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  1. FLAP Obama Backtracks on Economy

    1. Obama Backtracks on Economy

    President Obama’s comment early Friday that “the private sector is doing fine,” has landed him in hot water with Republicans. His speech during a press conference on domestic and European economic woes noted that private-sector job progress is beating slow growth in the nation and local governments. Obama clarified his intention later in the day, telling reporters that “It is absolutely clear the economy is not doing fine.” Mitt Romney, at an Iowa rally, responded: “For the president of the United States to stand up and say the private sector is doing fine is going to go down in history as an extraordinary miscalculation and misunderstanding by a president who’s out of touch.”

    June 8, 2012 4:22 PM

  2. SHHH Holder Launches Leak Investigation John Gress / Getty Images

    2. Holder Launches Leak Investigation

    Attorney General Eric Holder has announced the U.S. government’s plan to launch an investigation into a possible leak of classified information. Holder assigned two attorneys to look into how secret material, like information on a secret drone program and the “kill list,” was released to the media. Critics have suggested the White House was involved in distributing the information, which Obama called “offensive” and “wrong.” Holder’s statement stressed that the leak “can compromise the security of this country and all Americans, and it will not be tolerated.”

    June 8, 2012 7:40 PM

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  4. Syria U.N. Monitors Confirm Massacre AP Photo

    3. U.N. Monitors Confirm Massacre

    Unarmed United Nations observers in Syria reported on Friday that there was evidence of a massacre in Qubair, a tiny village where an estimated 78 people were killed by security forces on Wednesday. BBC correspondent Paul Danahar, who was traveling with the U.N. monitors, said "the smell of burnt flesh still hung heavy in the air." U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned Thursday that civil war in Syria is “imminent” as Syrian government troops blocked unarmed United Nations monitors from investigating the Qubair incident—and even firing on them.

    June 8, 2012 2:45 PM

  5. EUROZONE Spain May Seek EU Bailout Gustau Nacarino, Reuters / Landov

    4. Spain May Seek EU Bailout

    European Union sources said that Spain could request a bailout this weekend, according to Reuters, which would make it the fourth euro-zone country to do so. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that her country did not pressure Spain into the announcement, which is expected to come Saturday afternoon. “It’s down to the individual countries to come to us,” Merkel said of the decision to request assistance. “That has not happened so far, and therefore [we] will not exert any pressure.” In Spain, a government spokesman said Friday that she was not aware of any plan for the EU to recapitalize the country’s banks.

    June 8, 2012 10:02 AM

  6. COVERAGE Health Fund to Cover 9/11 Cancers Robert Giroux / Getty Images

    5. Health Fund to Cover 9/11 Cancers

    In a groundbreaking ruling on Friday, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health approved 50 different types of cancer to be covered by a $4.3 billion health fund, which was established to compensate people who developed serious illnesses following the September 11, 2011 terrorist attack. Institute director Dr. John Howard announced the ruling, which will allow cancer patients to apply for access to the fund for compensation and treatment. Though there is little empirical evidence directly linking toxic exposure from the attack to cancer, the committee ruled that the “high prevalence of acute symptoms and chronic conditions” in rescuers and residents in the aftermath of 9/11 provided “highly credible” evidence that people were indeed exposed to toxic substances.

    June 8, 2012 6:26 PM

  7. SCARY Lohan Hospitalized After Crash Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

    6. Lohan Hospitalized After Crash

    Lindsay Lohan was taken to an L.A. emergency room after slamming a rented car into the back of an 18-wheeler on the Pacific Coast Highway. According to TMZ’s sources, she seems OK but her black Porsche was totaled, with the passenger window shattered and the back bumper off. An ambulance was called to the scene, but did not transport Lohan to the hospital, though witnesses at the scene said she was bruised and bleeding. Lohan has claimed that the truck cut her off and caused the accident.

    June 8, 2012 5:55 PM

  8. LEAKS LEAKS LEAKS Court Maintains Manning Charges Mark Wilson / Getty Images

    7. Court Maintains Manning Charges

    To add to today’s roundup of national-security leaks dominating headlines: A military judge refused to dismiss any of the 22 charges against Bradley Manning for turning state secrets over to WikiLeaks. During a pretrial hearing for Manning at Fort Meade, Md., Col. Denise Lind rejected a defense claim that the government used unconstitutionally vague language in eight of 22 charges. She also refused to dismiss two charges against Manning for abusing his authority while accessing the Defense Department computer system. Manning’s litany of charges includes theft, fraud, violations of Army information security regulations, and aiding the enemy. Though Manning’s trial is currently set for September, Lind said it will likely be postponed until November or January due to procedural problems.

    June 8, 2012 2:46 PM

  9. NO CROWN I’ll Have Another Out of Belmont Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

    8. I’ll Have Another Out of Belmont

    Call your bookie. I’ll Have Another, the horse that won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness and was galloping toward the Triple Crown, is reportedly out of the race, according to The New York Times. If I'll Have Another had stayed in the race and pulled out a win, it would have been the first Triple Crown win in 34 years. His trainer, Doug O'Neill, said the horse was suffering from tendinitis in his left leg.

    June 8, 2012 2:00 PM

  10. CONNECTIONS L.A. Murder Tied to Magnotta? City of Montreal Police Service / AP Photo

    9. L.A. Murder Tied to Magnotta?

    Porn star and accused killer Luka Rocco Magnotta may have left a trail of violence. A Los Angeles Police Department spokesman said Friday that detectives were looking to “see if there is a connection” between Magnotta and an unsolved January slaying in which the victim’s dismembered hands and head were found near the Hollywood sign. “Our detectives are contacting their counterparts in Canada and to see if suspect was in Hollywood at the time,” LAPD spokesman Lyle Knight told reporters. Magnotta, suspected of killing a student in Canada, made Facebook posts that seem to show that he was in the Los Angeles area “doing massages” around the time that the killing occurred.

    June 8, 2012 12:59 PM

  11. MECHANICS

    10. ‘Car Talk’ Duo Retiring

    Time to find a new way to get started in the morning. NPR’s mechanic comedians, Tom and Ray Magliozzi, a.k.a. Click and Clack, will retire, ending new shows for Car Talk. But fear not, fans, NPR said on Friday that it will still repackage old shows and broadcast them. Tom, 74, and Ray, 63, started Car Talk 35 years ago on WBUR and soon expanded to other NPR member stations. The brothers will retire after celebrating their 25th anniversary with NPR this fall.

    June 8, 2012 12:40 PM

  12. BULLPEN Feds Probe Baseball Insider Trading Richard Drew / AP Photo

    11. Feds Probe Baseball Insider Trading

    It’s not just bankers who are wheeling and dealing in the world of insider trading. Federal authorities are investigating an insider-trading ring reportedly operated by a retired, well-known baseball player and other former professional athletes, Reuters reports exclusively. For nearly three years, prosecutors in Los Angeles have been investigating what one U.S. official described as a “loose federation of people” tapping into and sharing market information before it goes public. The probe is part of a larger investigative crackdown on Wall Street insider trading that led to the conviction of Raj Rajaratnam and other high-profile hedge-fund traders and bankers.

    June 8, 2012 2:11 PM

  13. EVIDENCE No Charges in Conn. Christmas Fire Tina Fineberg, File / AP Photo

    12. No Charges in Conn. Christmas Fire

    Connecticut State Attorney David Cohen said Friday that there was “insufficient evidence” to charge anyone in the Christmas Day fire in Stamford, Conn., that claimed the lives of three children and their grandparents, which authorities say started after a friend of the girls’ mother discarded fireplace ashes by a doorway. The mother, Madonna Badger, and her friend Michael Borcina escaped the fatal blaze. Cohen said Friday that the investigation of the fire was “hampered to some degree” by officials in Stamford, who tore the hollowed-out home down before all evidence was collected. Seven-year-old twins Grace and Sarah Badger died in the fire, along with their 9-year-old sister, Lily, and their grandparents, Lomer and Pauline Johnson.

    June 8, 2012 1:56 PM

  14. NOT SUCH A TIGHT SHIP White House Leak Inquiry Sought Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

    13. White House Leak Inquiry Sought

    The calls for an outside probe of U.S. national-security leaks—including recent media disclosures on President Obama's cyber warfare against Iran and the existence of a double agent in Yemen—have grown under mounting concerns. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the congressional intelligence committee's chairwoman, said Thursday that she will consider calling for a special counsel to investigate who leaked the top-secret information to the media, which suggests she might be willing to give into Republican demands voiced earlier in the week by Sen. John McCain.

    June 8, 2012 6:42 AM

  15. Tragedy Kansas Family Killed in Plane Crash Polk County Sheriff's Office / AP Photo

    14. Kansas Family Killed in Plane Crash

    A prominent Kansas businessman, his wife, and their four children were killed Thursday in a plane crash in the swamps in central Florida. Ron Bramiage, 45, was piloting a small single-engine airplane heading home to Junction City from the Bahamas when it crashed in Florida's Tiger Creek Preserve at about 12:30 p.m. Parts of the plane were found nearly 3½ miles away. Bramiage's wife, Rebecca, 43, and their children were all killed: Brandon, 15; Boston, 13; Beau, 11; and Roxanne, 8.

    June 8, 2012 6:54 AM

  16. HUMAN RIGHTS Chen’s Brother: Coverup In China Don Emmert, AFP / Getty Images

    15. Chen’s Brother: Coverup In China

    The brother of blind activist Chen Guangcheng said Chinese officials have destroyed evidence of human-rights violations in his village, ahead of possible investigations about abuses there. Chen Guangfu said officials have destroyed "black houses" which were used as guard posts to monitor people going in and out of the village, to put Chen under house arrest, and to mete out beatings to supporters of his brother. The activist, who escaped house arrest in April, is now studying at New York University.

    June 8, 2012 6:59 AM

  17. Scary Report: Suicides Surging Among Troops Chip Somodevilla, AFP / Getty Images

    16. Suicides Surging Among Troops

    The suicide rate is skyrocketing among American troops as numbers have reached nearly one per day in 2012, an Associated Press report revealed Thursday. Over the first 155 days of 2012 154 active-duty troops have committed suicide, far outdistancing the number of those killed in action in Afghanistan. The research shows a growing burden for troops in wartime demands in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. The military is also struggling with increase in the number of sexual assaults, alcohol abuse, domestic violence, and other misbehavior, the report stated. The number is up 18 percent from last year, and 16 percent from 2009, the highest year total of suicides in the military on record. In both 2008 and 2009, suicide deaths outnumbered combat deaths.

    June 7, 2012 10:58 PM

  18. EUROPE Merkel Looks To Bolster Confidence Guido Bergmann / Bundesregierung via Getty Images

    17. Merkel Looks To Bolster Confidence

    Europe is ready to stabilize the euro zone, says German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Now that it looks like Spain may be in dire need of help from the EU to bolster its banks, Merkel is attempting to inject some calm into the situation. “It is important to stress again that we have created the instruments for support in the euro zone and that Germany is ready to use these instruments whenever it may prove necessary,” she said. Spain’s credit rating dropped three notches on Thursday.

    June 7, 2012 11:13 PM

  19. DISMAL High Court’s Approval Rating Drops Tom Williams, CQ Roll Call / Getty Images

    18. Poll: Supreme Court's Rating Drops

    The Supreme Court is dealing with some not-so-supreme numbers when it comes to its approval rating. A new poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS News released Thursday shows that the majority of Americans don’t approve of the job the court is doing. Just 44 percent say the Supreme Court is on the right track. Seventy-five percent say the justices are sometimes motivated by their personal or political beliefs. The court’s standing among Americans has been declining in recent years. In the late 1980s, about 66 percent of people approved of the way the court was handling itself.

    June 7, 2012 9:06 PM

  20. Green Algae Blooms Under Polar Ice Slim Allagui, AFP / Getty Images

    19. Algae Blooms Under Polar Ice

    Scientists in an international team said they have recorded the most intense algae bloom ever—and it was under the polar ice caps in the Arctic last summer. The findings have stunned researchers. "The water was completely green," Stanford University's Kevin Arrigo, leader of the international team that reported Thursday, said. "It was like pea soup." It turns out that first-year polar ice, which were long considered impenetrable to sunlight, can create ideal conditions for growing phytoplankton, the single-celled plants crucial to the Arctic food chain.

    June 8, 2012 7:43 AM

  21. NEXT GENERATION American to Be Al Qaeda No. 2?

    20. American to Be Al Qaeda No. 2?

    Intelligence experts say that al Qaeda has five men with the potential to succeed current leader Ayman al-Zawahiri—and one is a U.S. citizen. Following the death of al Qaeda number two, Abu Yahaya al-Libi, counterterrorism experts say it would “be a mistake to think there is nobody on the bench” to take over the terror network. Since Osama bin Laden’s death last year, the U.S. has killed four of the five possible successors to bin Laden, with Zawahiri being the only one that is still alive. Of the five next-generation leaders, three have spent time in the U.S. and bin Laden’s former deputy Adam Gadahn, 33, is an American citizen.

    June 8, 2012 9:45 AM

  22. LEVESON Cameron to Testify in Hacking Inquiry Casten Koall, AFP / Getty Images

    21. Cameron to Testify in Hacking Inquiry

    British Prime Minister David Cameron will give evidence next Thursday at the Leveson Inquiry into the country's media ethics. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will appear Monday, while Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will appear Wednesday. It'll be the most significant week in the inquiry so far, with political heavyweights such as Labour leader Ed Milliband and former prime ministers Gordon Brown and John Major all due to testify about their dealings with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

    June 8, 2012 7:35 AM

  23. Ouch Rand Paul Endorses Mitt Romney Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

    22. Rand Paul Endorses Mitt Romney

    Let’s get one thing straight: Rand Paul is his father’s biggest fan. No one wants the libertarian hero to become president more than his progeny. But at the same time, Rand Paul’s no fool. He knows that the chances his father will win the presidential election are slim, almost nonexistent. Most people in America are probably not even aware that he is still running. And even stronger than his desire to see Ron Paul in the White House is his desire to see Barack Obama out of it. So Friday, Rand acknowledged via email that his pop’s delegates are “not enough to win the nomination” and endorsed Romney.

    June 8, 2012 9:58 AM

  24. GET TO WORK Obama Takes on Sluggish Economy

    23. Obama Takes on Sluggish Economy

    In a statement Friday morning President Obama blamed an intractable Congress for scuttling the "bipartisan" jobs plan he sent them last year, and said that he urges legislators to reconsider. Obama put forward plans to give homebuyers a tax break and stimulate small businesses, saying that the ideas he advanced have received broad support from nonpartisan experts, and that plans proposed by Republican lawmakers would "add weakness" to the economy. "There is no excuse for not passing these ideas," the president said, blaming partisan politics for the holdup in Congress. The president also addressed economic woes in Europe, saying that there are solutions to the eurozone's problems if politicians can make the difficult choices. "Imagine dealing with 17 Congresses instead of just one," Obama said of Europe's financial crisis. "That makes things more challenging." Rep. Eric Cantor and House Speaker John Boehner reportedly planned to respond to Obama's criticisms in a followup press conference.

    June 8, 2012 11:15 AM

  25. LEAVE OF ABSENCE

    24. WSJ Reporter Takes Break After Leak

    Saucy emails may have contributed to a prolonged summer vacation for one Wall Street Journal scribe. Gina Chon, whose epistolary romance with a Bush-era official was leaked all over Flickr this week, will take a leave of absence as now-husband Brett McGurk prepares to take up his post as America’s man in Baghdad, a spokeswoman for the paper said Friday. Chon asked for the leave of absence in March after it first became apparent that McGurk, then Chon’s fiancé, was under consideration for the ambassador’s post, according to the spokeswoman. Some have speculated that the leaked emails that appear to have been exchanged between Chon and McGurk in 2008 may endanger his appointment to the Baghdad job.

    June 8, 2012 1:49 PM

  26. Aliens Sci-Fi Epic 'Prometheus' Opens Kerry Brown, 20th Century Fox / AP Photo

    25. Sci-Fi Epic 'Prometheus' Opens

    The Ridley Scott-directed science fiction bonanza Prometheus opened to great fanfare early Friday morning, and is expected to gross about $56 million this weekend. The prequel to the original Alien classic, which was directed by Scott in 1979, has generated the most buzz among all summer films. Another movie predicted to do quite well at the box office is Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, which could rake in about $48 million in its debut.

    June 8, 2012 7:46 AM

  27. BUDDIES Obama Struck Deal With Drug Lobby Jim Watson, AFP / Getty Images

    26. Obama Struck Deal With Drug Lobby

    Emails released by the House Republicans show that in 2009, the White House struck a deal with a major pharmaceutical lobby in order to overhaul the health-care system. In the deal, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America agreed to give $80 billion for health reform in exchange for protection from policies that lower the cost of prescription medication. Republicans are condemning the deal as going against Obama’s promises of transparency, while Democrats are calling Republicans hypocritical. “Throughout his campaign, President Obama was clear that he would bring every stakeholder to the table in order to pass health reform, even longtime opponents like the pharmaceutical industry,” said the White House communications director. “He understood correctly that the unwillingness to work with people on both sides of the issue was one of the reasons why it took a century to pass health reform.”

    June 8, 2012 3:37 PM