Content Section
  1. ON THE TABLE Syria: Assad Could Resign NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / Getty Images

    1. Syria: Assad Could Resign

    The Syrian government is prepared to discuss the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil revealed Tuesday in a press conference. He cautioned, however, that Assad’s departure must not be a precondition for engaging in peace talks. Following President Obama’s threat Monday of military intervention should Syria use chemical weapons, Jamil also warned that “those who contemplate [intervention] are rushing into a much wider confrontation, one that goes beyond Syrian borders.” Syrian opposition activists report that at least 20 people in Damascus and a dozen more in Aleppo were killed by recent government attacks.

    August 21, 2012 6:44 PM

  2. Timing is Everything GOP Adopts Anti-Abortion Language Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

    2. GOP Adopts Anti-Abortion Language

    The establishment may have wanted Todd Akin to go, but now Republicans have approved strict anti-abortion language for the party’s official platform. The phrasing calls for a constitutional amendment banning abortion and makes no explicit language for rape or incest. However, Republican officials did stress that certain details are better left to the states. The new language states, “the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human-right-to-life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.”

    August 21, 2012 3:46 PM

  3. RIP Ethiopian P.M. Dies Sayyid Azim / AP Photo

    3. Ethiopian P.M. Dies

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has died, the government confirmed on Tuesday. Meles was 57 and had reportedly been suffering from a long illness. Meles took power in 1991 after leading a coup against the country’s Communist government that ruled in the 1970s and ’80s. Under Meles’s governance, Ethiopia became an important U.S. ally, but his reputation suffered at home in the 2000s over his disregard of human rights. Rumors about Meles’s being in ill health arose after he missed an African Union summit last month, although the government insisted he was in “good condition and recuperating” as recently as three weeks ago.

    August 21, 2012 6:34 AM

  4. PRESIDENTIAL RACE Poll: Obama Has 4-Point Lead Jim Watson / AFP

    4. Poll: Obama Has 4-Point Lead

    With less than a week to go before the Republican National Convention kicks off—and almost three weeks after Mitt Romney named Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate—President Obama is ahead in the race for the White House, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll. Obama is leading Romney 48 percent to 44 percent, a slight change from the July poll which had Obama beating Romney by six points. In the 12 key battleground states, Obama leads Romney by just three points—a dip from the eight-point lead he enjoyed in the same sampling according to the June and July NBC/WSJ polls.

    August 21, 2012 7:15 PM

  5. Never Back Down Todd Akin: I’m Not Dropping Out Orlin Wagner / AP Photo

    5. Todd Akin: I’m Not Dropping Out

    Despite the furor over Missouri senatorial candidate Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments, he has decided to remain in the race. On Tuesday, Mitt Romney called on Akin to "exit the Senate race," as Republican Party officials admitted that they have run out of time to pressure Akin to step aside on his own by the Tuesday-evening deadline. Akin has until Sept. 25 to take his name off the ballot, but let the initial deadline to do so pass Tuesday night.

    August 21, 2012 2:40 PM

  6. ATTACKS Obama Blasts Romney’s Tuition Plan Matt Sullivan / Getty Images

    6. Obama Blasts Romney’s Tuition Plan

    Once again courting the young vote, Barack Obama attacked rival Mitt Romney on the campaign trail Tuesday, telling an audience at the Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno that the Republican candidate was oblivious to the reality and burden of paying for college. His proposed education policies, Obama says, amount to little more than “shop around” for the best deal or “borrow more money from your parents if you have to.” The speech followed earlier statements he made at Ohio’s Capital University: “Not everybody has parents who have the money to lend. That may be news to some folks.”

    August 21, 2012 11:16 PM

  7. WASTE NOT U.S. Food Waste at 40 Percent Damian Dovarganes / AP Photo

    7. U.S. Food Waste at 40 Percent

    Americans have a global reputation for eating astounding amounts of food. Now it looks like consumers in the U.S. can add to that stereotype an equally embarrassing reputation for throwing out their food. According to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans throw out nearly every other bite of food. That adds up to 40 percent of the country’s annual supply, and a total of $165 billion of uneaten provisions. That’s a sharp 50 percent jump from the 1970s, and 10 times more than consumers in Southeast Asia.

    August 21, 2012 10:37 PM

  8. Akin-Gate Rape-Theory Doc Mitt Surrogate Evan Vucci / AP Photo

    8. Rape-Theory Doc Mitt Surrogate

    Mitt Romney may not be able to “defend” Todd Akin’s theory that women can’t get pregnant from “legitimate rape,” but apparently the physician behind this controversial theory was an “important surrogate” for Romney’s presidential campaign in 2008. Dr. Jack C. Wilke, former president of the National Right to Life Committee, is known as the “father of the anti-abortion movement.” A 2007 statement from the Romney campaign hailed Wilke as “a leading voice within the pro-life community and will be an important surrogate for Governor Romney's pro-life and pro-family agenda.” Obama adviser David Axelrod probably put it best when he tweeted, “Awkward.”

    August 21, 2012 5:38 PM

  9. Sign up For the daily beast's cheat sheet email
  10. TOMKAT Cruise-Holmes Divorce Finalized Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez / AFP

    9. Cruise-Holmes Divorce Finalized

    TomKat is, legally at least, no more. Less than two months after Katie Holmes filed for divorce from husband Tom Cruise, the case was closed Monday in a New York court. The former celebrity couple’s marriage is officially over. The exes, who married in 2006, reached a settlement in their divorce proceedings in early July, less than two weeks after the initial filing. Cruise and Holmes have a 6-year-old daughter together, Suri.

    August 21, 2012 9:36 PM

  11. ROYAL JEWELS Royal Spokesman: That’s Harry Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

    10. Royal Spokesman: That’s Harry

    Whose job is it to verify naked photos of Prince Harry? The royals spokesman confirmed on Wednesday that the naked photos leaked to TMZ of Prince Harry are "genuine." Nearly every aspect of Prince Harry’s recent romp in Las Vegas has been captured by cameras—including, now, a naked game of strip billiards. Harry was reportedly playing a game of strip pool that ended with the prince going full monty. (See the photos at TMZ.) One photo reveals Harry bashfully covering his crown jewels with his hands. Another shows him from behind—bum exposed—giving a female companion a bear hug.

    August 22, 2012 8:45 AM

  12. COMEBACK  Michael J. Fox Series Lands at NBC Jason Kempin / Getty Images

    11. Michael J. Fox Series Lands at NBC

    Will be based on his battle with Parkinson’s.
    Michael J. Fox is returning home. The sitcom veteran’s new comedy series, which sparked a “feeding frenzy” of a bidding war when he pitched it to networks last week, has been picked up by NBC--the network he first broke out on three decades ago as Alex P. Keaton in Family Ties. Fox’s new series is inspired by his own life, following a husband and father of three who is battling Parkinson’s disease. It’s his first regular TV role since departing Spin City in 2000.

    August 20, 2012 9:04 PM

  13. NAKED TRUTH  FBI: No Skinny-Dip Investigation Jacquelyn Martin / AP Photo

    12. FBI: No Skinny-Dip Investigation

    Though a report surfaced Sunday night that the FBI was investigating an incident in which 20 GOP lawmakers and staff, including Kansas Rep. Kevin Yoder, went skinny-dipping in Israel, sources now tell The Wall Street Journal that the FBI was investigating a separate trip that New York Rep. Michael Grimm took to Cyprus when it stumbled upon the details of the bathing in the buff. “Last time I checked, skinny-dipping anywhere, including a foreign country, is not a federal crime,” says Jan Baran, head of an election law group. Yoder has already apologized for “any embarrassment I have caused.”

    August 20, 2012 10:38 PM

  14. STORMY

    13. GOP Prepared for a Tampa Hurricane

    A hurricane in Florida in August? Republicans don’t have to be rocket scientists to make backup plans in case Tampa is hit with a hurricane during the convention—although no hurricane has hit Tampa since 1946. A violent storm once sent 15 feet of water over the land that is now the Tampa Bay Convention Center. And the site of this year’s convention is in a mandatory evacuation zone when storms reach 96mph, or category 2. The 2008 convention in Minnesota was affected by Hurricane Gustav making landfall 1,300 miles away.

    August 21, 2012 11:52 AM

  15. Tragic Two Teens Victims of Train Derailment Patrick Semansky / AP Photo

    14. Two Teens Victims of Train Derailment

    Two teenage girls were confirmed to be victims of a midnight train derailment in Maryland on Tuesday, reports NBC News. Elizabeth Nass and Rose Mayr, both 19, tweeted pictures of their feet dangling from the Ellicott City bridge just hours before the incident. “Looking down on old ec…@LizNassty” wrote Mayr. Emergency workers in Howard County are still searching for additional victims amid the automobiles left crushed below the tracks. Heading from Grafton, W.V., to Baltimore, the train contained no hazardous materials.

    August 21, 2012 12:39 PM

  16. FINAL WORD Court: No Immigration Checks in School Dave Martin / AP Photo

    15. Court: No Immigration Checks in School

    A federal appeals court on Monday struck down part of an Alabama law that allowed schools to check into students’ immigration status but upheld the part of the law that permits police to demand papers from criminal suspects. Alabama is the only state that had passed such a requirement. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the law unfairly signaled out illegal immigrants but upheld the part that allows police in that state and in Georgia to check people they stop for papers—known as the “show me your papers” requirement—and follows a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a similar law in Arizona.

    August 21, 2012 7:01 AM

  17. DEADLY Japanese Journalist Killed in Syria Kyodo / Reuters / Landov

    16. Japanese Journalist Killed in Syria

    Japanese journalist Mika Yamamoto has been killed while covering the ongoing conflict in Syria, Japan’s government confirmed on Monday. Yamamoto was a veteran war correspondent for Japan Press, and had covered the Afghan war and the U.S.-led invasion of Baghdad. A YouTube video posted Monday by an activist in Syria reportedly showed Yamamato’s body, although it’s not clear where and when she died. Meanwhile, President Obama told Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that if chemical weapons fall into the wrong hands, it’s a “red line” for the U.S.

    August 21, 2012 6:57 AM

  18. ‘ABSOLUTELY FALSE’ Scott Didn’t Have Brain Cancer Kevin Winter / Getty Images

    17. Scott Didn’t Have Brain Cancer

    After numerous outlets reported that filmmaker Tony Scott, who jumped to his death from a Los Angeles bridge Sunday, suffered from inoperable brain cancer at the time of his death, the Top Gun director’s family is calling the rumors “absolutely false.” TMZ reports that Scott’s wife told investigators that there was no truth to the brain cancer report, and that her husband had no other severe medical issues that would have caused him to commit suicide.

    August 20, 2012 8:58 PM

  19. YIKES Rosie O’Donnell Has Heart Attack Nam Y. Huh / AP Photo

    18. Rosie O’Donnell Has Heart Attack

    Rosie O’Donnell posted on her blog on Monday that she suffered a heart attack last week and doctors had to insert a stent. O’Donnell said she suffered symptoms after helping an “enormous” woman to her car. O’Donnell took some aspirin and later wrote on her blog “thank god / saved by a tv commercial / literally.” O’Donnell resisted calling paramedics and instead went to a cardiologist appointment the next day, where her doctor found one of her arteries was 99 percent blocked. A rep for O’Donnell said she is now home and “resting comfortably.”

    August 21, 2012 7:03 AM

  20. AFGHANISTAN Militants Hit U.S. General’s Plane Keri Wiginton, Chicago Tribune / MCT / Landov

    19. Militants Hit U.S. General’s Plane

    Afghan militants threw rockets at a plane belonging to U.S. Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, a spokesman for the U.S. military–led coalition said Tuesday. Dempsey was not aboard the aircraft at the time, but the hit still represents a victory of sorts for the Taliban—especially after two deadly attacks last week, including the Taliban’s apparent downing of a U.S. helicopter and the killing of two U.S. soldiers by Afghan police. A coalition spokesman said Dempsey had left Afghanistan by Tuesday morning—but it’s unclear what plane he left on or what condition that plane was in.

    August 21, 2012 5:59 AM

  21. NICE TRY Akin: Please Forgive Me Jeff Roberson / AP Photo

    20. Akin: Please Forgive Me

    At least Todd Akin believes in himself. The Missouri Republican released a new ad Tuesday where he asked voters to forgive him. "The fact is, rape can lead to pregnancy ... I am asking for your forgiveness," Akin says in the ad, where he speaks directly to the camera. Akin insisted Monday night that he will stay in the Senate race despite being abandoned by much of his party after claiming that women can’t get pregnant from “legitimate rape.” “I am not a quitter,” Akin told Mike Huckabee. But Akin was a no-show on Piers Morgan Tonight, prompting Morgan to address an empty chair instead of Akin and call him a “gutless little twerp.”

    August 21, 2012 6:19 AM

  22. YOU BELONG TO ME Taylor Swift Comforts Conor Kennedy Getty Images; Splash News

    21. Taylor Swift Comforts Conor Kennedy

    Taylor Swift was photographed comforting her rumored new boyfriend, Conor Kennedy, at his mother’s grave in Hyannis Port over the weekend. During the impromptu memorial service with about 15 other people, Swift, 22, held Kennedy’s hand and caressed his back as they honored his mother, who committed suicide in May. Swift, who recently purchased a $5 million house near the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, reportedly met a number of the extended members of the Kennedy clan at Kyle Kennedy’s wedding on Saturday.

    August 21, 2012 9:18 AM

  23. MONEYBAGS Romney Has Huge Cash Advantage Evan Vucci / AP Photo

    22. Romney Has Huge Cash Advantage

    Those days when President Obama was a fundraising powerhouse must seem like a long time ago now. The president and the Democratic National Committee raised $75 million in July, significantly less than the $91 million it spent and also significantly less than the $101 million his challenger, Mitt Romney, and the Republican National Committee raised in the same month, according to campaign finance filings released Monday. Even worse for Obama: the RNC reported having some $62 million more in the bank, with $186 million cash on hand compared with $124 million for the Democrats. But it turns out Romney isn’t completely silent on the Chick-fil-A controversy: according to the campaign filings, his team spent $500 at a Chick-fil-A in Atlanta last month.

    August 21, 2012 6:25 AM

  24. Like Thiel Sells Facebook Shares Ben Margot / AP Photo

    23. Thiel Sells Facebook Shares

    At least someone’s still making money off of Facebook. Facebook Inc. director Peter Thiel sold most of his shares in the social-networking website, after restrictions on insider sales ended. He sold roughly 20.1 million shares Aug. 16–17, raising about $395.8 million. But he had already taken in some $640.1 million during the company’s initial public offering. Thiel had initially invested $500,000 in the company back in 2004. Facebook unlocked 271.1 million shares last week, and another 1.44 billion shares will be unlocked by November.

    August 21, 2012 9:44 AM

  25. Not an Athlete Prince Harry Races Ryan Lochte Courtesy of Jasmine Jae

    24. Prince Harry Races Ryan Lochte

    At least he still has those palaces to console him. Prince Harry continued to party on Las Vegas by challenging Olympian Ryan Lochte to a race and losing badly. The prince was at the XS nightclub in Las Vegas for Lochte’s 28th birthday party, when he jumped into the club’s swimming pool fully clothed at 3 am and challenged the swimmer. Harry received a three-second head start, but still fell behind and Lochte beat him. Earlier this year, Harry ran a race against Usain Bolt in Jamaica, which Prince Harry only won by false starting.

    August 21, 2012 1:15 PM

  26. HOLY COW! ‘Fifty Shades’ Boosts Barnes & Noble Gilbert Carrasquillo

    25. ‘Fifty Shades’ Boosts Barnes & Noble

    More proof that the Fifty Shades trilogy is dominating the books industry: Barnes & Noble got a much-needed rise from sales of the BDSM trilogy, which helped the bookseller narrow losses for its latest quarter. Quarterly revenue for the nation’s largest bookstore chain climbed 2 percent to $1.1 billion, partially due to last year’s closing of competitor Borders. But the CEO of the company’s retail unit told analysts that “clearly Shades of Grey had the biggest impact in the numbers.” All in all, Barnes & Noble’s net loss in the quarter revealed a 28 percent improvement from its net loss at the same time last year.  

    August 21, 2012 12:16 PM

  27. TANKING Best Buy Profits Down 92 Percent Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

    26. Best Buy Profits Down 92 Percent

    The nation's biggest electronics retailer is taking a huge hit. In its second-quarter earnings report this morning, Best Buy missed Wall Street estimates and posted a staggering 92 percent profit slump. The news comes on the heels of a major stock slide, as well as reports that the business's founder, Richard Schulze, is trying to buy it out. The company appointed a new CEO on Monday, after its ex-chief, Brian Dunn, was forced to resign in April over an "inappropriate relationship" with a 29-year-old employee.

    August 21, 2012 2:15 PM

  28. FUNNY MAN Jimmy Kimmel Moves to 11:30 Richard Cartwright, ABC / AP Photos

    27. Jimmy Kimmel Moves to 11:30

    Better get your sleep while you can. Late-night television will have three comics contending for your insomnia in the wee hours starting early next year, with Jimmy Kimmel jumping to the same 11:30 p.m. time slot shared by David Letterman and Jay Leno. “It’s all a bit scary, too, but it’s very exciting,” Kimmel said after the Tuesday announcement by ABC. “This was just a decision that ABC made on their own. We didn’t push them or bully them.” Disney/ABC president Anne Sweeney said that this is the veteran comedian’s time to shine. “This is Jimmy’s moment,” Sweeney said, adding that he stands poised to scoop up viewers tired of Leno and Letterman’s schtick. “Their audiences are diminishing, and Jimmy, who has now been on 10 years, is continuing to grow.”

    August 21, 2012 1:52 PM

  29. THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID ‘The Office’ Ending Next Season Chris Haston / NBC

    28. ‘The Office’ Ending Next Season

    The Office is closing its doors. The NBC comedy, which suffered a huge ratings drop following the exit of Steve Carell’s bumbling- boss character Michael Scott at the end of the show’s seventh season, will end its run after the upcoming ninth season. Other series regulars, including Mindy Kaling and Rainn Wilson, will only have limited roles this year, as they are already transitioning to other comedies. Even with its viewership dive, The Office was NBC’s highest-rated scripted comedy last season. Showrunner Greg Daniels says he’s unsure whether Carell will return for the sitcom’s swan song.

    August 21, 2012 3:23 PM

  30. Acquisitions IAC Offers to Buy About.com Mario Tama / Getty Images

    29. IAC Offers to Buy About.com

    IAC/InterActiveCorp, which owns The Newsweek Daily Beast Co., has reportedly offered more than $300 million to buy About.com from the New York Times Co., even though it already accepted a bid from Answers.com for $270 million. About.com features 900 topic sites that often appear high in search results. The New York Times Co. originally bought the company for $410 million in 2005, but wrote down About.com’s value to $195 million last month. A source said, “There are still interested buyers who feel that the $280 million price is low and can be easily matched.”

    August 21, 2012 5:19 PM

  31. TV Michael Strahan to Join ‘Live!’ Bill Kostroun / AP Photo

    30. Michael Strahan to Join ‘Live!’

    He’s drafted. ABC has reportedly selected Michael Strahan to become the new co-host of Live! alongside Kelly Ripa. The announcement will be made in early September. Strahan is a former NFL player who also briefly starred on the Fox sitcom, Brothers. Strahan currently works on Fox NFL Sunday, and is also expected to maintain his role there even though it films in Los Angeles while Live! films in New York. Ripa has not had a permanent sidekick since Regis left the show in late 2011.

    August 21, 2012 5:38 PM