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  1. ELECTION Obama Shows 7 Point Lead Brendan Smialowski, AFP / GettyImages

    1. Obama Shows 7 Point Lead

    What crisis in Libya? President Obama has widened his lead over GOP challenger Mitt Romney by seven points, according to the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll. The Thursday survey asked 990 likely voters whom they would choose if the election were today. The results? A surprising 48 percent polled selected Obama while just 41 percent chose Romney. Voters polled also said they favored Obama’s approach to taxes, health care, social security, and the war on terror. Romney was only favored when it came to his approach on the federal deficit. A new Marist poll also released today shows Obama building leads over Romney in the key swing states of Ohio, Virginia, and Florida.

    September 13, 2012 6:46 PM

  2. FINANCE Stocks Surge After Fed’s Stimulus Andrew Burton / Getty Images

    2. Stocks Surge After Fed’s Stimulus

    Finally, there’s good news from Wall Street. Following the Federal Reserve’s announcement Thursday of an aggressive plan to goose the economy, stocks surged to highs that haven’t been hit in years. The Dow and the S&P closed at their highest levels since Dec. 2007, while the Nasdaq peaked at a level not reached since Nov. 2000. The Fed announced that it plans to buy $40 billion of agency mortgage debt per month and maintain that level until the unemployment rate improves. Almost 600 shares on the NYSE and Nasdaq hit year-long highs.

    September 13, 2012 5:23 PM

  3. ANGER U.S. Embassy Protests Continue Khalil, AFP / GettyImages

    3. U.S. Embassy Protests Continue

    With the attack on the Libyan consulate that killed four confirmed as premeditated by militant groups, riots continued outside American embassies throughout countries in the Middle East. On Thursday in Yemen, protesters overran the U.S. embassy, gained access to the compound, smashing windows, looting, and burning a car.  As protests continued in Cairo, smaller demonstrations also emerged in Israel, Iran, and  Bangladesh. The violence has been condemned by Obama, Clinton, and leaders of protest-ridden countries. Meanwhile, authorities in Libya say they’ve made four arrests in relation to the consulate attack. The two remaining victims were identified as Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, both former Navy SEALs.

    September 13, 2012 11:25 PM

  4. Economic Recovery Fed Announces More Bond Buying Saul Loeb, AFP / Getty Images

    4. Fed Announces More Bond Buying

    The Federal Reserve announced on Thursday that it would launch a new round of bond buying in an effort to boost the economy. As Chairman Ben Bernanke held a press conference Thursday to discuss the changes, stocks rallied and the Dow rose 200 points. Bernanke cautioned that the Fed could not offset the effects of the fiscal cliff, and singled out Congress. “Monetary policy as I've said many times is not panacea. It is not by itself able to solve these problems. We are looking for policymakers in other areas to do their part.” The central bank plans to buy $40 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities each month on an open-ended basis and will also continue to sell short-term bonds in order to buy longer-term bonds.

    September 13, 2012 3:59 PM

  5. ATTACK Other Two Libya Victims ID’d Alex Wong / Getty Images

    5. Other Two Libya Victims ID’d

    Two days after a violent attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, left four Americans dead, all the victims have now been identified. The names of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and State Department official Sean Smith were already revealed, but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released a statement praising the victims’ dedication and naming the remaining two Thursday. Tyrone Woods spent two decades as a SEAL, was a father of three, and had worked protecting diplomats in dangerous posts for the past two years. Glen Doherty was also a Navy SEAL and a paramedic who served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other conflict zones. “We honor the memory of our fallen colleagues by continuing their work and carrying on the best traditions of a bold and generous nation,” Clinton said.

    September 13, 2012 10:25 PM

  6. DESPICABLE Woman Reports Rape in Central Park Stan Honda, AFP / Getty Images

    6. Woman Reports Rape in Central Park

    A 73-year-old woman said she was beaten and raped in New York’s Central Park on Wednesday in broad daylight, and police said Thursday afternoon they had a "person of interest" in custoy. The woman told police that she was watching birds near the John Lennon memorial at Strawberry Fields when a man asked her, “Do you remember me?” before allegedly sexually assaulting her at 11 a.m. and stealing her purse as he left. She said she thinks the attacker is the same man whom she saw masturbating about a week ago in a more isolated part of the park. A fellow birdwatcher told reporters he found the woman around 11:30 a.m., after noticing a pair of legs sticking out along a path.

    September 13, 2012 1:05 PM

  7. OUT OF THE SHADOWS AP: Anti-Muslim Filmmaker ID’d

    7. AP: Anti-Muslim Filmmaker ID’d

    An anonymous law-enforcement official has confirmed to the Associated Press that Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is the man behind the amateur anti-Muslim film that has been blamed for inciting riots in Libya, Egypt, and Yemen. Nakoula said Tuesday he knew “Sam Bacile,” the pseudonym of the person behind the film Innocence of Muslims, but he denied he is Bacile.

    September 13, 2012 11:28 AM

  8. DISCOVERED New Monkey Species Identified Kimio Honda via Florida Atlantic University

    8. New Monkey Species Identified

    Stop “lesulaing” around just doesn’t have the same ring to it. A new species of monkey, named the lesula, has been identified in Africa, marking only the second time in 28 years a new mammal has been discovered on the continent. Lesula (Cercopithecus lomamiensis) is described as shy and quiet by the researchers who discovered the species. Its face is bare and surrounded by a mane of long blond hairs. It lives in small groups of one to five monkeys, and resides in lowland rainforests in the center of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    September 13, 2012 3:44 PM

  9. WAISTLINE WARS NYC Soda Ban Approved Scott Olson / Getty Images

    9. NYC Soda Ban Approved

    Mayor Bloomberg really wants New Yorkers to be skinny. First, the calorie crusader required chain restaurants to post calorie counts on menus. And then on Thursday, Bloomberg’s plan to ban the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants and movie theaters has been approved by the New York City Board of Health. The ambitious initiative—which six in 10 New Yorkers say is a bad idea—prohibits selling sweetened drinks (nondiet sodas, energy drinks, presweetened iced teas) in containers greater than 16 ounces. But don’t worry, Big Gulp fans. The restrictions are only on establishments that receive inspection grades from the health department, which does not include convenience stores like 7-Eleven.

    September 13, 2012 12:26 PM

  10. OUT OF CONTROL Cops ‘Scared’ of Bynes’s Driving Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office / Getty Images

    10. Cops ‘Scared’ of Bynes’s Driving

    Well this could explain some previous incidences. Earlier today TMZ posted pictures of what appears to be child star Amanda Bynes smoking pot behind the wheel. Unnamed cops who spoke to the gossip site said they are afraid of the danger the actress poses when driving a moving vehicle. “The public should be afraid of her. From looking at the photos, and what she’s smoking, she has no sense of reality. If she’s not stopped she’s gonna kill someone,” one officer said. Another ranked her as a 10 on a danger scale of one to 10. Bynes was recently charged in two hit and runs.

    September 13, 2012 5:28 PM

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  12. CONGRATULATIONS Nick and Vanessa Lachey Have Baby Dan Steinberg / AP Photo

    11. Nick and Vanessa Lachey Have Baby

    Will he be friends with Jessica Simpson’s newborn daughter? Nick and Vanessa Lachey’s son Camden James was born on Wednesday. “Love has truly been redefined for both of us,” said the couple in a statement. The Lacheys were married in July 2011 and announced they were expecting a baby in March. Nick Lachey has said he wanted a family “for a long time.”

    September 13, 2012 7:15 AM

  13. APOLOGY NBC: Sorry for Not Airing Memorial Peter Kramer, NBC / AP Photo

    12. NBC: Sorry for Not Airing Memorial

    The NBC news chief apologized to the affiliate stations on Wednesday for not cutting into a Kris Jenner interview during the Today show for the moment of silence for the Sept. 11th victims. “We made an editorial call resulting in the Sept. 11 moment of silence not being seen,” said NBC News president Steve Capus in a memo to the affiliates. The other three networks all interrupted their shows at 8:46 a.m. to show the moment of silence in New York’s Ground Zero on Tuesday, although NBC officially has said it does not routinely observe the moment of silence since 2006 and only did last year for the tenth anniversary of the attacks.

    September 13, 2012 7:14 AM

  14. UNREST Report: Marines in Egypt Had No Ammo AFP / Getty Images

    13. Report: Marines in Egypt Had No Ammo

    The U.S. Marines charged with defending the American embassy in Egypt from demonstrators were not permitted by the State Department to carry live ammunition. According to reports on U.S. Marine Corps blogs, ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson “neutralized any U.S. military capability that was dedicated to preserve her life and protect the U.S. Embassy” by restricting the use of ammunition. According to the opinion of one Marine blog, if the reports are true, Patterson did not live up to her obligation to protect U.S. interests: “She neutered the Marines posted to defend the embassy, trusting the Egyptians over the Marines.”

    September 13, 2012 2:57 PM

  15. ELECTIONS Pro-Europe Party Wins Dutch Vote Jerry Lampen, AFP / Getty Images

    14. Pro-Europe Party Wins Dutch Vote

    Centrist Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has claimed victory on Thursday in his country’s elections, while the anti-immigrant, anti-European Union party took heavy losses. Another pan-European party, the center-left Labor party, came in a close second—signaling that the Dutch are seeking to work with Europe for a solution to the economic crisis. The move toward the center for the Netherlands represents a change in the pattern of recent elections, and Geert Wilders’s anti-immigrant Freedom Party—which has gained traction in the past few years—is expected to only win 15 seats, down nine from its previous 24. The provisional final vote is expected to be announced later Thursday with the final results on Monday.

    September 13, 2012 6:56 AM

  16. I'M LOVIN' IT McDonalds to Post Calorie Counts Paul Sakuma / AP Photo

    15. McDonalds to Post Calorie Counts

    A McDouble is 99 cents—some  would just like to leave it at that. McDonalds announced on Wednesday that it will be posting calorie information on its giant menu boards both inside the restaurant and at the drive-through window in the U.S. chains as early as next week. The fast-food chain will test healthier items such as egg-white breakfast sandwiches, with McDonalds president Jan Fields saying “calories are part of the story.” Nutritionists applauded the move, with many hoping it would signal a change in policy for other fast-food chains in an effort to quell the obesity epidemic. McDonalds also recently started a “Favorites Under 400 Calories” menu last month, and sales at McDonald’s U.S. locations up three percent last month.

    September 13, 2012 6:58 AM

  17. ANTI-ISLAM California Man Admits Role in Film Mahmud Hams, AFP / GettyImages

    16. California Man Admits Role in Film

    A man claiming to be the manager of a production group behind the film which sparked riots in Libya might actually be the director, the Associated Press reports. A man named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula admitted involvement and told reporters he knows the filmmaker, Sam Bacile. Bacile spoke to the press earlier today and claimed to be an Israeli Jew, but Bacile’s cellphone number traced back to Nakoula’s house and so far, there is no evidence of Bacile’s existence. Research by the AP found Nakoula has a long criminal history and a history of using the ‘Bacile’ persona. The film’s actors issued a statement on Wednesday saying they were taken advantage of and misled about the film’s intentions.

    September 12, 2012 9:25 PM

  18. PILE ON GOP Attacks Romney on Libya Charles Dharapak / AP Photo

    17. GOP Attacks Romney on Libya

    Is Mitt Romney hoping to make his own mess to distract from the clashes overseas? Republicans sought to distance themselves from Romney on Wednesday after the presidential contender attacked President Obama over the response to the death of the U.S. ambassador in Libya. “He bobbled it,” said Republican lobbyist Ed Rogers. Key Republicans such as New York Rep. Peter King, Peggy Noonan, and Mark Salter criticized Romney’s response. Meanwhile, Arizona Republican Rep. Jon Kyl compared the U.S. embassy’s statement in Cairo to a judge telling a rape victim “you asked for it because of the way you dressed.”

    September 13, 2012 6:37 AM

  19. CONFRONTATION Two Warships Moved to Libya STR, AFP / GettyImages

    18. Two Warships Moved to Libya

    America is responding to the Tuesday’s events in Libya with subtle intimidation. According to U.S. officials, two warships are en route to the Libyan coast as a result of the attack that killed American ambassador Chris Stevens and three staffers. USS Laboon and USS McFaul will be stationed off the coast and are outfitted with Tamahawk missiles, but do not have a mission at this point. The commanders would respond to any mission ordered by President Obama.

    September 12, 2012 8:10 PM

  20. CHICAGO TEACHERS Both Sides Report Progress in Strike Sitthixay Ditthavong / AP Photo

    19. Both Sides Report Progress in Strike

    Both sides were optimistic late Wednesday after talks between the Chicago teachers union and school board ended—with leaders of both sides saying they hoped school would be back in session by Friday. “We feel like we’re in a pretty good place, we’ve got a lot of progress today,” said Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, while School Board president said there were “really good discussions and proposals on the most difficult issues.” Meanwhile, smaller rallies were held at schools throughout the city on Wednesday, in contrast to the mass demonstrations on the first two days of the strike. The teachers face an uphill battle for support every day the strike lasts, with over 350,000 students locked out of school.

    September 13, 2012 6:42 AM

  21. HIGHER

    20. First-Time Unemployment Up

    The labor market is recovering—but much too slowly for anyone's taste. The Labor Department reported that last week, 382,000 Americans filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits. That's up 15,000 from last week, and the four-week moving average, which smooths out fluctuations, rose to 375,000. In a healthy labor market, this number would be trending down.

    September 13, 2012 8:41 AM

  22. TELL-ALL Sources: Lewinsky Writing Book Timothy Clary / AFP-Getty Images

    21. Sources: Lewinsky Writing Book

    If Bill Clinton’s back on stage at the DNC, that must mean Monica Lewinsky is writing a book. The woman at the center of the former president’s impeachment scandal has been shopping around a top-secret book, the New York Post reported Thursday. “I’m sure every publisher is interested in what she has to say,” one source told the Post. Major publishers reportedly signed a nondisclosure agreement, so it’s unclear who even the frontrunners are to publish the tome. The former White House intern has kept a low profile since moving to London in 2005.

    September 13, 2012 10:53 AM

  23. STIMULUS Fed to Aggressively Buy Bonds Mark Wilson / Getty Images

    22. Fed to Aggressively Buy Bonds

    The Federal Reserve announced Thursday that it would buy back $40 billion of mortgage debt per month until the employment outlook improves. The Fed also announced it will keep interest rates “exceptionally low” through the middle of 2015 to bolster the economy. The stimulus program not only represents a significant shift in the U.S. monetary policy—tying the bond buying to the economic outlook—it is also a much more aggressive step than many analysts expected. The decision came after a dismal jobs report last week—the U.S. added only 96,000 jobs in August, less than are needed to keep up with population growth. U.S. stocks rose on the news, with Standard & Poor’s above its highest close since 2008.

    September 13, 2012 1:00 PM

  24. TRAGEDY Murder Charges in Pakistan Fires

    23. Murder Charges in Pakistan Fires

    Charges have been filed in Pakistan against the owners of a garment factory where over 200 people were killed in a fire on Wednesday. The case has been filed against the owners and members of management of Ali Enterprises, which operates a retail factory that saw 289 people perish when a blaze tore through the building during an evening shift. Officials say the building was in poor condition and had no emergency exits, forcing dozens of workers to jump from upper-story windows while others were trapped in the burning basement. In the city of Lahore the same day, 25 were killed in a fire at a shoe factory.

    September 13, 2012 10:07 AM

  25. GET WELL SOON Kathy Bates Has Double Mastectomy Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

    24. Kathy Bates Has Double Mastectomy

    Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates is recovering from a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer several weeks ago. “Luckily, I don’t have to undergo radiation or chemo,” Bates, 64, tells People magazine. “My family call me Kat because I always land on my feet.” It’s the second bout with cancer for Bates, who survived ovarian cancer nine years ago. The 1991 Best Actress Oscar-winner for Misery is currently nominated for two Emmy Awards, Best Actress in a Drama Series for Harry’s Law and Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for Two and a Half Men. The ceremony takes place Sept. 23.

    September 13, 2012 10:15 AM

  26. DEFIANT Rioters Storm U.S. Embassy in Yemen Mohammed Huwais, AFP / Getty Images

    25. Rioters Storm U.S. Embassy in Yemen

    Hillary Clinton said that the amateur U.S. film that depicts the prophet Muhammed as a fraud was "disgusting and reprehensible." Meanwhile, rioters stormed the U.S. embassy in Yemen on Thursday morning, breaching the wall of the embassy and setting fire to vehicles as security forces reportedly opened fire. Security forces managed to gain control of the compound in Sanaa by using the live ammunition, tear gas and water cannons, injuring several people, although protests continued outside the embassy walls. Protests have broken out throughout the Muslim world—including Iran, Tunisia, and Gaza. In Cairo, protests continued for the third day  on Thursday outside the U.S. embassy, with at least 10 people injured in overnight clashes. In Libya, the U.S. ambassador and three others were killed on Tuesday by riots over the film outside the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

    September 13, 2012 9:45 AM

  27. CONSULATE ATTACK Libya Arrests Four Esam Al-Fetori / Reuters-Landov

    26. Libya Arrests Four in Attack

    Libya has arrested four people in connection with the attack against the U.S. consulate that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others. Security sources say that a larger group of people are under surveillance in addition to the four in custody. The  country has organized a multiagency task force, made up of intelligence, defense, and interior officials to hunt down the suspected Islamic militants who carried out the attack. Meanwhile, officials have announced that a former Navy SEAL was among the four Americans killed during the attack. 42-year-old Glen Doherty was part of the security team protecting the ambassador. The third victim was identified as Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, a former member of the Air Force. The identify of the fourth American who was killed has not yet been released.

    September 13, 2012 12:45 PM

  28. VIOLENCE Militants Were Behind Libya Attack Gianluigi Guercia, AFP / GettyImages

    27. Militants Were Behind Libya Attack

    A senior Libyan official says the consulate attack that killed American ambassador Christopher Stevens and three staffers was an organized two-part attack by militants. Protests erupted around the U.S. consulate in outrage over a movie that was deemed anti-Muslim before a grenade hit the compound. Libya’s deputy interior minister said the attacks were timed for the anniversary of 9/11 and used the protests as a cover. Consulate staffers were taken to a supposedly secret safe house, which was attacked as an evacuation mission arrived. The minister confirmed that a number of suspects have been arrested. The White House is continuing a separate investigation into the attack.

    September 13, 2012 6:55 PM