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  1. BLOODY SUNDAY Warplanes Strike Syrian Rebels Handout / Reuters / Landov

    1. Warplanes Strike Syrian Rebels

    Violence rocked Syria Sunday, as rebels in Damascus and its surrounding suburbs were struck by warplanes and artillery while a car bomb in central Syria killed at least 15 people. Discord in Damascus has risen to its most dangerous level since rebels took hold of several neighborhoods and were subsequently pushed out by the government July. Rebels have had a strong presence in Damascus suburbs since protests against Assad began in 2011 but, lately, the army has launched an offensive to take back the area surrounding the capital.

    December 2, 2012 2:35 PM

  2. ‘We’re Nowhere’ Fiscal Cliff Talks Hit Stalemate Alex Wong / Getty Images

    2. Fiscal Cliff Talks Hit Stalemate

    Well this is comforting. The White House and Republican leaders are butting heads over taxing the wealthy as they struggle to forge an agreement that will avoid the U.S. tumbling over the “fiscal cliff.” Both sides point the blame at each other for the current stalemate that focuses on how to raise taxes on the rich. “There’s no path to an agreement that does not involve Republicans acknowledging that rates have to go up on the wealthiest Americans,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Meet the Press. House Speaker John A. Boehner was decidedly pessimistic. “Right now, I would say we’re nowhere, period. We’re nowhere,” he told Fox News Sunday. C’mon guys.

    December 2, 2012 10:32 PM

  3. PALESTINE Abbas Given Hero’s Welcome Abbas Momani, AFP / Getty Images

    3. Abbas Given Hero’s Welcome

    It’s time for Palestinians to unite, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday. People crammed in at a rally in Ramallah, where Abbas spoke after returning from a successful trip to the United Nations, which gave “nonmember observer state” status to the authority. The change puts the Palestinians on the same footing as the Vatican in the eyes of the international organization. The most important divide facing Abbas lies between his own Fatah party, based in the West Bank, and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. Abbas said Sunday that he thinks the two factions can “achieve reconciliation.”

    December 2, 2012 10:48 AM

  4. OUT THE DOOR News International CEO Resigns Franco Origlia / Getty Images

    4. News International CEO Resigns

    The list of high-up News Corp. departures just got one name longer: Tom Mockridge, CEO of News International just resigned. Mockridge currently leads the U.K. newspaper unit of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., but had been seen as a favorite to take over the publishing side when the company divides in half next year until yesterday, when sources revealed Wall Street Journal managing editor Robert Thomson will likely be leading that side. Mockridge had taken over his current job from Rebekah Brooks who departed during the phone hacking debacle last year.

    December 2, 2012 8:10 PM

  5. NFL Friend: Belcher Suffered ‘Memory Loss’ Ed Zurga / AP Photo

    5. Friend: Belcher Had ‘Memory Loss’

    Linebacker Jovan Belcher, who police say killed his girlfriend before shooting himself in the parking lot of Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium, struggled with alcohol and prescription-drug troubles, according to a friend who spoke with sports website Deadspin. The player was “dazed and was suffering from short-term memory loss,” the friend said of Belcher after a mid-November game against the Bengals. Belcher and his girlfriend were both “very young,” the friend told Deadspin, and the promising NFL player had gotten into the habit of drinking “on a nightly basis.”

    December 2, 2012 11:56 AM

  6. EDUCATION Five States Expand School Hours Mehdi Taamallah / AFP / Getty Images

    6. Five States Expand School Hours

    That sound you hear is the collective groan of 20,000 public students who will spend more time in school in 2013. Schools in five states—Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Tennessee—are taking part in a three-year pilot program designed to make public schools more competitive internationally. Forty schools will either make the school day longer or add days to the end of the year to give students access to an expanded curriculum. Federal, state, and district funds will cover the cost of the increased hours along with funding from the Ford Foundation and the National Center on Time & Learning.

    December 2, 2012 7:20 PM

  7. DEVELOPING 4 Shot in LA Suburb Gene Blevins / Reuters / Landov

    7. 4 Shot in LA Suburb

    Four people were left dead outside a suburban Los Angeles home early Sunday morning, leaving police absolutely clueless as to who is responsible and what their motive was. The single-family house outside which the gunshot victims were discovered had been used as a boarding house—a setup which Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman Terri Brinkmeyer said she’s not sure was legal. No weapon was found near the scene of the crime and homicide detectives on the case could not identify the victims.

    December 2, 2012 5:04 PM

  8. TRAGIC

    8. ‘Three Cups of Tea’ Co-Author Dies

    The bad luck following Three Cups of Tea, the 2006 best seller about Greg Mortenson, strikes again. David Oliver Relin, a journalist who chronicled Mortenson’s philanthropic efforts, committed suicide on Nov. 15 in Oregon. The 49-year-old was a passionate writer of humanitarian stories and had suffered emotional and financial distress after the story and charitable organization in Three Cups of Tea were called into question. Relin was plagued by depression, according to his family, and more details will be released from the police report this week.

    December 2, 2012 11:15 PM

  9. MILITANTS Bombers Attack Afghan Base Nasrullah Khan / AP Photo

    9. Bombers Attack Afghan Base

    Suicide bombers mounted a strike on a joint U.S.-Afghan base Sunday, sparking a two-hour gun battle that left at least five Afghans dead. American helicopters finally quashed the attack. A truck loaded with explosives crashed into the front of the base, in eastern Afghanistan, around 6 a.m. local time. A second vehicle exploded after being fired on by guards. Six gunmen continued the attack, for which Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility. Two Afghan medical students were among those killed.

    December 2, 2012 7:17 AM

  10. LYLAS Streep, Clinton Take Selfies

    10. Streep, Clinton Take Selfies

    Both legends in their respective fields, they were destined to become best friends. In a meme-dream come true Sunday, Hillary Clinton and Meryl Streep met up at the Kennedy Center Honors Gala where they not only hung out, but snapped a few pictures of themselves. Despite the presence of numerous photographers, the gals opted for sorority-girl-style self-portraits on Streep’s iPhone, even doing the classic open-mouthed grin. It’s Hollywood meets Washington, meets Instagram. Oh, those two.

    December 2, 2012 9:29 PM

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  12. CAUGHT Japanese Tunnel Collapse Traps Cars Yoshikazu Tsuno, AFP / Getty Images

    11. Japanese Tunnel Collapse Traps Cars

    Cars are trapped and at least seven people are unaccounted for after a tunnel collapse in Japan, according to media reports. Police reported seeing charred bodies in the Sasago tunnel, one of the country’s longest, after a fire broke out. Thick smoke and the fear of a second collapse delayed rescue efforts for several hours after the initial collapse late Saturday night. The number of people dead, after what CCTV showed to be a 328-foot section of concrete caved in, was not yet known Sunday morning, a Yamanashi police spokesman told Agence France-Presse.

    December 2, 2012 7:40 AM

  13. GO HOME Riots Greet Kardashian in Bahrain Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

    12. Bahrain Riots Greet Kardashian

    Could reality-TV princess Kim Kardashian be next in line for Bahrain’s cultural ambassadorship? Don’t hold your heavily fragranced breath. On Saturday, the reality star visited Bahrain to launch her milkshake franchise, only to be greeted by more than 50 angry Muslim protestors. Police threw stun grenades and even tear gassed the demonstrators, who were objecting to the reality star's visit. There were fans as well: several screaming devotees paid $1,360 to see Kim’s milkshake in the flesh. Several hardline Muslim politicians  had unsuccessfully tried to block the reality star’s visit in Parliament, due what they call her “extremely bad reputation.” Well, as Kim knows, any press is good press. 

    December 1, 2012 7:45 PM

  14. MASTERS OF WAR Syrian Arms Flow Through Iraq AFP / Getty Images

    13. Syrian Arms Flow Through Iraq

    Arms continue to flow to Syria through Iraqi airspace, U.S. officials say. The flow of armaments from Iran continue despite American efforts to get Iraqi officials to randomly inspect flights that pass through the country. Weapons from Iran are thought to be crucial as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad continues to wage war against his own people to prop up his regime. Western officials have also recently reported signs of activity at plants used to manufacture chemical weapons in Syria. One American official said that there were “some signs that suggest they intend to use” the chemical weapons thought be under development.

    December 2, 2012 7:16 AM

  15. FLAMES

    14. CO Wildfire Forces Evacuations

    A Colorado fire that doubled in size Saturday is expected to be fanned by strong winds Sunday, officials said. The more than 3,500-acre blaze grew Saturday, forcing the evacuation of 583 homes in the area and destroying at least one unoccupied cabin, according to a spokesman for the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office. And while a local fire spokesman said that snow would be welcomed by those battling the blaze, the forecast Sunday only anticipates more wind.

    December 2, 2012 7:45 AM

  16. NFL Chiefs Reel After Murder-Suicide Charlie Riedel / AP Photo

    15. Chiefs Reel After Murder-Suicide

    The Kansas City Chiefs continued to struggle with the news Sunday, one day after police said linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and then himself. Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel were reportedly among the team personnel who tried to stop Belcher from ending his own life in the parking lot of Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium. “I am devastated by this morning’s events,” fellow Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali tweeted. Twenty-five-year-old Belcher shot his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins after an argument at her home, police said.

    December 2, 2012 7:17 AM

  17. HERMIT KINGDOM North Korea Plans Rocket Launch Jon Chol Jin / AP Photo

    16. North Korea Plans Rocket Launch

    Like father, like son. North Korea said that it would carry out its second rocket launch of 2012 on Saturday, a move that quickly drew condemnations from the United States and neighboring South Korea. State media announced that the isolated communist country would launch another space satellite one day after leader Kim Jong-un met with Chinese leaders in the capital of Pyongyang. China urged calm in the region after the announcement, saying that it expressed “deep concern” about North Korea’s decision.

    December 2, 2012 7:18 AM

  18. UNREST Protest Delays Egypt Court Ruling Gianluigi Guercia, AFP / Getty Images

    17. Protest Delays Egypt Court Ruling

    So much for civil society. Hundreds of supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi gathered Sunday to block a meeting by the country’s top court on a new draft constitution. The protesters want to prevent any attempt to question the document’s legality. The president, who has been the subject of opposition protests ever since he seized broad new powers in recent weeks, has called for a constitutional referendum on Dec. 15. Morsi’s opponents have said that the constitution has serious flaws, but the document has received support from the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood party.

    December 2, 2012 7:15 AM

  19. TOO MUCH VODKA

    18. Russia Panics Over Mayan Apocalypse

    Rasputin would be proud. Reacting to conspiracy theorists who think that the long-awaited Mayan apocalypse on Dec. 21 will come true, Russians have begun buying supplies, building strange archways, and otherwise losing their minds. But hold on to your fur hats, Russian officials said last week. The minister of emergency situations announced that he has “methods of monitoring what is occurring on the planet earth,” and there is no need to fear. It’s not just Mother Russia that has had to deal with Mayan fever, however—from France to Mexico, people have begun acting strangely in response to the ancient prediction.

    December 2, 2012 7:19 AM

  20. UNCOOPERATIVE Boehner ‘Flabbergasted’ by White House Alex Wong / Getty Images

    19. Boehner ‘Flabbergasted’ by White House

    If folks at the White House thinks they're going to get $1.6 trillion in tax increases, $400 billion worth of unspecified tax cuts, and who knows what other nonstimulus spending past John Boehner, they may want to think again. The House Speaker was just so “flabbergasted” that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner would even suggest such a plan that he told him, “You can’t be serious.” Boehner vented his frustrations over “this nonsense” to Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. Geithner responded calmly to Boehner’s annoyance, telling Wallace that GOP leaders “are in a tough position now. They are trying to figure out where they go next. We might need to give them a little time to figure out where they go next.”

    December 2, 2012 11:46 AM

  21. BUMMER Pitt’s ‘Killing Them Softly’ Bombs Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images

    20. Pitt’s ‘Killing Them Softly’ Bombs

    Brad Pitt’s latest movie, Killing Them Softly, opened this weekend with a weak box-office performance. The movie, which took $15 million to make, only pulled in about $7 million as it faced off against such heavy hitters as Breaking Dawn 2 and Lincoln. To make matters worse, moviegoers gave the flick a CinemaScore grade of F, a rarity in that only seven other films have received that score. Pitt stars in the movie, which is about a robbery at a mob poker game, along with Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini, and Sam Shepard.

    December 2, 2012 12:59 PM

  22. SWAGGER Geithner: GOP Will Cave on Fiscal Cliff Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg / Getty Images

    21. Geithner: GOP Will Cave on Fiscal Cliff

    Obama’s top fiscal-cliff negotiator is feeling confident. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said on Sunday that John Boehner and his House cohort will eventually give in to the president’s demand to raise taxes on the wealthy as part of a deal. “There’s not going to be an agreement without rates heading up,” Geithner asserted on CNN's State of the Union. Boehner, on a separate program, balked. “When you go and increase rates,” he said, “you make it more difficult for our economy to grow.” And the clock ticks on.

    December 2, 2012 5:12 PM

  23. ARRESTING

    22. Blogger Streamed Standoff

    Did he Instagram being cuffed, too? Baltimore blogger Frank James MacArthur was taken into police custody Saturday after a five-hour standoff that he broadcast over the Internet. Officers arrived at the 47-year-old man’s house to serve two warrants linked to a 2009 gun case when MacArthur appealed to digital crowds—and threatened officers over social media, according to police. MacArthur, who complained to a police negotiator over speakerphone, has made social-media posts in recent days concerning his status as a “fugitive.”

    December 2, 2012 7:43 AM