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  1. FUGITIVE WATCH John McAfee Sent to Miami Moises Castillo / AP Photo

    1. John McAfee Sent to Miami

    Welcome home, John McAfee. The eccentric software millionaire landed in Miami Wednesday evening after being denied asylum and deported from Guatemala. McAfee is wanted for questioning in Belize after his neighbor was murdered, and had led authorities there on a wild goose chase—which ended when he was arrested for illegally sneaking into neighboring Guatemala. McAfee was escorted by federal authorities and taken off the plane before the other passengers.

    December 12, 2012 8:43 PM

  2. MALL SHOOTING Oregon Gunman Identified Craig Mitchelldyer

    2. Oregon Gunman Identified

    The gunman who shot and killed two customers at an Oregon mall before turning his weapon on himself was identified by police Wednesday. Jacob Tyler Roberts, 22, was wearing a mask when he used a AR-15 semiautomatic rifle stolen from someone he knew to fire randomly at crowds shopping at the Clackamas Town Center, according to local authorities. The two victims have been identified as a 54-year-old woman and a 45-year-old man, while another female who was wounded remains in serious condition. Police say they still don’t have a motive.

    December 12, 2012 2:05 PM

  3. UH-OH North Korea Satellite Unstable Vincent Yu / AP Photo

    3. North Korea Satellite Unstable

    Perhaps North Korea should leave space exploration to the rest of the world. U.S. officials have announced that the satellite-type object North Korea sent into space Thursday is “tumbling out of control.” Well, that’s reassuring. Officials are also unsure what exactly the spacecraft is supposed to do, though North Korea claims it is meant to orbit pole-to-pole. The launch has been widely criticized (even by the country’s main ally China) and the United Nations has called the launch  a “clear violation” of U.N. resolutions.

    December 12, 2012 5:05 PM

  4. 2013 Assange Plans Australian Senate Run Leon Neal, AFP / Getty Images

    4. Assange Plans Australian Senate Run

    Something sounds off about “Julian Assange for Senate,” but hey, it could happen. The political black sheep said Wednesday that he is forming an Australian WikiLeaks party and will nominate himself as a Senate candidate for the 2013 elections. The registration plans are “significantly advanced,” he says. But since Assange is currently living in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London, he could be unable to return to his homeland of Australia if elected—in which case a nominee would fill the seat.

    December 12, 2012 6:15 PM

  5. SOCIAL CONSTRAINTS Facebook Changes Privacy Settings Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

    5. Facebook Changes Privacy Settings

    Once again, Facebook’s never-ending privacy setting debate is rearing its confusing head. While it used to be possible for users to control who could look up their profiles by name, Facebook announced that privilege would be deleted on Wednesday. Apparently, the setting was causing confusion. "Our concern, quite frankly, is that people think it provides a level of security, but it actually doesn't," said one member of Facebook’s privacy team. As for other changes, the social-networking site also unveiled a new menu tool bar, a request option for editing posts on friends’ walls, and a multiple untagging option. Let the outraged statuses begin.

    December 12, 2012 9:22 PM

  6. LUCKY NUMBER Baby Girl Born at 12:12 Dr. Amos Grunebaum / NY-Presbyterian Weill Cornell

    6. Baby Girl Born at 12:12

    In what may prove to be yet another sign of the apocalypse—or adorableness—a baby girl was born at 12 minutes after noon today, meaning that she was born at 12:12 p.m. on 12/12/12. The well-timed infant was born at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell hospital to Michael and Olivia Patterson of New York City’s Upper East Side. The baby does not have a name yet, and her parents have not said whether the name will have anything to do with the number 12.

    December 12, 2012 4:19 PM

  7. IT’S THE ECONOMY Fed to Keep Low Rates Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

    7. Fed to Keep Low Rates

    Ben Bernanke confirmed his reputation as an easy money man. The Federal Reserve announced it would continue its policy of “quantitative easing”—creating new money to buy bonds in an effort to push long-term interest rates down—until the unemployment rate falls below 6.5 percent. Basically, rates will be kept near zero until the jobless rate drops. The Fed announced it would continue buying $40 billion a month in mortgage-backed securities and would start buying an extra $40–$45 billion in Treasury bonds each month.

    December 12, 2012 12:54 PM

  8. ‘PONTIFEX’ HANDLE Pope Sends First Tweet Vincenzo Pinto, AFP / Getty Images

    8. Pope Sends First Tweet

    It’s official: the pope sent his first tweet Wednesday morning. “Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter,” Pope Benedict XVI tweeted. “Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you with my heart.” He is expected to respond to messages later in the day. Despite having not sent a single tweet before Wednesday, the pope had already amassed more than a million followers since setting up the handle “Pontifex.”

    December 12, 2012 4:00 PM

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  10. NOT HIS WORD Drudge Uses N Word in Headline The Weinstein Company

    9. Drudge Uses N Word in Headline

    The Drudge Report’s morning headline set off a furious reaction on Twitter. The headline repeated the N word seven times and linked to a Hollywood Reporter review of Tarantino’s new movie, Django Unchained. But the Todd McCarthy review uses the N word only once, in the ninth paragraph, and it is not spelled out. The review also states, “The N-word gets a heavy workout.” Needless to say, the Drudge headline created an angry response. One person tweeted, “It’s likely that Drudge did it because he’s been dying to scream it himself.” Another tweet said, “Drudge Uses Tarantino Film Review to Blast Out A Series of N-Bombs. Just say it, Matt. just freaking say it.” But some were unsurprised by the headline. One tweet read, “Drudge’s current headline is a distillation of his entire election year coverage.”

    December 12, 2012 1:27 PM

  11. JUSTIN TIME Bieber Murder Plot Thwarted Paul Morigi / Getty Images

    10. Bieber Murder Plot Thwarted

    Can you Beliebe it? A convicted killer in New Mexico had apparently concocted a plan to have Justin Bieber murdered—and castrated—at his Madison Square Garden concert last month, but told on himself before the hit could go down. Dana Martin, who is said to be obsessed with and have a tattoo of the pop star on his leg, reportedly recruited his fellow inmate Mark Staake and Staake’s nephew to, once Staake was released, kidnap Bieber and his bodyguard and then strangle them with paisley ties—Martin’s signature. For some unknown reason, Martin blew the whistle on the whole operation, and Staake and his nephew were arrested.

    December 12, 2012 4:56 PM

  12. INTERESTING CHOICE McCartney to Replace Kurt Cobain Ben Pruchnie / Getty Images

    11. McCartney to Replace Kurt Cobain

    Sir Paul McCartney loves himself a benefit concert, and since his own solo act wasn’t added to the lineup for Wednesday night’s 12-12-12 benefit for Hurricane Sandy victims, he’s taken it upon himself to play the role of Kurt Cobain in the Nirvana reunion portion of the show. If it’s hard to imagine the man who wrote “We Can Work It Out” singing “Rape Me” on stage with Dave Grohl, you’re not alone. Nirvana fans took to Twitter following the announcement to express their shock and dismay at the news.

    December 12, 2012 11:48 AM

  13. RECOVERY Interstate Reopens in W.Va. West Virginia State Police / AP Photo

    12. Interstate Reopens in W.Va.

    West Virginia reopened Interstate 77 on Wednesday, one day after a massive gas explosion turned 800 feet of asphalt into cinder and leveled four homes along the road and damaging another five. There were no deaths reported. Federal and state employees are still investigating the cause of the explosion that occurred in a gas transmission line owned by NiSource Inc., parent company of Columbia Gas. “It really cooked the interstate,” said Kent Carper, president of Kanawha County Commission. The explosion melted guardrails, cooked the green enamel off highway signs, and burned utility poles along the road.

    December 12, 2012 9:03 AM

  14. CREATIVE Smugglers Shoot Drugs With Cannon David McNew / Getty Images

    13. Smugglers Shoot Drugs With Cannon

    The next act for the circus? U.S. Border Patrol agents said Tuesday that they had seized 33 cans of marijuana in a field where the Colorado River crosses the Arizona-Mexico border. Apparently the were launched through a cannon. The 85 pounds of marijuana seized has an estimated street value of $42,500.

    December 12, 2012 6:59 AM

  15. BACK-AND-FORTH Fiscal Cliff Talks Stall Getty Images (2)

    14. Fiscal Cliff Talks Stall

    Another day, another stalemate. President Obama telephoned House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday night to discuss Boehner’s latest proposal on how to avoid the fiscal cliff—but Republican aides themselves admitted the proposal sent to the president is virtually identical to the one the he rejected last week. Majority Leader Harry Reid, meanwhile, said Tuesday that it will be “extremely difficult” to get a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff before Christmas. If a budget deal is not reached before Jan. 1, draconian spending cuts will automatically be put in place while the Bush tax cuts will be repealed, which some have said will cause the economy to nosedive.

    December 12, 2012 6:45 AM

  16. PLANS NY: Don’t Run for Mayor, Hillary Kevin Lamarque/AP Photo

    15. NY: Don’t Run for Mayor, Hillary

    Are there parts of New York that just haven’t seen Texts from Hillary? In a statewide poll of New Yorkers released Wednesday, 58 percent said they didn’t want the U.S. secretary of state and former senator to run for mayor in 2013. Clinton has said she will be pursuing a private life after she steps down in the Obama administration, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg reportedly called her earlier this year and encouraged her to run. Quinnipiac University polled 1,302 New Yorkers and had a margin of error of nearly 3 percentage points.

    December 12, 2012 9:28 AM

  17. THE DEFENSE Lawyer: Subway Pusher Justified William C. Lopez

    16. Lawyer: Subway Pusher Justified

    Talk about having a tough case to make. The defense lawyer for the so-called subway pusher says his client may have been justified in his actions because the man he allegedly shoved was drunk and harassing him. The suspect, Naeem Davis, appeared in court Tuesday, but did not speak. Davis’s lawyer, Stephen Pokart, argued that multiple witnesses say the victim, Ki-Suck Han, smelled of alcohol and was staggering and following Davis. Han’s wife had also reported that the couple had been in a fight earlier that day. “If he pushed to get him away from him, it may have been justified,” Mr. Pokart said. “Unfortunately, it appears that the push was too hard and he fell off the platform.” The case will be put before a grand jury by next Tuesday.

    December 11, 2012 11:00 PM

  18. EXPECTING Jenna Bush Hager Pregnant Rob Kim / Getty Images

    17. Jenna Bush Hager Pregnant

    Baby Bush Hager for president, 2062? Jenna Bush Hager, the daughter of George W. and Laura Bush, is expecting her first child, she announced Wednesday morning. The Today show correspondent announced her pregnancy on the show, saying "it's something I've always wanted." Grandparenthood has been a long time coming for the former first couple, Jenna told People last year. “I don’t have any children. I just have a cat, to my parents’ dismay. My dad saw my husband’s boss at a conference, and he said to stop paying my husband until we produce children.”

    December 12, 2012 9:30 AM

  19. DEPLOYMENT Panetta Visits Afghanistan Susan Walsh, Pool / Getty Images

    18. Panetta Visits Afghanistan

    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta landed in Afghanistan on Wednesday as part of an unannounced visit to discuss future troop levels with Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander there. Allen has drawn up several proposals about the future of U.S. troops as NATO prepares to exit the country in December 2014. These options should be ready for presentation to the president “within the next few weeks,” Panetta said. The secretary’s visit comes as a Pentagon report released this week found that only one of the Afghan National Army’s 23 brigades is able to operate independently without some support from the U.S. or NATO. Meanwhile, Allen’s nomination as NATO’s top commander has been put on hold amid an investigation into his alleged relationship with Jill Kelley, a Tampa socialite connected to former CIA director David Petraeus’s resignation.

    December 12, 2012 6:49 AM

  20. LEGEND Ravi Shankar Dead at 92 AP Photo

    19. Maestro Ravi Shankar Dead at 92

    India's beloved sitar maestro Ravi Shankar passed away at age 92 in San Diego Tuesday night. The legendary musician was a classical-music ambassador, and is known for bringing traditional Indian music to Western audiences. Shankar remained an active musician until his final days, and was even nominated this year for a Grammy. Shankar—who is also musician Norah Jones’s father—was admitted to the hospital last Thursday after complaining of breathing difficulties.

    December 11, 2012 11:17 PM

  21. The Award Goes To ‘Argo,’ ‘Lincoln’ Lead SAG Nominees Universal Pictures

    20. ‘Argo,’ ‘Lincoln’ Lead SAG Nominees

    Argo, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Les Misérables, Lincoln, and Silver Linings Playbook grabbed nominations for Best Ensemble, the SAG Awards’ equivalent of Best Picture, when the nominees for the 19th annual Screen Actors Guild awards were announced this morning in West Hollywood. Zero Dark Thirty, Moonrise Kingdom, and Flight were shut out of the top category. Flight did get a nod in the Best Actor category, where Denzel Washington joins Daniel Day-Lewis, John Hawkes, Hugh Jackman, and Bradley Cooper. Jessica Chastain, Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Lawrence, Helen Mirren, and Naomi Watts were all nominated for Best Actress. In television, Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Homeland, and Mad Men all scored nominations for Best Ensemble in a Drama Series. The ceremony will take place on Jan. 27.

    December 12, 2012 9:50 AM

  22. DEADLY Three Killed at Oregon Mall Craig Mitchelldyer / Getty Images

    21. Three Killed at Oregon Mall

    A masked gunman at a Portland mall shot and killed two people Tuesday night and injured a teenager before killing himself, early reports indicate. While the exact rundown of events is still murky, reports from the scene indicate the masked gunman walked into the Clackamas Town Center—where up to 10,000 were estimated to be shopping—and fired up to 60 shots into the crowd. Among those shot was the mall Santa. Police said the carnage could have been much worse, except the shooter's gun reportedly jammed. Police are expected to release the name of the shooter as well as the victims' identities on Wednesday.

    December 12, 2012 12:13 PM

  23. COMPENSATION Brooks Paid $17M by News Corp.

    22. Brooks Paid $17M by News Corp.

    What would her payout have been without the hacking scandal? Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News Corp.’s British wing, received a £10.8 million, or $17.4 million, payout from the company when she resigned last year, according to internal documents released on Wednesday. Brooks, who resigned last year amid charges that she participated in phone hacking, was previously believed to have been given a £7 million, or $11.3 million, payout. According to the financial disclosure documents, an unnamed director received £10.8 in July 2011 for “compensation for loss of office,” and the money includes “various ongoing benefits,” including the funding for an office in Marylebone for two years. Brooks will also have “all legal and other professional costs” relating to various court cases related to News Corp.

    December 12, 2012 10:11 AM

  24. ICON Whitney Tops Google Searches Evan Agostini / AP Photo

    23. Whitney Tops Google Searches

    Whitney Houston’s fans were devastated by her passing earlier this year, but they also propelled her to the top of Google Zeitgeist, the annual list of most searched-for terms on Google released Wednesday. Perhaps not surprisingly, “Gangnam Style” and “Hurricane Sandy” were Nos. 2 and 3, respectively. “One Direction” was the most searched-for image, which is surely bad news for rival boy band the Wanted. In sports, Linsanity reigned supreme, with Jeremy Lin being the most searched-for term.  Finishing second in the category was Michael Phelps; Ryan Lochte lost to his swimming rival yet again, coming in at No. 10. The Hunger Games was the most searched-for movie and was followed by Skyfall and Prometheus.

    December 12, 2012 11:47 AM

  25. BLAST OFF North Korea Launches Rocket Pedro Ugarte / AFP-Getty Images

    24. North Korea Launches Rocket

    Bamboozled? North Korea launched a long-range rocket Wednesday morning local time, despite announcing earlier this week that it will push back deployment until the end of December. The launch was confirmed by South Korea’s defense ministry, and officials say it is now in orbit. While North Korea claims the rocket is an exploratory bid to put a satellite into space, critics say its true goal is to experiment with technology that could lead to mounting a nuclear warhead on a long-range missile. Both Japan and South Korea put their armed forces on high alert, though Japan did not make an attempt to intercept the missile, as they had suggested they would. A senior U.S. official said Washington has "noted" the launch and is monitoring the situation.

    December 11, 2012 11:45 PM

  26. ‘MODERN FAMILY’ DRAMA Winter’s Family to Undergo Counseling Jason Merritt / Getty Images

    25. Winter’s Family to Undergo Counseling

    A trial over the guardianship of Ariel Winter was averted Wednesday, when the family agreed that they would seek counseling before deciding who would raise the 14-year-old Modern Family star. The actress has accused her mother, Chrisoula Workman, of abuse, and was suing to live with her adult sister, Shanelle Gray. She'll remain living with her sister until long-term arrangements are decided. “The parties acknowledge that there is no assurance that Ariel will return to the home of either or both parents,” the agreement states. It also stipulates that Winter's mother will have no participation in her daughter's professional acting career.

    December 12, 2012 3:46 PM

  27. HERE WE GO Syria Fires Scud Missiles at Rebels Manu Brabo/AP

    26. Syria Fires Scud Missiles at Rebels

    Syrian forces have fired scud missiles at the rebels, U.S. officials say. Scud missiles have a range of more than 400 miles—well in range of neighboring countries. The shots were reportedly fired from around Damascus and aimed at targets in the north. Scuds are Soviet-era weaponry made famous by Saddam Hussein in 1991, when the ruler battered Israel and Kuwait. U.S. officials say that the tactic is mainly used as a defense mechanism—experts say government aircraft have been vulnerable to attacks. The news of “significant escalation” comes as more than 100 nations recognized the rebels as representatives of the Syrian people.  

    December 12, 2012 12:22 PM

  28. PANTS ON FIRE Romney Ad Named ‘Lie of the Year’ Joe Raedle / Getty Images

    27. Romney Ad Named ‘Lie of the Year’

    Well, at least he won something. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign was awarded “Lie of the Year” on Wednesday by fact-checking website PolitiFact. The Pinocchio moment: the claim that Barack Obama “sold Chrysler to the Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China.” The idea that Jeep was moving U.S. production to China originated with a conservative blogger and was quickly shot down by Jeep itself. But Drudge Report ran with it, Romney mentioned it at an Ohio event, and the line was placed in a campaign TV ad. The line was “brazenly false,” PolitFact says.

    December 12, 2012 12:18 PM