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  1. 14.1 percent Reasons for Romney Tax Release Emerge Charles Dharapak / AP Photo

    1. Reasons for Romney Tax Release Emerge

    Now that Mitt Romney finally released his much-asked-about tax return, the question remains, why now? Prior to releasing his 2011 return Friday, Romney had refused to reveal his tax rate, and said he had never paid less than 13 percent (whereas his 2011 return shows he paid 14.1 percent). A source close to the Romney campaign told Politico that strategists simply decided there would constantly be requests for Romney’s personal financial records and wanted to put an end to speculation. Aides close to Romney also tell Politico the release was strategically timed so that discussions over Romney’s taxes would be over by the time he faces Obama in the first debate. Another GOP strategist speculated that the move was an attempt to make Romney seem more transparent and accessible amid criticism for his recent “47 percent” remarks.

    September 21, 2012 9:57 PM

  2. ANTI-ISLAM FILM 19 Killed in Pakistan Protests Aamir Qureshi, AFP / Getty Images

    2. 19 Killed in Pakistan Protests

    Nineteen people were killed in protests in Pakistan on Friday, the deadliest day of protests yet in reaction to an amateur anti-Muslim U.S. film. Protesters set fire to a motorway tollbooth outside the capital and two cinema buildings in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing several, including a driver for a Pakistani TV station who was shot when police opened fire to disperse demonstrators. Pakistan’s government declared a “day of love for the Prophet” in a move that highlights the influence of religious parties in the country’s politics. In anticipation of demonstrations, the U.S. closed its embassy in Jakarta and Germany closed its embassy in Khartoum. Despite President Obama’s efforts to condemn the film, the U.S. has borne the brunt of anger in the Middle East, though a caricature mocking the Prophet Muhammad in a satirical French magazine has further incensed protesters.

    September 21, 2012 12:00 PM

  3. LIBYA Islamist Militia Withdraws From Benghazi Mohammad Hannon / AP Photo

    3. Islamist Militia Withdraws From Benghazi

    At least one person is dead and more than 20 are wounded after pro-government protesters forced the Islamist militia group Ansar al-Sharia from their final remaining base in Benghazi early Saturday. “No more al Qaeda!” protesters chanted as they overtook the base to cries of “The blood we shed for freedom shall not go in vain!” More than 30,000 Libyan demonstrators marched Friday to call for the disbanding of the country’s growing number of militias and voice their concern over Islamic extremism in Libya—especially last week’s attack on U.S. government officials. “After what happened at the American Consulate, the people of Benghazi had enough of the extremists,” one Libyan demonstrator told Al Jazeera. But Friday’s militia expulsion isn’t purely the result of spontaneous civic activism: the sweep appears to be part of a coordinated action by Libyan police to rid Benghazi of the Islamist militia.

    September 21, 2012 9:50 PM

  4. DEBUT iPhone 5 Sales Soar Christof Stache, AFP / Getty Images

    4. iPhone 5 Sales Soar

    Welcome to the world, iPhone 5. In spite of early criticism about the new model’s mapping features, buyers swarmed Apple stores around the world Friday— some after enduring lines up to 68 hours long. With opening day underway, the company looks poised to sell a record 10 million phones during its debut. Global sales began at 8:00 a.m. Friday in Sydney, where over 600 consumers waited anxiously outside the flagship store. Customers in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, France and Great Britain lined up too, with reports calling the 1,297-person line outside London’s Regent Street Apple the longest in retail history. Meanwhile, Apple Inc. has issued a statement vowing to improve its mapping application, a “cloud-based solution” that the company says will work better the more people use it.

    September 21, 2012 1:20 PM

  5. OUCH While Obama receives cheers. Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel-MCT

    5. AARP Boos Ryan Over Health Plan

    Guess not all seniors like Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan. In back-to-back speeches at the AARP convention, President Obama got rounds of applause and cheers talking about his health-care reform, while Paul Ryan was met with boos and yells of “no!” as he swore to repeal Obamacare. The audience continued milder heckling of Ryan throughout his speech, but did cheer when he brought his mother on stage. In their speeches, Obama said the GOP’s plan will make money for insurance companies, and Ryan said Obama lacks the political will to reform. The negative backlash from the AARP—the country’s largest senior-citizens lobby—should be worrying for Romney, who trailed Obama by 10 points in a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that asked which candidate’s approach to Medicare was best.

    September 21, 2012 10:37 PM

  6. FATTENING New Study Proves Soda Obesity Link Mario Tama / Getty Images

    6. New Study Proves Soda Obesity Link

    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg must love this new study. The mayor has recently banned sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces, and now, a new study led by the Harvard School of Public Health reveals that drinking soda and sugary drinks in itself increases an individual’s risk of obesity—regardless of a consumer’s other habits that could contribute to weight gain. The decades-long study of more than 33,000 Americans also had some good news for diet soda drinkers: sugar-free sodas don’t seem raise the risk of obesity. The intuitive study also found that genetics—along with eating and exercise habits—can make a person more susceptible to becoming overweight. The Harvard study is the first to prove conclusively that reducing soda consumption would lower weight or body fat.

    September 21, 2012 5:25 PM

  7. CLOSE CALL Ann Romney’s Plane Makes Emergency Landing Justin Sullivan

    7. Ann Romney’s Plane Makes Emergency Landing

    Ann Romney is safe after a private plane carrying her from California to Nebraska was forced to make an emergency landing in Colorado. The Romney campaign is reporting that the plane was forced to make an unexpected landing after smoke—allegedly the result of an electrical fire—began filling the cabin. All 10 people on board, including four staff members and two members of the Secret Service, left the incident unharmed. The Republican presidential nominee’s wife made headlines this week when she fired back at critics of her husband's campaign on a radio interview in Iowa, "You want to try it? Get in the ring."

    September 21, 2012 7:06 PM

  8. GRAND TOUR Shuttle Endeavour Lands in L.A. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

    8. Shuttle Endeavour Lands in L.A.

    Space shuttle Endeavour, strapped to a 747 jumbo jet, flew around California as thousands watched from the ground before it finally landed at the Los Angeles airport Friday afternoon. The shuttle had flown 25 missions for a total of 299 days in space before making its rounds over San Francisco, Sacramento, and Southern California attractions like Disneyland. Endeavour will now be put on display at the California Science Center. Before being put to rest the shuttle will be paraded through the streets of L.A., which requires the removal of 400 trees and hundreds of utility poles, street lights, and traffic lights. The city says the lights will go back up and 1,000 new trees will be planted to replace the removed ones.

    September 21, 2012 4:17 PM

  9. HORRIFYING Man Mauled by Tiger at Zoo Julie Larsen Maher, WCS/AP Photo

    9. Man Mauled by Tiger at Zoo

    A 25-year-old man is reportedly in critical condition after he was attacked inside the tiger exhibit at the Bronx Zoo Friday afternoon. After securing the tiger, EMTs rushed the young man to Jacobi Medical Center where his left foot was quickly amputated. Police report the man also suffered puncture wounds, and a broken ankle and arm. According to the NYPD, the man appears to have jumped over the Wild Asia Monorail and into the tiger exhibit. The news site DNAinfo is reporting the man may have jumped out of the car he was riding in and into the den in a suicide attempt. Asked whether or not the man appeared to be emotionally disturbed, a police official responded, “It certainly appears that way.”

    September 21, 2012 6:16 PM

  10. NOT AGAIN Bynes Charged With Driving With Suspended License Los Angeles Conty Sheriff's Department / AP Photo

    10. Bynes Charged With Driving With Suspended License

    Amanda Bynes can’t seem to stay out of the news. Along with reportedly talking to herself  and smoking marijuana in her car, Bynes is being charged with two counts of driving with a suspended license. The former child star was pulled over twice last Sunday—within the span of only an hour and a half—and ticketed. The second time she was pulled over, her car was impounded. These newest charges pile on top of Bynes’s current legal woes—she is also facing a DUI and two hit-and-run charges. The troubled actress recently told People she is “doing amazing.”

    September 21, 2012 8:53 PM

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  12. BUST Fiona Apple Arrested for Drugs Hudspeth County Sheriff's Office / AP Photo

    11. Fiona Apple Arrested for Drugs

    Fiona Apple is joining the ranks of Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, and Armie Hammer, after being arrested at the same Texas border stop where other celebrities have been taken in for drug possession as well. Drug-sniffing dogs found hashish (a concentrated form of cannabis) and marijuana on Apple’s tour bus. According to the sheriff’s office, the singer “freely admitted” to owning the drugs and she was taken to jail and released today after posting $10,000 for bail.

    September 20, 2012 11:35 PM

  13. LIBYA Warning Signs Preceded Benghazi Attack STR / AFP / Getty Images

    12. Warning Signs Preceded Benghazi Attack

    Obama administration officials are now openly referring to the tragic attack on Sept. 11 that killed four in Benghazi as a terrorist assault. Interviews with Libyan witnesses and American officials, though still contradictory, have gradually given the picture of a highly coordinated ambush. According to The New York Times, survivors of the first assault on the U.S. consulate retreated to a villa away from the main building, believing they were safe. But they were being watched by more attackers, who sprayed them with gunfire, killing two security guards. There were a number of ominous signals and minor attacks in Benghazi in the several months before Sept. 11, but U.S. officials say they were monitored and security was deemed sufficient. Ambassador Christopher Stephens, who was killed in the Sept. 11 attack, opposed adding more security details, wanting to keep a low profile and show faith in the Libyan people.

    September 20, 2012 11:30 PM

  14. MORTALITY RATES Life Span Drops for Whites Uwe Umstatter / Getty Images

    13. Life Span Drops for Whites

    Is health care to blame? Troubling new research shows that life expectancy for the less-educated white Americans is down four years since 1999, reversing longstanding theories that most educated whites were making the biggest strides in life span. The reasons for the dip are unclear, though researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago speculate rising obesity, increased smoking rates among less educated white women and a lack of health insurance for the least educated Americans may provide some explanations. White women who hadn’t graduated from high school lost five years of life between 1990 and 2008, according the lead investigator on the study—a decline that rivals the seven-year drop for Russian men in the years after the Soviet Union collapsed.

    September 21, 2012 7:58 AM

  15. WARNING SHOTS South Korea Fires at North’s Vessels Lee Jin-man / AP Photo

    14. South Korea Fires at North’s Vessels

    South Korea’s navy fired warning shots at North Korean fishing boats Friday after the vessels crossed a maritime boundary that has been disputed since the end of the Korean War. A South Korean official confirmed the shots to the Associated Press, adding that the vessels quickly retreated to their territory. The disputed boundary is not clearly marked, resulting in frequent skirmishes in the seafood-rich Yellow Sea waters near the Korean peninsula. The South Korean official said North Korea has long refused to recognize the boundary and that South Korea’s military would “promptly and sternly respond, without hesitation” if boats continue to cross the border.

    September 21, 2012 7:56 AM

  16. WHO KNEW? Biden Most Watched at Conventions Tom Pennington / Getty Images

    15. Biden Most Watched at Conventions

    Was America just expecting the vice president to make one of his infamous gaffes? Joe Biden was the most watched speaker during the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, with 14.7 percent of 289.7 million television-owning U.S. homes—roughly 43.6 million people—tuning in for his speech. President Obama came in a close second with 13.7 percent, followed by Romney, Bill Clinton, and Marco Rubio. Somehow Clint Eastwood came in sixth, sneaking ahead of First Lady Michelle Obama by .3 percent. Julian Castro, Paul Ryan, and Ann Romney took up the rear, with Mitt’s wife coming in dead last.

    September 21, 2012 6:47 AM

  17. TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE? Kato Denies Saying O.J. Did It Heidi Gutman

    16. Kato Denies Saying O.J. Did It

    Make up your mind, Kato. The controversial witness in the O.J. Simpson trial insisted on Thursday that he never told New York Post reporter Cindy Adams that the former football player killed his wife. On the heels of a prosecutor accusing the Simpson defense of manipulating the infamous glove, the Post reported on Thursday that Kaelin said “the statute of limitations passed ... so I can now say ... yes he did it.” But Kaelin insisted Thursday that he never said that, although he said he feels Simpson is guilty and it can’t be proven. Simpson is currently serving a jail sentence in Las Vegas on a separate charge.

    September 21, 2012 6:12 AM

  18. POLLS  Romney Plunges in Key States Win McNamee / Getty Images

    17. Romney Plunges in Key States

    There’s more bad news for the Romney campaign as a new Wall Street Journal/NBC/Marist poll reveals he is falling behind in Iowa, Colorado, and Wisconsin—places he had hoped to gain a foothold. In Iowa, Obama leads by 8 points (50–42), just four months after the two were neck and neck in the state. Other recent polls show Romney’s prospects are dimming in critical battleground states like Florida, Virginia, and Ohio. Obama's campaign coffers are fuller as well: the president has $88.8 million cash on hand as of the end of August, according to campaign fundraising reports released on Thursday. Romney, meanwhile, had $50.4 million to spend, but he owed $15 million on a $20 million loan taken that month.

    September 21, 2012 7:00 AM

  19. ALL CLEAR Iranian Exile Group Off Terror List Alex Wong / Getty Images

    18. Iranian Exile Group Off Terror List

    After 15 years, the Iranian exile group Mujahedin-e-Khalq, or MEK, is expected to be removed from the U.S. terrorism list. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will notify Congress as early as Friday as to whether she will initiate the former de-listing of the group, which was placed on the list for killing six Americans in Iran in the ‘70s and attempting an attack on the Iranian mission to the United Nations in 1992. The group has been considered “noncombatants” and “protected persons” under the Geneva Conventions since 2004. Clinton’s decision has its detractors. Many U.S. officials consider the group to be bizarre and cult-like, and the group has been known to pay former political heavyweights to lobby on its behalf.

    September 21, 2012 2:09 PM

  20. IN OR OUT? Mitt Slams Obama’s ‘Outside’ Line Nicholas Kamm / AFP

    19. Mitt Slams Obama’s ‘Outside’ Line

    Heidi Klum once said, “In fashion, you’re either in, or you’re out.” Mitt Romney seems to believe the same notion applies in politics. The Republican nominee blasted Obama for his comment that Washington can only be changed “from the outside.” The president claimed “he can’t change Washington from the inside,” Romney said Thursday in Florida. “He can only change it from the outside.” Then came the zinger: “Well, we’re going to give him that chance in November—he’s going outside.” Obama’s aides claimed that Romney is using the president’s comments out of context, as he was actually encouraging voters to put pressure on the government to change. 

    September 21, 2012 1:14 PM

  21. FUELING THE FIRE Muslim ‘Savages’ Ad Coming to NYC Jason Andrews

    20. Muslim ‘Savages’ Ad Coming to NYC

    Americans are entitled to freedom of speech, but it doesn’t come without a cost. Conservative blogger Pamela Geller won a court order to post an ad equating Muslim radicals with savages in New York City subway stations. Geller said she filed suit Thursday in Washington D.C. after officials declined to put the ad up in the capital’s transit system in light of violent protests in the Middle East over the anti-Islam film ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad. Geller apparently had less trouble getting the ad to run on San Francisco buses, though that didn’t’ stop artists from defacing them. New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority called the ad “demeaning.”

    September 21, 2012 11:26 AM

  22. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED Last Surge Troops Leave Afghanistan Jose Cabezas, AFP / Getty Images

    21. Last Surge Troops Leave Afghanistan

    The the 33,000 U.S. surge troops sent to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban two years ago are finally returning home, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Friday. Panetta called the re-deployment of surge troops a “very important milestone” and insisted the U.S. is on track to accomplish its goals in Afghanistan. Though the withdrawal of surge troops was complete on schedule, 68,000 U.S. troops and nearly 100,000 NATO troops still remain in the country. While Panetta underscored the “enormous blows against al Qaeda’s leadership” in Afghanistan, he also said that we remain “a nation at war” in a nod to recent attacks in the country. The U.S. has vowed to turn over security to Afghan forces by 2014.

    September 21, 2012 7:16 AM

  23. COME ON, GUYS! Ann Romney: ‘Stop It. This Is Hard’ Paul J. Richards

    22. Ann Romney: ‘Stop It. This Is Hard’

    Time out: Ann Romney’s had enough. Responding to complaints about Mitt’s campaign in an interview with Radio Iowa on Thursday, Mrs. Romney challenged her fellow Republicans to take on the job themselves if they think they can do better. “This is hard. You want to try it? Get in the ring,” she said, urging them to realize “how lucky we are to have someone with Mitt’s qualifications and experience and know-how” as a presidential candidate. Romney seemed to shrug off criticism of his 47 percent comment and other recent jabs at his campaign, but Ann’s remarks suggest she and her husband are more concerned about the Republicans who have since distanced themselves from Mitt.

    September 21, 2012 9:51 AM

  24. HIT-AND-RUN Man Chased Lohan’s Car David Tonnessen / Pacific Coast News

    23. Man Chased Lohan’s Car

    It looks like the victim of Lindsay Lohan’s alleged hit-and-run earlier this week] was the one doing most of the running. Video footage released by the NYPD Thursday does not show a man being hit by LiLo’s slow-moving vehicle, but the supposedly injured victim, Jose Rodriguez, can be seen chasing her SUV down a parking ramp. Rodriguez, 34, complained to the medical staff at Bellevue Hospital that his leg “hurt a lot,” but he was released early Wednesday with no signs of injury, a law-enforcement official confirmed to the Post. Lohan, who was arrested and charged with for leaving the scene of the accident, isn’t off the hook just yet. The actress is due to appear in Manhattan court next month.

    September 21, 2012 9:31 AM

  25. FINE ART Louvre Opens Islamic Wing

    24. Louvre Opens Islamic Wing

    Talk about opportune timing. France’s Louvre Museum is unveiling a new wing dedicated to the arts of Islam, a decade-long and nearly £100 million project that is finally coming to fruition just as tensions between the West and the Muslim world are coming to a head. The dragonfly-shaped extension is the museum’s largest and most significant development since its iconic glass pyramid was constructed in 1989. While the project has been generally well received, its opening comes less than a week after a French satirical magazine published caricatures mocking the Prophet Muhammad. The cartoons further incensed the Muslim world just days after an anti-Islam film made in the U.S. sparked violent protests in the Middle East.

    September 21, 2012 10:21 AM

  26. STANDOFF Vet Live Blogs Hostage-Taking Gene J. Puskar / AP Photo

    25. Vet Live Blogs Hostage-Taking

    A man who took a hostage in an office building in downton Pittsburgh surrendered on Friday after live-blogging the experience on Facebook. The suspect, Klein Michael Thaxton, had a military background and said he had a bomb. While in the building, he posted several updates to his Facebook page, including “how this ends is up to yall” and “this life I’m livin rite now i dnt want anymore ive lost everything and i aint getting it back.” Police later removed the Facebook page.

    September 21, 2012 2:11 PM

  27. DAMAGE CONTROL Paris Hilton: ‘I Feel Absolutely Horrible’

    26. Paris Hilton: ‘I Feel Absolutely Horrible’

    Too late to apologize? Paris Hilton hopes not. In a statement posted on GLAAD’s website Thursday, she issued a formal apology for the inflammatory anti- Gay statements she made in a recorded conversation, released to the public  Thursday. “I am so upset that I caused pain to my gay friends, fans and their families,” reads the statement. Hilton goes on to say that the comments were made during a private conversation with a gay friend. “Gay people are the strongest and most inspiring people I know… I am so sorry from the bottom of my heart.”

    September 21, 2012 12:52 PM

  28. Libya Libya Protesters Storm Islamist Militia HQ Mohammad Hannon / AP Photo

    27. Protesters Storm Islamist Militia HQ

    Hundreds of protesters stormed and wrecked militia headquarters in Benghazi late Friday, as the Salafist jihadi group Ansar al-Sharia fired into the air before being forced out of their base, according to witnesses. Some 30,000 Libyans marched through the eastern city of Benghazi on Friday, calling for the disbanding of the country’s growing number of militias—at least one of which is believed to have participated in last week’s attack on the U.S. Consulate. The consulate attack has ignited a backlash among many Libyans who are disturbed that the government formed since Gaddafi’s fall has no control over the country’s armed factions, which have been accused of acting like gangs and detaining civilians and critics without warrants.

    September 21, 2012 2:04 PM

  29. SAY ‘AHH’ Romney, Ryan Release Medical Reports Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

    28. Romney, Ryan Release Medical Reports

    Dying to know how much Mitt Romney weighs? Ever wonder if Paul Ryan has a family history of heart disease? Now that the Republican candidates have released medical reports signed by their personal doctors, the wait is over. (For the record, Romney weighs 184 lbs. and Ryan has a paternal family history of early-onset coronary artery disease.) Romney’s report also reveals that he has a mild but stable triglyceride elevation, while—a possible case of TMI—colonoscopy and prostate exams revealed nothing abnormal. To the surprise of no one who’s followed the reporting of Ryan’s intense fitness regimen, his doctor reports his “overall health to be excellent.” Romney also released his 2011 tax return Friday, revealing he paid $1.9 million on $13.7 million in mostly investment income.

    September 21, 2012 4:14 PM

  30. GET READY Romney Releases 2011 Tax Returns Nicholas Kamm / AFP

    29. Romney Releases 2011 Tax Returns

    The day has finally come! Mitt Romney’s campaign released the candidate's 2011 tax returns Friday. In advance of the release, the campaign leaked that Romney paid $1.9 million in taxes in 2011 on $13.7 million in mostly investment income, with an effective tax rate of 14.1 percent. Additionally, the Romneys donated $4 million to charity in 2011, and claimed a deduction for $2.25 million of those charitable contributions. The campaign will also release a summary of 20 years of tax returns. The campaign also released a letter from Romney's doctor, stating he's healthy and eats a "high-fiber diet."

    September 21, 2012 3:31 PM