Content Section
  1. CONFLICT SPREADS Israel Shells Syria STR, AFP / Getty Images

    1. Israel Shells Syria

    In the latest of several escalations over the past week, Israel fired shells into Syria early Sunday morning in retaliation for gunfire hitting an army vehicle in the Golan Heights. Shooting first occurred last Sunday when Syria fired across the U.N.-monitored ceasefire line and Israel responded with the first engagement in the area since the war of 1973. Within Israel, tensions are mounting as Hamas and Israeli troops exchange aerial attacks, though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently told President Obama that he had no intention of starting a ground war unless Hamas escalates rocket attacks.

    November 17, 2012 8:20 PM

  2. Upheaval Hamas Gets Some International Support Mohammed Abed, AFP / Getty Images

    2. Hamas Gets International Support

    As the death toll in Gaza rose to 45 Saturday, neighboring countries began to take sides. The Arab League announced it supports Palestinian and Egyptian efforts to stop the Israeli offensive in Gaza. Especially important for Gaza occupiers is the backing of Egypt, Tunisia, and Turkey, all U.S. allies with democratically elected governments. Not only does this represent a shift in the Middle East overall, where many leaders were once wary of Hamas’s hardline Islamist ideology, but the group’s new friends will help to give it a stronger reputation internationally. What that reputation will be has yet to be determined.

    November 17, 2012 3:30 PM

  3. CHANGE 5,000 March in Ireland Peter Muhly / AFP / Getty Images

    3. 5,000 March in Ireland

    It’s the latest move in a series of events that could prove to be Ireland’s Roe v. Wade. On Saturday, 5,000 citizens marched in continued protest over the death of woman who was denied a potentially life-saving abortion. With some of the world’s strictest laws on termination, the mostly-Catholic country’s current laws fail to specify when the threat of the mother’s life is high enough to justify an abortion. In the case of Savita Halappanavar—a 31-year-old Indian woman suffering a miscarriage 17 weeks into her pregnancy—the law’s ambiguity meant death. As protests raged into a third day, Prime Minister Enda Kenny announced that he will not be “rushed” into a decision on the matter.

    November 17, 2012 7:12 PM

  4. PR DISASTER Murdoch: Press Is ‘Jewish Owned’ Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

    4. Murdoch: Press Is ‘Jewish Owned’

    Does this mean Murdoch is Jewish? It would follow, since according to him, they own the media. On Saturday night, News Corp. head Rupert Murdoch tweeted: “Why Is Jewish owned press so consistently anti-Israel in every crisis?” Never one to stay out of the spotlight for long, Murdoch’s name has recently been floated as a possible buyer for Tribune Co., which owns the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, among other papers.

    November 17, 2012 8:53 PM

  5. HOPE Rocket Fired at Tel Aviv Oded Balilty / AP Photo

    5. Egypt: Some Possibility for Gaza Ceasefire

    Here’s hoping. At a joint news conference Saturday with Turkey, Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi said there are “some indications” a ceasefire could be reached soon between Israel and Gaza, but that he did “not yet have firm guarantees.” Israel’s missile-defense system blocked a rocket fired at Tel Aviv Saturday, and pounded Gaza, where the death toll rose to 45. The Israeli army has authorized the call-up of as many as 75,000 reservists.

    November 17, 2012 4:45 PM

  6. Tragedy 50 Killed in Egypt Bus Crash Mamdouh Thabet / AP Photo

    6. 50 Killed in Egypt Bus Crash

    In a city south of Cairo on Saturday, a train plowed into a school bus, killing 50 people—most of them children. The bus was crossing a railroad track when a train hit it at full speed, breaking it in half. The crossing was open and there was no indication of the oncoming train. The country's transport minister and the head of railway authorities have both resigned in the wake of the tragedy.

    November 17, 2012 8:40 AM

  7. An End in Sight? Pakistan to Help Afghan Peace? Aamir Qureshi, AFP / Getty Images

    7. Pakistan to Help Afghan Peace?

    An Afghan peace mediator claimed Saturday that Pakistan’s recent decision to free nine negotiation-friendly members of the Taliban is evidence that the country is willing to help bring the Taliban into discussions to end the 11-year-old war in Afghanistan. Pakistan has long had ties to the Taliban, and negotiations with the group are essential to an effective peace agreement. However, mediators are insisting that talks be led by Afghans, and that the government will fight those who attempt otherwise.

    November 17, 2012 1:29 PM

  8. Giving Back Macy’s Donates Parade Tickets Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

    8. Macy’s Donates Parade Tickets

    Macy’s announced on Saturday that has set aside 5,000 tickets for the Thanksgiving Day Parade for victims of Hurricane Sandy. The parade’s balloons are stored in Moonachie, New Jersey, which has been hard hit by the hurricane, but the balloons have survived. Meanwhile, the death toll in a 65-mile radius of New York City from the storm ticked up to 97, with 43 of those deaths in the city itself. Officials also said the destructive superstorm set the record for trees felled in New York and New Jersey, with 10,000 downed trees in New York City and 113,000 in New Jersey.

    November 17, 2012 2:31 PM

  9. SWEET DEAL Hostess Price Gouging Begins Scott Olson / Getty Images

    9. Hostess Price Gouging Begins

    Craving a Ho Ho? Get ready to shell out some serious dough for the novelty treats made by the soon-to-be-defunct Hostess company. Entrepreneurs are buying boxes by the dozens and reselling the normally cheap goods on Ebay and Craigslist for hundreds, and even thousands, of dollars. Shockingly, fans may be making the best investment by purchasing online. Hostess is planning to sell its brands at auction, so it’s possible the beloved snacks will continue to be made and sold by another brand.

    November 17, 2012 6:40 PM

  10. MEME ALERT Photo: Obama Is Not Impressed The White House / Getty Images

    10. Photo: Obama Is Not Impressed

    President Obama proves, once again, that he’s as cool as can be. In a photo op with the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics team, Obama and McKayla Maroney did a joint impression of her famously “not impressed” face after she received a silver instead of gold medal in the vault during the London Games 2012. “Did I just do the Not Impressed face with the President … ?” Maroney tweeted along with the picture, which, just like her original picture from this summer, quickly went viral.

    November 17, 2012 9:37 PM

  11. Sign up For the daily beast's cheat sheet email
  12. BREAKING BANK ‘Twilight’ Scores $30M in Midnight Shows Daniel Zuchnik / Getty Images

    11. ‘Twilight’ Scores $30M in Midnight Shows

    Like true vampire fans, the Twihards come out at night. Late-night showings of the Twilight finale, Breaking Dawn, Part 2, took in $30.4 million from midnight showings in Friday’s wee hours—though the total is a little inflated due to some Thursday previews. Initial box-office receipts are already besting the previous four installments of the popular franchise, though the tally wasn’t enough to beat the opening-night sales record set by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 last summer.

    November 16, 2012 4:31 PM

  13. CONFLICT Israel Readies 75,000 Ground Troops Jack Guez, AFP / Getty Images

    12. Israel Readies 75,000 Ground Troops

    Preparing for a possible ground invasion of Gaza, a spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the country has approved a call for up to 75,000 reserve troops. Israeli aircraft were already bombing Hamas government buildings in response to rockets fired from Gaza that had landed in Tel Aviv. Meanwhile, President Obama spoke to Israeli and Egyptian leaders to address the increasingly dangerous conflict. Speaking to Netanyahu, Obama encouraged ways to scale back the escalating conflict while reiterating Israel's “right to defend itself.” In a separate call, Obama also praised Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s attempts to ease tensions. 

    November 16, 2012 10:30 PM

  14. ON THE HILL Petraeus: I Knew Benghazi Was Terrorism Cliff Owen, File / AP Photo

    13. Petraeus Sticks Up for Susan Rice

    The general everyone's talking about spent almost four hours on Capitol Hill today testifying before Congress about the 9/11 Benghazi attacks. According to ABC News, Petraeus defended U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who has been the target of Republican attacks over her own previous testimony. One GOP senator said that Petraeus "clarified some of the issues that were still a little cloudy." One thing he didn't clarify: his relationship with biographer Paula Broadwell, whom he did not mention. 

    November 16, 2012 3:45 PM

  15. Shocking

    14. Australia Hit by Superstorm

    Looks like Mother Nature isn't done quite yet. Another superstorm appeared on Saturday, this time hitting Australia's East Coast. The city of Brisbane, Queensland, and its surrounding areas were struck by lightning 4,000 times in a single hour. There are now over 6,000 homes and businesses in the area without power, including several buildings with collapsed roofs. A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Queensland for the rest of the weekend.

    November 17, 2012 8:42 AM

  16. Justice NY ‘Cannibal Cop’ Indicted Elizabeth Williams / AP Photo

    15. NY ‘Cannibal Cop’ Indicted

    That's one more person that won't get eaten today: a grand jury indicted an NYPD police officer on Friday on charges of kidnapping, conspiracy, and illegally accessing a law-enforcement database. The suspect, Gilberto Valle, allegedly planned with online co-conspirators to kidnap, cook, and eat as many as 100 women. He is scheduled for arraignment on Monday and, if convicted, we hope will be kept far away from the prison kitchens.

    November 17, 2012 8:41 AM

  17. Farewell Is the End Near for Mr. Bean? Universal Pictures International / DAPD / AP Photo

    16. Is the End Near for Mr. Bean?

    Well, Mr. Bean, it's been nice knowing you. Rowan Atkinson has stated that there may not be a future for the hugely successful character, saying that a 57-year-old acting like a child is "a little sad.” After playing Fagin in 2009's West End production of Oliver!, Atkinson rediscovered his love of theatre and plans to take on serious stage roles in the in the future. Will we at least get a proper goodbye from the bumbling buffoon? One can only hope.

    November 17, 2012 8:43 AM

  18. Conflict 180 Airstrikes Hit Gaza on Saturday Ariel Schalit / AP Photo

    17. 180 Airstrikes Hit Gaza on Saturday

    The total number of airstrikes Israel has launched into the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the current conflict has risen to over 800 after the region was bombarded by 180 attacks on Saturday alone. Targeted in this round were the prime minister's headquarters, a police compound, and a network of tunnels used for smuggling as well as previous targets, such as underground rocket-launch sites and weapon-storage facilities. The attacks came in retaliation to a Palestinian strikes that hit near Jerusalem and Tel Aviv on Friday.

    November 17, 2012 8:01 AM

  19. Tension Merkel and Putin Meet, Awkwardly Alexander Nemenov, AFP / Getty Images

    18. Merkel and Putin Meet, Awkwardly

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday in an encounter that demonstrated how uncomfortable the alliance between the two countries has become. Merkel came ready to question Putin on his human-rights record since reclaiming the presidency in May. Upon being asked about the sentencing of the band Pussy Riot to two years in a labor camp, Putin parried the question, resulting in an awkward silence. Although Merkel advised Putin not to take every offense so seriously, it is doubtful that her remarks will have any effect. How long will the Russia-Germany alliance last?

    November 17, 2012 8:03 AM

  20. JOB WELL DONE Giffords Aide Barber Wins Ross D. Franklin / AP Photo

    19. Giffords Aide Barber Wins

    It’s no “closure,” as Gabrielle Giffords’s husband, Mark Kelly, would say, but it’s a bit of news she was likely happy to receive. Ron Barber, the former aide to Giffords—injured alongside her in the 2011 shooting that rocked Tucson—has been elected to a full term, representing Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District. Barber was chosen through special election to fill out the remainder of Representative Giffords’s term in June, after she survived a near-fatal shooting at a “Congress on Your Corner” event in Arizona and Jared Lee Loughner—the man who opened fire, killing six and wounding 13—was sentenced to life in prison this week. Barber’s win shifts the delegation majority in the state to the Democrats, an advantage that was held preelection by Republicans.

    November 17, 2012 2:39 PM

  21. True Love? Report: Swift, Styles Dating Daniel Roland, AFP / Getty Images

    20. Report: Swift, Styles Dating

    Someone stop the presses: Taylor Swift is experiencing another life development. Despite the announcement less than a month ago that Taylor Swift had broken up with former beau Conor Kennedy, she doesn’t seem to have enjoyed being on the market. The global country-pop superstar is reportedly “hanging out” with One Direction singer Harry Styles—they were even spotted holding hands. Was that the sound of a thousand 14-year-olds screaming in agonized jealousy?

    November 17, 2012 1:35 PM