fox and the 106.5 million the year before that on CBS. The M*A*S*H finale in 1983 ranks fourth. After the game, 36.7 million people stayed up to watch the second-season premiere of the singing talent show The Voice, which became the highest-rated nonsports telecast in six years.

    February 6, 2012 4:19 PM