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  1. INDICATOR February Adds 227K Jobs Spencer Platt / Getty Images

    1. February Adds 227K Jobs

    Another good jobs report. The U.S. economy added 227,000 new nonfarm jobs in February, better than expectations, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the much-anticipated jobs data for the second month of the 2012 election year. Unemployment held steady at 8.3 percent—neither a big boost nor a bust for President Obama’s reelection chances this fall. Obama highlighted the positives of the report in a speech at a factory in Virginia Friday afternoon, saying “the economy is getting stronger” and that the report “gives me confidence there are better days ahead.” The bureau said last month that 243,000 jobs were added in January and unemployment declined by 0.2  percentage point in an encouraging report that was much welcomed by Obama supporters. The January figure was revised upward to 284,000 today.

    March 9, 2012 3:28 PM

  2. HOTHEAD Christie Calls Former SEAL an ‘Idiot’ Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo

    2. Christie Calls Former SEAL an ‘Idiot’

    A debate over plans to merge New Jersey’s Rowan University with Rutgers University, both state schools, grew heated yesterday and ended with Gov. Chris Christie calling a Rutgers student and Navy veteran an “idiot.” William Brown, a veteran of the Iraq War who unsuccessfully ran for state Assembly last year as a Democrat, interrupted Christie when the governor was explaining his plan, leading Christie to strike back. “Let me tell you something: After you graduate from law school, you conduct yourself like that in a courtroom, your rear end is going to be thrown in jail, idiot,” Christie fumed. Christie had Brown escorted out by police.

    March 9, 2012 8:59 PM

  3. SAVED Greece Narrowly Avoids Default Louisa Gouliamaki / AFP / Getty Images

    3. Greece Narrowly Avoids Default

    Greece avoided an immediate default on Friday by reaching a sweeping bond-swap deal with private debt collectors that will help erase its mountain of government debt. European ministers, meanwhile, are set to approve a €130 billion bailout. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the Greek crisis had been “settled,” while Germany warned that thinking the crisis is over would be “a big mistake.”

    March 9, 2012 4:56 PM


    4. Judge, Detective Shot in Court

    A man stabbed a judge and shot a detective in a courthouse in Washington state Friday and fled before he could be apprehended. A search is on now for the man, who carried out his assault in the small town of Montesano, 70 miles from Seattle. The assailant, identified as Michael Thomas, was being sought by police and SWAT teams Friday evening, and businesses and schools in the town had locked down. Thomas allegedly entered the courthouse with a briefcase in hand, then attacked a female detective by shooting and stabbing her, then stabbed superior court Judge Dave Edwards in the neck. Both victims were said to be in stable condition.

    March 9, 2012 9:05 PM

  5. THREATS Taliban: Release bin Laden Wives AP Photo

    5. Taliban: Release bin Laden Wives

    The Taliban on Friday pledged to attack the Pakistani government, police, and military officials if three of Osama bin Laden’s widows are not released from custody. Pakistan’s government on Thursday charged the three women with illegally entering and staying in the country, and a spokesman for the Taliban said there would be “suicide bombings” if the women were not released “as soon as possible.” Pakistan has interviewed the women to find how bin Laden managed to stay in the county undetected. The Tehrik-e-Taliban, the wing of the Taliban that vowed revenge, has carried out high-profile attacks against Pakistan since bin Laden’s death, including bombing an American consulate and taking siege of an American naval base.

    March 9, 2012 9:59 AM

  6. REALLY? Romney: ‘Morning, Y’All’ Evan Vucci / AP Photo

    6. Romney: ‘Morning, Y’All’

    That's one way to drop the "Massachusetts moderate" image. Mitt Romney greeted a group of campaign supporters in Jackson, Miss., with a cheerful “Morning, y’all,” as he desperately tries to win over voters in the South. “I got started this morning right with a biscuit and some cheesy grits,” Romney said. Mississippi and Alabama, which hold their primaries on March 13, have so far failed to be persuaded. Romney lost South Carolina in January to Newt Gingrich, and on Super Tuesday Gingrich defeated him in Georgia, while Rick Santorum edged him out in Tennessee. A Rasmussen poll on Friday showed Gingrich and Santorum virtually tied in Alabama, with Romney in third place, while Mississippi appeared to be up for grabs in some polls.

    March 9, 2012 4:43 PM


    7. Defense Begins in Clementi Case

    Lawyers representing Dharun Ravi, the Rutgers University student charged with invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, and evidence tampering in the case of Tyler Clementi, began their defense on Friday. Over the tense day, seven of Ravi’s family friends took the stand to say that the young man accused of a hate crime against Clementi, who committed suicide in 2010, had never done anything to indicate that he was homophobic, a point the defense is trying hard to drive home. The session ended Friday with a defense attorney hammering lead investigator Frank DiNinno on the credibility of Lokesh Ojha, one of the state’s primary witnesses. Questioning will pick up again when the case resumes on Monday.

    March 9, 2012 9:00 PM

  8. Money Trail Libya Goes After Gaddafi Assets Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images

    8. Libya Goes After Gaddafi Assets

    A nine-bedroom, $16 million home is one of the many assets the Libyan government is pursuing as it tries to recover the holdings of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s family. The total assets of the family ring up to $20 billion, estimates the British treasury ministry, including the home in London that was purchased by Gaddafi’s son, Saadi, a former professional soccer player. Assets are said to also include a vast portfolio of property, hedge funds, sports cars, and private jets. A group of squatters have occupied the London home, demanding that it be turned over to its “rightful owners,” the Libyan people. Britain officials froze the Gaddafi assets a year ago during the country’s uprising.

    March 9, 2012 2:01 PM

  9. UNFRIENDLY SKIES Flight Attendant Disrupts Ride Richard W. Rodriguez / AP Photo

    9. Flight Attendant Disrupts Ride

    An American Airlines flight was disrupted after a flight attendant delivered a disturbing rant over the plane’s intercom. The Federal Aviation Administration said there was an “altercation” on Flight 2332, which was getting ready to take off from Dallas/Fort Worth en route to Chicago. A passenger on board said the flight attendant used the PA system to rant about the airline’s bankruptcy and said the plane was going to crash. “She was addressing the captain,” said the passenger, “telling him not to take off, that it would not be her responsibility when the plane crashes and that it was going to crash. Then she was tackled by first-class passengers, who threw her against the wall.” Two flight attendants sustained injuries and were taken to a hospital for treatment.

    March 9, 2012 3:08 PM

  10. Scandal South Carolina Lt. Gov. Resigns David Goldman / AP Photo

    10. South Carolina Lt. Gov. Resigns

    In what the South Carolina attorney general called an “unprecedented” investigation, Lt. Gov. Ken Ard was indicted on ethics charges over an alleged scheme to fake campaign donations while using thousands of dollars in campaign money for personal shopping and vacations. Ard resigned Friday prior to the announcement of the indictment, which alleges he funneled his own money to others before they “donated” it back to his campaign—while he also made up identities of “donors.” Ard had previously been fined for using 2010 campaign funds to buy personal items at a Best Buy. He also gave a reported $75,000 to individuals that was later looped back to his campaign, making it appear as though it wasn’t self-funded. State Sen. Glenn McConnell announced that he would become Gov. Nikki Haley’s new lieutenant.

    March 9, 2012 5:54 PM

  11. EPIC FAIL Disney to Lose $100M on ‘Carter’ Frank Connor / Disney Enterprises via AP Photo

    11. Disney to Lose $100M on ‘Carter’

    Walt Disney Studios' sci-fi adventure flick John Carter, about an Earthling who finds himself transported from the Civil War–era American West to Mars, is expected to be a big-budget bust, Wall Street analysts say, even though the film has only been in theaters since Friday. The film, which cost an astronomical $250 million to make, may rake in a meager $26 million to $28 million on its opening weekend, according to some estimates. With such a big project going bust, some analysts questioned the hierarchy at Disney that let the film go forward, with one remarking in a report that “it might be best if Walt Disney Co. avoided movies about Mars altogether.”

    March 9, 2012 9:01 PM

  12. YUM! ‘Pink Slime’ Spreads to Grocers Mario Proenca, Bloomberg / Getty Images

    12. ‘Pink Slime’ Spreads to Grocers

    Want to take a second look at that burger you’re about to bite into? The “pink slime” that was made famous by the food movie Food Inc. has reportedly made its way into the majority of America’s meat. A recent estimation says that up to 70 percent of ground beef at grocery stores contain the slime, and up to 25 percent of all hamburger patties. The slime is made up of low-grade trimmings that come from the most contaminated parts of cows and was once only used in dog foods and cooking oil. But a new treatment has made the slime safe to eat, according to the USDA. The gelatinlike substance is made up mostly of connective tissue and therefore has no nutritional value. USDA organic meat is said to contain no slime, but there have been no measures put in place to force meatpackers to reveal how much slime their beef contains.

    March 9, 2012 12:36 PM

  13. MANDATE Bob Dole: Romneycare a Liability Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images

    13. Bob Dole: Romneycare a Liability

    Former GOP presidential nominee and retired Kansas senator Bob Dole, who is supporting Mitt Romney ahead of Saturday's Kansas caucuses, is apparently not completely satisfied with the frontrunner. Dole told ABC News that Romney will have to "answer to" supporting mandates in his health-care plan for Massachusetts when he was governor. He said the charge that Romneycare inspired Obamacare is a liability, but not a "fatal" one. Dole predicted that Romney will surprise many in the South and do well in the upcoming primaries in Alabama and Mississippi.

    March 9, 2012 7:21 AM

  14. SAVED Facebook Cofounder Buys TNR SeongJoon Cho, Bloomberg / Getty Images

    14. Facebook Cofounder Buys TNR

    Chris Hughes, cofounder of Facebook and the Harvard roommate of Mark Zuckerberg, has purchased the struggling Washington-based liberal political magazine The New Republic. No price has been announced yet, but Hughes now becomes the publisher and editor in chief of the respected publication. Former owner and editor Marty Peretz sold the magazine in 2007 and bought it back two years later, but was searching for another benefactor. With Hughes, Peretz found a person who doesn't require TNR to be profitable, but Hughes said that he believes the magazine could make money.

    March 9, 2012 7:55 AM

  15. CRITICAL Palin: Obama ‘Was Not Vetted’ Ethan Miller / Getty Images

    15. Palin: Obama ‘Was Not Vetted’

    Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin wasn’t laughing during her appearance with Fox’s Sean Hannity Thursday night, as she dug into President Obama and the lack of media scrutiny he went through during the last election cycle. “Our sitting president was not vetted,” during the 2008 election, Palin said. Palin was speaking of videos aired on Hannity’s show Wednesday released by that show Obama speaking in support of Professor Derrick Bell during Obama’s Harvard days. Palin also fumed over the denouncing of Rush Limbaugh, saying there was a double standard in Obama accepting money from Bill Maher, who Palin said has made misogynistic remarks about her. “Our president is one who is trying to divide our country,” Palin said. “He is not in this to unify America and to solidify our place as the exceptional nation in the world. He is trying to divide us based along lines of gender, of religion, of income, even of race.” Maher wrote a $1 million check to Priorities USA Action, a pro-Obama PAC, money Palin said Obama should ask the PAC to return.

    March 8, 2012 10:59 PM

  16. FINALLY Greece Closes In on Debt Deal Louisa Gouliamaki, AFP / Getty Images

    16. Greece Closes In on Debt Deal

    One nearly heard a lusty roar from across the Atlantic Thursday as Greece seemed to secure a historic deal with private lenders. Investors and officials were reportedly confident about the status of the deal, which could help bring stability to Europe’s economy. The deal would be a step toward ensuring fresh bailout funds for Greece. Stocks in Europe rode high on the news, and interest rates on Spanish and Italian government debt dropped. “It’s a done deal,” said the president of a New York capital-management fund that brokered the agreement.

    March 8, 2012 9:19 PM

  17. MYSTERY No Motive Known in PA Shooting Justin Merriman, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review / AP Photo

    17. No Motive Known in PA Shooting

    Authorities have not suggested a motive or released any information about the alleged gunman who entered a University of Pittsburgh psychiatric clinic Thursday afternoon armed with two semiautomatic handguns and opened fire. One person was killed and seven people were wounded before campus police shot him dead. Officials said it appears he acted alone. All of the wounded are expected to survive.

    March 9, 2012 7:03 AM

  18. NO WAY Syria Opposition Rejects Talks Martin Bureau, AFP / Getty Images

    18. Syria Opposition Rejects Talks

    The leader of Syria's main opposition group on Friday rejected the idea of holding talks with President Bashar al-Assad's government, saying it was pointless to speak to a regime that massacres its own people. Burhan Ghalioun, who heads the rebel Syrian National Council, told the Associated Press in a phone interview from Paris that the suggestion, made by United Nations envoy Kofi Annan, was unrealistic and that Annan had disappointed the Syrian people. He is due to meet Assad this weekend in Syria.

    March 9, 2012 7:53 AM

  19. IMF Lagarde: Don’t Short Italy Marc Bryan-Brown

    19. Lagarde: Don’t Short Italy

    Could things be turning around in the euro zone? Just as the debt situation in Greece looks promising with immediate default likely averted, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde is throwing her support behind another embattled state, Italy. Lagarde, sparring with economic historian Niall Ferguson Thursday night at Newsweek and The Daily Beast's Women in the World Summit in New York's Lincoln Center, Lagarde praised Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti as a responsible technocrat, saying: “it could well be that Italy is going to be the light of the European tunnel. I would not short Italy, at all.”

    March 9, 2012 6:44 AM

  20. RECOGNITION Obama Praises Anti-Kony Campaign Andy Sewell / Getty Images

    20. Obama Praises Anti-Kony Campaign

    President Obama on Thursday came out in support of an online film aimed at bringing Joseph Kony, the Ugandan leader of the violent, child-recruiting Lord’s Resistance Army, to justice. The film has gone viral, with 48 million views on YouTube and Vimeo—most of them in the past couple of days. Invisible Children, the charity that made the film, supported a bill to bring peace to northern Uganda, and the Obama administration has reaffirmed their support of the bill. But there has also been some criticism of Invisible Children, with charges of oversimplification and manipulating facts.

    March 9, 2012 7:51 AM

  21. Words of Warning Netanyahu: Iran Threat Growing Peter Potter, Israel Sun / Landov

    21. Netanyahu: Iran Threat Growing

    As the former head of Israel’s intelligence service spoke out, saying he doesn’t think a military strike on Iran is smart right now, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to Israeli TV to say the situation was more urgent than ever. Ex-Mossad chief Meir Dagan said now isn’t the time to attack Iran over its nuclear program and came to the defense of the country that’s often seen as the enemy of Israel. “The regime in Iran is a very rational one,” Dagan told Leslie Stahl of CBS’s 60 Minutes. He even said its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—who has called for Israel to be annihilated—is somewhat rational when it comes to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “Not exactly our rational, but I think he is rational.” The interview will be broadcast Sunday night. Friday morning Netanyahu countered such words, saying an attack on Iran was “not a matter of days or weeks” and that the nuclear program must be removed. Netanyahu added: “The American clock regarding preventing nuclearization of Iran is not the Israeli one. The Israeli clock works, obviously, according to a different schedule.”

    March 9, 2012 11:52 AM

  22. DEAL U.S. Agrees to Afghan Prisoners Swap Dar Yasin / AP Photo

    22. U.S. Agrees to Afghan Prisoners Swap

    The United States has agreed to hand over some 3,200 detainees—most of them suspected Taliban insurgents—to the Afghan government Friday in a much faster transfer than previously expected. The deal would allow for a six-month period of transition, but the issue had been a major disagreement in negotiations for a strategic partnership plan, with President Hamid Karzai wanting immediate control of the detainees while the U.S. favored gradual transition until 2014. The issue came to a head last month when Qurans were burned accidentally at the detention center in Parwan where most of the prisoners are held, setting off more than a week of deadly riots.

    March 9, 2012 7:25 AM

  23. SLUT FUROR Limbaugh Purges ‘Slut’ From Site Chris Carlson / AP Photo

    23. Limbaugh Purges ‘Slut’ From Site

    A “slut” search on just got more difficult. Nine days after the radio host called Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a “slut,” a search for the word on Limbaugh's website turns up "no results." And while a search for the word “prostitute”—another term Limbaugh used for Fluke—yields plenty of results, a click on the transcript of Limbaugh's first attack on Fluke brings up a blank page. Since lambasting Fluke last Wednesday for testifying in Congress in favor of women's access to contraception, Limbaugh has faced a rash of criticism and has lost at least 50 advertisers. He apologized last Saturday, writing that his "choice of words was not the best" on his site, but is facing a continued fallout for his comments.

    March 9, 2012 2:22 PM

  24. CRACKDOWN Mormons Revamping Proxy Baptisms Jason Andrew, Reportage / Getty Images

    24. Mormons Revamping Proxy Baptisms

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said this week that it will be changing its policy of proxy baptisms,  in what some say is an effort to crack down on the practice following a wave of negative press. A spokesman for the Mormon church, Michael Purdy, said in a written statement that they church is “committed to preventing the misguided practice of submitting Holocaust victims and prominent individuals for proxy baptism.” Helen Radkey, the whistle-blower who recently made the baptism records public, said she has been “effectively stopped” since her access has been denied. The Mormon church faced significant backlash when word spread a few weeks ago that the practice has been continuing.

    March 9, 2012 1:56 PM

  25. CRISIS U.N.: Syria Stopping Humanitarian Aid Bilal Hussein / AP Photo

    25. U.N.: Syria Stopping Humanitarian Aid

    Humanitarian aid groups are still struggling to get access to the growing number of victims in Syria. On Friday morning the United Nations’ humanitarian chief Valerie Amos says that the country is refusing “unhindered” access for groups such as the Red Cross and that Syria has “asked for more time” to decide on an offer from the U.N. to help victims of the ongoing crackdown. Amos spoke from the Syrian border with Turkey where an estimated 11,000 Syrians have sought refuge from the violence. Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is due to visit Syria on Saturday to reach a political solution in a year-long crisis that has the world’s attention. Syrian opposition groups said at least 19 people died from government attacks on Friday.

    March 9, 2012 1:24 PM

  26. She Speaks! Heidi Klum Breaks Silence on Divorce Dan Steinberg / AP Photo

    26. Heidi Klum Breaks Silence on Divorce

    Sarah Palin is a self-described “mama grizzly.” But Heidi Klum? She’s a “lioness.” The famous supermodel broke her silence over her recent separation from the singer Seal after seven years of marriage, saying she was spending her time at home with her four kids, who she calls her “cubs.” Klum, 38, spoke out for the first time in the upcoming April issue of Elle, saying that she felt as though she was “in the eye of a tornado” during the media coverage of her split. “I don’t want to talk positive or negatively about the ups and downs that we had,” Klum told the magazine. The split, which occurred in January and appears headed for a full-blown divorce, had been a talking point for the 49-year-old Seal during interviews for his new album, while Klum had remained tight-lipped about the breakup until now.

    March 9, 2012 4:12 PM

  27. Ouch Santorum Likens Mitt to Obama Julie Denesha / Getty Images

    27. Santorum Likens Mitt to Obama

    Making his final rounds in Kansas the day before the state is set to caucus on Saturday, Rick Santorum laid into Mitt Romney, saying that he offers the same set of morals as President Obama. “We already have one president who doesn’t tell the truth to the American people. We don’t need another,” Santorum said. Santorum tore into Romney’s image as a flip-flopper, saying that the former Massachusetts governor “reinvents” himself for every political occasion. “[Romney] put the template for Obamacare in place in Massachusetts,” Santorum said. The Romney campaign, in Alabama, fired back at Santorum, saying that he was a “Washington insider” and that it is “nearly impossible for him to win the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican nomination.”

    March 9, 2012 6:37 PM


    28. MS AG to Challenge Pardon Law

    Four prisoners pardoned by former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour are going to be released Saturday, and the state’s attorney general, Jim Hood, seeks to change the law that allowed them to be pardoned in the first place. On Thursday, the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld Barbour's controversial pardons, which he issued to more than 200 convicts in January during his last week of office. The pardons "may not be set aside or voided by the judicial branch," the court ruled in a 6–3 decision—meaning four convicted murderers will be released Saturday. Hood, meanwhile, wants the governor's unique pardoning power to be put to a vote. After losing yesterday's case, the Democratic AG began collecting signatures in an attempt to put the question on the ballot in the coming elections.

    March 9, 2012 5:08 PM