Content Section
  1. OFF DUTY Envoy to Afghanistan to Step Down Charles Dharapak / AP Photo

    1. Envoy to Afghanistan to Step Down

    Sources disclosed Monday that veteran U.S. diplomat Ryan Crocker is expected to step down from his position as special envoy to Afghanistan as early as this month. President Obama addressed the withdrawal of U.S. forces in the war-torn country Monday to close the NATO summit, saying that “real challenges” remain through much of the region. Crocker is said to be widely respected for his work in Kabul and the reason for his departure was not immediately clear. The president is reportedly considering Deputy Ambassador James Cunningham as Crocker’s replacement. Crocker came out of retirement in July 2011 to fill the post and participated in NATO summit talks about the country’s future.

    May 21, 2012 10:35 PM

  2. DISLIKE Facebook Stock Closes Down CX Matiash / AP Photo

    2. Facebook Stock Closes Down

    After a tepid reception last week, the blue-and-white juggernaut continued to make a disappointing showing on the market Monday, closing down 11 percent. Facebook stock was trading around $33 for much of the day before bumping up to close at $34.03 but never moving above $38, the price set for its much-hyped initial public offering. It did not seem to help that most of the market saw an uptick, with the NASDAQ closing up nearly 70 points. Analysts said that the stock fell without the support of underwiters that helped buoy its price Friday.

    May 21, 2012 4:45 PM

  3. CLASSIFIED U.S. Announces New Drone Policy Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP Photo

    3. U.S. Announces New Drone Policy

    White House officials announced a new policy on Monday regarding the use of drones for killing or capturing terrorists. Counter-terror chief John Brennon will take the reins when it comes to choosing targets so that the process is decided by a small team, giving the Pentagon a smaller role in such procedures. Brennan’s staff will consult with the State Department and other agencies regarding who should be assigned to the target list, according to officials with knowledge of counter-terrorist government programs. Brennan will reportedly have more classified information earlier on before making final recommendations to the President.

    May 21, 2012 7:07 PM

  4. BACKLASH Church Orgs. Sue Over Birth Control

    4. Church Orgs. Sue Over Birth Control

    The University of Notre Dame, New York’s archdiocese, and several other high-profile Catholic institutions were among the 41 organizations to sue the Obama administration in federal court Monday, arguing that the president’s health-care law could not mandate them to cover contraception costs in workers’ health plans. A provision in the “Obamacare” law requires most employers to cover all preventive services, including contraception. The Obama administration said in February that it would modify the requirement, but the religious organizations do not appear satisfied with such action. Cardinal Timothy Dolan said the church “tried negotiation” but had to “resort to the courts now” to proceed.

    May 21, 2012 7:30 PM

  5. One Year Later Obama to Joplin: You’re the Inspiration MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages

    5. Obama to Joplin: You’re the Inspiration

    It's quite an honor to have the president of the United States speak at your graduation, an event the seniors at Joplin High School in Missouri won't soon forget. President Obama visited the school, which had to be demolished in the wake of a massive tornado that killed 161 people a year ago, and told the graduating class, "we can define our own lives not by what happens to us but by how we respond." Obama praised Joplin's community spirit and told the students "some of life's strongest bonds are the ones we forge when everything around us seems broken." Obama added, “The job of commencement speaker ... is to inspire. But as I look out at this class and across this city, what’s clear is that you’re the source of inspiration today.”

    May 21, 2012 11:20 PM

  6. TRIAL Ravi Gets 30-Day Prison Sentence John O'Boyle, The Star-Ledger / AP Photo

    6. Ravi to Appeal 30-Day Sentence

    Lawyers on both sides of the Dharun Ravi case announced they would appeal the sentence handed down for the ex-Rutgers student Monday. Lead prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said the 30-day jail term that Ravi was given was insufficient. Meanwhile, the defense called Ravi's conviction an error. Ravi was found guilty on counts including bias intimidation and witness tampering after the suicide of Tyler Clementi in 2010, and was sentenced to thirty days in prison by a New Jersey court. The death of 18-year-old Clementi became a national issue, sparking conversation about bullying and whether Ravi intentionally humiliated Clementi for his homosexuality. Ravi, a native of India, was studying at New Jersey’s Rutgers University at the time of the suicide, and could have faced deportation as part of his sentence.

    May 21, 2012 8:16 PM

  7. MORE TROUBLE?

    7. Prostitute Probe Launched on Agents

    Three Drug Enforcement Administration agents are under investigation for hiring prostitutes during the same infamous April trip that embroiled the Secret Service. Officials say the alleged incident took place at the same time, but is a completely separate investigation. The agents have all been removed from Colombia after a Secret Service source revealed during questioning in the other case that they may have hired prostitutes. The Department of Justice is leading the investigation of the agents, who were all permanently based in South America. A DEA spokesperson said that the agency was taking the allegations “very seriously.”

    May 21, 2012 10:48 PM

  8. SCREENING Panel Advises Against Prostate Exam Bruce Powell / AP Photo

    8. Panel: End Prostate Cancer Tests

    The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recommended against using a common blood test, called the prostate-specific-antigen, or PSA, to screen for prostate cancer. The panel recommended the change, giving the test a “D” grade, saying it “has no net benefit” and “the harms outweigh the benefits.” The test can detect slow-growing cases of cancer that won't cause problems during a patient's lifetime, but also exposes those tested to harm. Before this latest announcement, the PSA, which has been used for the last two decades, was not recommended for patients age 75 or older. Now, the panel says it doesn't recommend the test for anyone unless the doctor explains how sensitive the screening is.

    May 21, 2012 11:56 PM

  9. Fair Game Obama Defends Bain Attacks Justine Schiavo / Boston Globe via Getty Images

    9. Obama Defends Bain Attacks

    While closing out the NATO summit Monday, President Obama responded to criticisms of his campaign’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s business career. Obama insisted that pointing to Romney’s work at Bain Capital “is not a distraction” but a key part of the election because Mitt’s “main calling card for why he thinks he should be president is his business experience. He is not touting his experience in Massachusetts. He is saying he is a business guy, and this is his business.” He argued that the president’s job is to make sure everyone in the country has an opportunity to succeed, not to “make a lot of money for investors.”

    May 21, 2012 5:29 PM

  10. SAY WHAT Chris Brown Lip-Syncs Song Ethan Miller, Billboards2012 / Getty Images for ABC

    10. Chris Brown Lip-Syncs Song

    In the grand scheme of things, there are other reasons to be angry at Chris Brown. But on Sunday night, Brown made headlines at the Billboard Music Awards for his “performance” of “Turn Up the Music.” That’s performance in quotes, because Brown lip-synced the entire song. Among the singer’s biggest critics were Pink and Joe Jonas, who vented on Twitter. “One day if I lypsync i hope to do it as well as him,” Pink tweeted. “What happened to people singing live???” Joe Jonas opined. Chris Brown has not weighed in yet.

    May 21, 2012 3:27 PM

  11. NATO Protesters Hit Chicago

    11. Protesters Go After Boeing, Obama HQs

    After clashing with police on Sunday, protesters were back on the streets Monday as leaders from the 28 NATO countries met. Protests were more peaceful in comparison with yesterday’s demonstrations. Hundreds of protesters demonstrated peacefully outside of President Obama’s campaign headquarters, though they were vastly outnumbered by police there. Protesters, many of them organized by Occupy Chicago, took aim at the headquarters for Boeing, as well as JPMorgan Chase and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office. One leader said they “made their voices heard.” Police arrested 45 people on Sunday, and four officers were taken to the hospital, including one who was stabbed in the leg.

    May 21, 2012 5:05 PM

  12. PLAY NICE! Apple, Samsung Fight Over Patents Kin Cheung / AP Photo

    12. Apple, Samsung Fight Over Patents

    A court has mandated that Apple and Samsung work out their patent issues in mediation—yep, time to sit down for a heart-to-heart, fellas. Apple claims that Samsung has "slavishly" copied its iPhone and iPad products. Samsung denies the charge and has countersued for patent infringement. Samsung, a multinational company headquartered in Korea, makes computer chips, smartphones, and televisions, including some components for Apple products. Apple's Tim Cook and Samsung's Choi Gee-sung will meet for a two-day mediation.

    May 21, 2012 6:31 PM

  13. TOO EASY? Report: College Students Study Less Bob Daemmrich / Corbis

    13. Report: College Students Study Less

    Kids these days! According to the National Survey of Student Engagement, the amount of time college students spend preparing for class each week has dropped from 24 hours a week to about 15 over the past 12 years. Critics say college students are getting lazier and college is getting less demanding academically and more focused on athletics. Others counter that students have had to take on more work to afford higher education and make ends meet.

    May 21, 2012 10:52 PM

  14. NATO Leaders Solidify Afghan Takeover MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages

    14. Leaders Solidify Afghan Takeover

    The withdrawal from Afghanistan is really happening. That’s what President Obama assured on Monday at the close of the NATO summit in Chicago, with the group of nations backing the American leader. Obama noted that “real challenges” remain at the Pakistan border, but said in a press conference that U.S. “forces broke the Taliban’s momentum” in the region. Obama acknowledged that Pakistan and Afghanistan must work together to achieve peace, though the president said he only spoke to Pakistani leader Asif Ali Zardari for a “very brief” time, “as we were walking into the summit.” Obama said the withdrawal plan is “irreversible,” adding that “The Taliban is still a robust enemy, and the gains are still fragile.”

    May 21, 2012 6:20 PM

  15. FLESH-EATING

    15. Third Case of Flesh-Eating Bacteria

    A 33-year-old Georgia landscaper is the third person to have a rare flesh-eating infection that has grabbed headlines in recent weeks. Doctors insist that the case of Cartersville resident Bobby Vaughn bears no connection to those of two other people afflicted with the disease, but they’ve been baffled by the oddity of three concurrent cases of necrotizing fasciitis. “I just started feeling very sick,” Vaughn told reporters from his hospital bed in Augusta, Ga. “I was throwing up and had a backache. I just thought it was a little infection.” Vaughn has reportedly undergone five surgeries and lost two pounds of tissue, but said doctors do not think the bacteria is spreading anymore.

    May 21, 2012 12:06 PM

  16. High Seas $3.6M in Pot Floating off CA Coast John Munson, Star Ledger / Corbis

    16. $3.6M in Pot Floating off CA Coast

    Talk about a pipe dream. Law enforcement came across an estimated 7,263 pounds of marijuana bound in 160 bales floating off Orange County, Calif., harbor-patrol officers told reporters. The discovery of the trove of sea weed Sunday was reportedly first made by a boater about 15 miles from the shoreline. Drugrunners will sometimes dump their cargo if they’re being chased, but this time there was no boat in sight, a border-patrol supervisor told reporters. An investigation is ongoing, and no suspects have yet been named. The haul reportedly had a street value of more than $3.6 million.

    May 21, 2012 7:08 AM

  17. Sign up For the daily beast's cheat sheet email
  18. SUMMIT NATO Summit Debates Afghan Drawback Christophe Ena / AP Photo

    17. NATO Debates Afghan Drawback

    World leaders at a NATO summit in Chicago will enter their second day of talks Monday, with an end to the war in Afghanistan first on the agenda. While the United States has endorsed a graduated withdrawal of troops to be complete around 2014, new French President François Hollande said France’s soldiers will leave by the end of 2012, calling it “a question of French sovereignty.” Fifty leaders from the 28 NATO countries are attending the summit, including Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari. Protests continued in the city outside the talks, including one in which dozens of post–Sept. 11 U.S. military veterans discarded service medals, calling them “representations of hate” and “cheap tokens.”

    May 21, 2012 6:02 AM

  19. INSIDER TRADING Former Goldman Director Faces Jury Frank Franklin II / AP Photo

    18. Former Goldman Director Faces Jury

    A year after Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam stood trial for insider trading, his friend Rajat Gupta will stand trial Monday in the same federal court. A former board member at Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble, Gupta has been accused of passing tips to Rajaratnam, allegedly letting him know in advance about a $5 billion Berkshire Hathaway investment, as well as other proprietary financial information. The 63-year-old has pleaded not guilty, and prosecutors may have a tough time making charges stick, according to at least one Manhattan attorney. “The core defense message will be, ‘There is just not enough evidence,’” said Tom Dewey, a lawyer not involved in Gupta’s case.

    May 21, 2012 7:05 AM

  20. WOMEN’S WORK Jobless Men Enter Women’s Fields Joe Raedle

    19. Jobless Men Enter Women’s Fields

    Dudes need jobs, too. An analysis of job data from 2000 to 2010 by The New York Times found that men are entering job fields traditionally dominated by women as work becomes harder to find. “The way I look at it,” one 21-year-old man told The Times, “is that anything, basically, that a woman can do, a guy can do.” And while male empowerment may seem the oddest economic remedy imaginable, the numbers show that guys are putting on a “pink collar” to get through tough times. In Texas, the number of male registered nurses rose from 9 percent to 12 percent in 10 years, and the number of male schoolteachers jumped from 23 percent to 28 percent.

    May 21, 2012 7:02 AM

  21. SILVER SCREEN Chinese Firm Buys AMC Ng Han Guan / AP Photo

    20. Chinese Firm Buys AMC

    A Chinese firm scooped up AMC Entertainment’s 346 cinemas in a multibillion-dollar deal that the company says gives it the largest chain of movie houses in the world. Wang Jianlin, president of the Dalian Wanda Group, said that the buy “will help make Wanda a truly global cinema owner, with theaters and technology that enhance the movie-going experience for audiences in the world’s two largest movie markets.” The China-based company owns 86 theaters in the Asian country. AMC, with its more than 5,000 American screens, will remain based in Kansas City, Mo. The relationship between Chinese and American filmmakers has been growing, with studios including Disney and Marvel striking a deal last year to produce Iron Man 3 partly in China.

    May 21, 2012 7:04 AM

  22. SUMMIT Three Everest Climbers Perish Dorje Sherpa, PEMBA / AFP / Getty Images

    21. Three Everest Climbers Perish

    Three Mount Everest climbers are dead and two missing on Monday, Nepalese officials report. After a weekend of favorable conditions, a heavy wind struck the mountain Saturday, leading to a potentially dangerous backup, an official told reporters. “There was a traffic jam on the mountain on Saturday,” Nepalese mountaineering department official Gyanendra Shresth told reporters. “Climbers were still heading to the summit as late as 14:30 [8:45 GMT], which is quite dangerous.” Among the dead are reported to be a South Korean, a German, and a Canadian. A Chinese climber and his Nepali guide are still thought to be missing on the mountain after the weekend.

    May 21, 2012 6:44 AM

  23. CAMPAIGN TRAILS Obama’s Super PAC Slumps Steve Helber / AP Photo

    22. Obama’s Super PAC Slumps

    Priorities USA Action, the largest pro-Obama super PAC, is trailing GOP political action committees as the two sides prepare for the first general election in which they are likely to play a major role. Priorities USA Action raised $1.6 million in April, $3 million less than what Restore Our Future, a PAC that supports presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, drew in over the same period. Donations for Obama’s super PAC came mostly from organized labor, and some of that money came in only on the last day of the filing period, according to federal records. Priorities USA Action laid out $1.9 million in expenditures last month, with most of it going to ads attacking the Romney campaign.

    May 21, 2012 6:30 AM

  24. PROSTITUTION Probe Targets DSK Rape Allegations Sergei Chuzavkov / AP Photo

    23. Probe Targets DSK Rape Allegations

    Thoroughly disgraced French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn may have been involved in rape, said a French prosecutor who’s opening a preliminary investigation into the allegations. The prosecutor is responding to requests by judges in Lille, France, to look more closely into allegations of sexual crimes after probing a prostitution ring in the city. The allegations under investigation state that the former head of the International Monetary Fund may have engaged in rape during a sex party at a Washington, D.C., hotel during his tenure at the IMF. Sixty-three-year-old Strauss-Kahn has responded by saying that any activities he engaged in were consensual, and that he never used violence.

    May 21, 2012 6:39 AM

  25. RALLY 60,000 Orthodox Jews Protest Internet Mario Tama/ Getty Images

    24. 60,000 Orthodox Jews Protest Internet

    Roughly 60,000 Orthodox Jews gathered in Queens, N.Y., on Sunday to protest the Internet’s various evils. An all-male rally of more than 40,000 Hasidic Jews was held in Citi Field, while 20,000 others crowded the nearby Arthur Ashe Stadium. Demonstrators, organized by a little-known rabbinical group called the Union of Communities for the Purity of the Camp, called for a “clean” Internet and denounced the Web for ruining family life and perverting the minds of young children. Since women weren’t allowed to attend the actual rally, more than 15,000 of them watched the speeches via live streaming on—go figure—the Internet.  

    May 21, 2012 1:32 PM

  26. BLAST Bombing in Yemen Kills 90 Khaled Abdullah, Reuters / Landov

    25. Bombing in Yemen Kills 96

    A suicide bomber reportedly disguised as a soldier struck in Yemen on Monday, killing 96 people and injuring at least 200 others. A group with ties to al Qaeda has climb responsibility for the bombing that struck a group of soldiers gathered near the presidential palace in the capital. The soldiers were preparing for a military parade organized in honor of a national holiday to be celebrated Tuesday. Hundreds of bystanders were wounded, and first responders rushed to the scene to take away the wounded. Yemeni forces launched an attack less than two weeks ago against Islamic radicals with ties to al Qaeda in one of the country’s southern provinces.

    May 21, 2012 5:31 PM