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  1. IN PROGRESS Obama Set to Tackle Immigration Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

    1. Obama Set to Tackle Immigration

    Get ready for the next big fight. President Obama is planning to tackle immigration reform this January, an anonymous official told the Huffington Post Wednesday. The source claims the White House will also be pushing for new gun-control laws in the coming months, despite upcoming deficit talks. “The negative effect of this fiscal-cliff fiasco is that every time we become engaged in one of these fights, there’s no oxygen for anything else," the official said. The process for immigration reform certainly won’t be quick and painless: it’s expected that a bipartisan bill will be drafted in the next two months, and won’t be voted on until a few months later.

    January 2, 2013 8:01 PM

  2. NEW RULE Report: Boehner Ending Private Obama Talks Chip Somodevilla

    2. Report: Boehner Ending Private Obama Talks

    House Speaker John Boehner has gotten a lot of flack lately—most recently over the House of Representative’s reluctance to cooperate with the Senate over a fiscal cliff deal until the last minute, not to mention its failure to hold a vote on a bill providing relief for Hurricane Sandy victims. Now, Boehner is reportedly fighting to regain his party’s respect by promising an end to one-on-one negotiations with Obama. “He is recommitting himself and the House to what we’ve done, which is work though regular order and letting the House work its will,” a Boehner aide said Wednesday. But another aid told The Hill Boehner would not be cutting off all contact. “It doesn’t mean the Speaker isn’t going to meet with the president or talk to the president,” the aide said.

    January 2, 2013 6:15 PM

  3. CRISIS UN: Syria Death Toll at 60K Syrian Arab News Agency / EPA / Landov

    3. UN: Syria Death Toll at 60K

    The United Nations released an estimate Wednesday that roughly 60,000 people have been killed in the ongoing Syrian civil war since it began March 2011. The new count is a third higher than other estimates by anti-regime activists, which are closer to 45,000. The number was reviewed independently, and compared death tolls from multiple sources. "The number of casualties is much higher than we expected, and is truly shocking," U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a statement. "Collectively, we have fiddled at the edges while Syria burns." Earlier today, dozens were killed after Syrian warplanes bombed a gas station near Damascus.

    January 2, 2013 10:05 PM


    4. Top Ill. Republican Supports Gay Marriage

    In another victory for same-sex marriage proponents, Illinois Republican Party chairman Pat Brady said Wednesday he’ll be putting his “full support” behind marriage equality legislation underway in Springfield. “Giving gay and lesbian couples the freedom to get married honors the best conservative principles. It strengthens families and reinforces a key Republican value—that the law should treat all citizens equally,” Brady said, adding that government should not impede citizens making lifelong commitments to each other. President Obama recently urged Illinois lawmakers to vote for the legislation in his home state.

    January 2, 2013 6:25 PM

  5. AGAINST WOMEN GOP Blocks Violence Against Women Act J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

    5. Violence Against Women Act Expires

    If “legitimate rape” didn’t convince you the GOP has gender issues, this should do the trick. House Republicans have allowed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which has been reauthorized every year since its passage in 1994, to expire. The VAWA was reapproved by the Senate in April, and was expected to pass the House once again this year. But now, House GOP have reportedly chosen to block the bill. Local and state government resources for domestic-violence victims will be diminished unless proponents can rewrite the law for a new Congress later this year. In a statement, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) called the move “inexcusable," adding, “but this seems to be how House Republican leadership operates.”

    January 2, 2013 8:00 PM

  6. SANDY RELIEF Christie: ‘Shame on Congress’ Stan Honda, AFP / Getty Images

    6. Christie: ‘Shame on Congress’

    Don't mess with New Jersey. Gov. Chris Christie held a press conference Wednesday slamming Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans for what he called their “disappointing and disgusting” decision to pull the bill that would have provided billions in relief aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy. “Shame on you. Shame on Congress,” Christie said. “Last night, politics was placed before hosts to serve our citizens. For me, it was disappointing and disgusting to watch.” In an earlier joint statement with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Christie also slammed the GOP, saying its “failure to come to the aid of Americans following a severe and devastating natural disaster is unprecedented.” Following the statements, Rep. Peter King announced the House will vote Friday on $9 billion of the Sandy aid, followed by another vote on Jan. 15 for $51 billion in assistance. 

    January 2, 2013 3:02 PM

  7. BOOYAH Fiscal Deal Boosts Stocks Seth Wenig/AP

    7. Fiscal Deal Boosts Stocks

    Wrong again, Mayans! The new year is getting off to a good financial start Wednesday, as stock markets rallied in the wake of the late-night fiscal-cliff deal. U.S. stock markets, which rallied more than 1 percent on Dec. 31 in anticipation of a deal, were off to the races on Wednesday. The Dow Jones industrial avergage gained more than 229 points, or 1.75 percent; the S&P 500 index gained 26.53 points, or 1.86 percent; while the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 74.26 points, or 2.46 percent. Global markets also rose sharply. The House voted 257–167 to approve the Senate bill that would avoid major tax hikes and spending cuts.

    January 2, 2013 4:30 PM

  8. FAUX PAS Aurora Theater Offends Victims’ Families Ed Andrieski / AP Photo

    8. Aurora Theater Offends Victims’ Families

    Sitting through a movie in the same theater where their loved ones were murdered is probably not what the families of the Aurora massacre had in mind for the new year. Cinemark, which owns the theater where 12 died when a gunman opened fire, invited the families of victims to an “evening of remembrance”—complete with free movie tickets—for the cineplex’s re-opening on Jan. 17. The families responded in a letter calling  the event a “thinly veiled publicity ploy” and pointing out that the theater had refused invitations to speak to them after the tragedy. The theater is currently facing a lawsuit from the victims’ families.

    January 2, 2013 5:00 PM

  9. MEDIA Report: Al Jazeera Acquiring Current TV Joe Kohen / Getty Images

    9. Al Jazeera Acquires Current TV

    International news juggernaut Al Jazeera may soon be reaching a wider American audience. On Wednesday the organization acquired Current TV, the cable-news channel founded by Al Gore seven years ago. Current TV is currently available in 60 percent of American homes with cable or satellite. As part of the reported new deal, Al Jazeera will create a new channel based in New York that will produce about 60 percent of its content in the U.S., and use its Qatar-based Al Jazeera English channel to program the other 40 percent. While Al Jazeera may retain some Current staffers, the latter channel’s lineup will probably dissolve in the spring.

    January 2, 2013 7:00 PM

  10. BAD ‘LUCK’ HBO Sued Over Horse Death HBO

    10. HBO Sued Over Horse Death

    If HBO thought its horse-death drama was out to pasture, it was mistaken. HBO canceled its horse-racing drama Luck in March, after several horses died on set. Now Barbara Casey, a former director of production in the American Humane Association’s film and television unit, is filing a lawsuit against the organization and HBO, claiming wrongful termination and alleging that the network covered up animal abuse for months before the series was canceled. She says horses were drugged, underweight, and often sick—and that HBO pressured the AHA to violate animal-safety standards in order to save time and money on production. HBO denies the charges.

    January 2, 2013 6:51 PM

  11. BAD TASTE Kim Kardashian Sex Tape Sales Soar Alan Diaz/AP

    11. Kim Kardashian Sex Tape Sales Soar

    Oh, this is going to be an awkward birds-and-bees conversation. Sales of Kim Kardashian’s sex tape have apparently soared since the reality-TV star announced she is expecting a baby with Kanye West, TMZ reported on Wednesday. Vivid Entertainment, which owns the “Kim K Superstar” tape, said this is the biggest spike in sales they’ve had since Kardashian’s short-lived marriage to Kris Humphries. But don’t fret Kimye fans: sales have been increasing since Kardashian and West started dating last spring.

    January 2, 2013 7:21 AM

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  13. SPOTTED Hillary Briefly Leaves the Hospital Joshua Lott/Landov

    12. Hillary Briefly Leaves the Hospital

    The secretary has left the building—but only briefly. Hillary Clinton left New York–Presbyterian Hospital on Wednesday afternoon for testing, only to return an hour later. Even so, her short departure, with Bill and Chelsea by her side, was welcome evidence of her prognosis, which doctors say is excellent. According to a State Department spokesperson, Clinton has been “quite active” during her stay, coordinating with aides via phone. It’s unclear when she will be officially discharged.

    January 2, 2013 4:30 PM


    13. Alabama Makes Mass Shooting Vid

    A new workplace training video is sure to make more of an impression on Alabama workers than any cheesy sexual harassment film. RUN HIDE FIGHT is a graphic instructional video for what to do in case of a workplace shooting. The Alabama Department of Homeland Security produced the short film—adapted from one originally produced for the Houston Police Department—before the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting but moved up its release date in response to last month’s tragedy. In addition to law-enforcement officers, the video is intended to “help train education officials and private employers.”

    January 2, 2013 11:20 AM

  15. SWEET RIDE Avis to Buy Zipcar Spencer Platt / Getty Images News

    14. Avis to Buy Zipcar

    $500 million could buy a lot of trips to the grocery store. Rental-car giant Avis Budget Group, Inc., is buying Zipcar for $491.2 million, the company announced Wednesday. A carsharing service, Zipcar has expanded to 760,000 members since being founded in 2000, serving mainly urban areas and college campuses. The company went public in 2011, and Avis will be paying a 49 percent premium to Zipcar’s closing price.

    January 2, 2013 8:48 AM

  16. UM, WHAT? Boehner to Reid: Go F--k Yourself Alex Brandon/AP

    15. Boehner to Reid: Go F--k Yourself

    Get that rage out where you can, Boehner. As the tense weekend of fiscal-cliff negotiations were just getting started, House Speaker John Boehner reportedly walked up to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid outside the Oval Office on Friday and said, “Go f--k yourself,” according to a report in Politico on Wednesday. Startled, Reid reportedly replied, “What are you talking about?” and Boehner repeated his earlier statement. Boehner then reportedly bragged about the exchange to House Republicans. After a marathon two days on the Hill, both the Senate and the House passed a fiscal-cliff deal, although not without major concessions by Republicans—including allowing tax hikes on the wealthiest Americans. The president is expected to sign the deal on Wednesday.

    January 2, 2013 6:34 AM

  17. UPDATE Clinton Treated With Blood Thinners Morne de Klerk/Getty

    16. Clinton Treated With Blood Thinners

    Doctors treated Hillary Clinton on Tuesday with blood thinners to dissolve a clot in her head, with the hospital saying in a statement that the secretary of state is in good spirits. They expect her to make a full recovery, and said she will be released once the correct medication dose is revealed. Clinton didn’t suffer a stroke or any neurological damage from the clot, which formed after she suffered a concussion after fainting. Clinton was admitted to New York–Presbyterian Hospital on Sunday after a follow-up exam revealed the clot.

    January 1, 2013 2:15 PM

  18. ROYAL SOLIDER Afghan Warlord: Harry a ‘Jackal’ Pool photo by John Stillwell

    17. Afghan Warlord: Harry a ‘Jackal’

    In fairness to Prince Harry, his drunken adventures all seem to take place far away from the battlefield. A powerful Afghan warlord called Prince Harry a “jackal” who has “come to Afghanistan to kill innocents while drunk,” according to an interview with the warlord in The Telegraph on Wednesday. The interview took an even more disturbing turn when the warlord, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, said that during a recent attack on Harry’s base, “the prince saw that he was the one about to be hunted and was searching for a hole in which to hide himself.” “It seems the British authorities still dream about the times of the eighteenth and nineteenth century and they want their ambassador to be treated like viceroy and their prince in uniform to hunt for human beings and play the satanic role that they used to play in the past.”

    January 2, 2013 7:16 AM

  19. FINALLY House Passes Fiscal Cliff Deal J. Scott Applewhite/AP

    18. House Passes Fiscal Cliff Deal

    Can we finally breathe a sigh of relief? The House voted 257-167 to approve the Senate bill that would avoid major tax hikes and spending cuts. Republicans supported the measure over protestations from high-level colleagues like Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who voted against the bill. Earlier in the day, Republicans said they wanted to amend the Senate's bill with $330 billion in spending cuts, but they lacked the votes and decided to vote on the original measure. Speaker John Boehner reportedly pressed hard for his members to support the legislation. Rep. Paul Ryan, another closely-watched representative, voted for the bill.

    January 1, 2013 10:45 PM

  20. RETROACTIVE PA Gov. to Sue NCAA Patrick Smith/Getty

    19. PA Gov. to Sue NCAA

    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said on Tuesday that he plans to file a lawsuit in federal court against the NCAA for the harsh sanctions imposed on Penn State after the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Agreed upon in July, the NCAA’s sanctions banned the school from participating in bowl games for four years, reduced football scholarships, stripped late coach Joe Paterno and the school of 112 wins, among other harsh penalties. The attorney general–elect, Kathleen Kane, who is scheduled to be sworn in on Jan. 15, has announced plans to look into why it took the state three years to investigate Sandusky. Corbett was attorney general for two of those years, 2009–11.

    January 2, 2013 6:59 AM

  21. RECOVERY VP: Chávez ‘Conscious’ Ariana Cubillos/AP

    20. VP: Chávez ‘Conscious’

    Will Venezuela get to celebrate the New Year? Hugo Chávez is “conscious” but remains in a “delicate and complex situation” after complications from cancer surgery, according to Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro. Maduro said he has seen Chávez twice in the past two days, and insisted the president’s health is not failing. Chávez, 58, underwent his fourth surgery in Cuba on Dec. 11 for cancer. He was reelected to a fourth term in October, but it’s unclear if he will be well enough to attend his swearing-in ceremony for the new term on Jan. 10.

    January 2, 2013 6:54 AM

  22. HORRIFIC Details of Indian Rape Emerge Dar Yasin/AP

    21. Details of Indian Rape Emerge

    A gang of rapists tried to use a vehicle to run over the 23-year-old Indian woman who died last week after being brutally raped on a bus, according to police accounts released on Wednesday. Indian prosecutors plan to present the 1,000-page police report in court on Thursday, where five men arrested in the attack are expected to face murder and rape charges. The victim’s boyfriend was allegedly beaten up and thrown off the bus after she was raped, and he managed to pull her away from the moving vehicle. The victim sustained multiple injuries in the attack, including being so severely wounded that her intestine had to be removed. She died in Singapore last week, 13 days after the attack. Her ashes were scattered over the Ganges on Tuesday.

    January 2, 2013 6:38 AM

  23. NOT GOOD House GOP Scraps Sandy Relief Bill Chip Somodevilla/Getty

    22. House GOP Scraps Sandy Relief Bill

    House Republicans on Tuesday nixed a bill that would have given billions in emergency relief to Hurricane Sandy victims, according to New York lawmakers. The bill was pulled by Speaker John Boehner, according to New York Republican Peter King, who called the decision “almost indefensible.” King, a longtime party faithful who chairs the powerful House Homeland Security Committee, threatened to leave the GOP on Wednesday morning. The Senate approved the $60.4 billion measure for Hurricane Sandy relief on Friday. President Obama joined in the chorus calling on the House to vote on the bill, issuing a statement saying, "When tragedy strikes, Americans come together to help those in need. I urge Republicans in the House of Representatives to do the same."

    January 2, 2013 11:08 AM

  24. VICIOUS Syria Jets Bomb Gas Station Shaam News Network via AP video

    23. Syria Jets Bomb Gas Station

    Dozens are dead after Syrian warplanes bombed a gas station near Damascus. Activists reported that the airstrikes happened as fuel was delivered to the packed station in Nawras. At least 30 bodies were seen burnt or dismembered, and dozens more were wounded. Amateur video seemed to confirm the siege. Meanwhile, Islamist rebels reportedly attacked a northern air base.

    January 2, 2013 9:02 AM

  25. CAPTURED American Journalist Missing in Syria Steven Senne/AP

    24. American Journalist Missing in Syria

    American journalist James Foley has been missing in Syria for more than a month, according to a statement released by his family Wednesday. The 39-year-old had been contributing videos from Syria’s civil war to Agence France-Press when he was kidnapped by gunmen on Thanksgiving Day, the statement said. The family is attempting to get whoever has Foley to contact them “so we can work together towards his release.” AFP is also working to bring Foley home. “He is a professional journalist who is absolutely neutral in this conflict,” the news agency’s chairman said.

    January 2, 2013 12:29 PM

  26. SO LONG Andrew Sullivan Leaves The Daily Beast The Daily Beast

    25. Andrew Sullivan Leaves The Beast

    Andrew Sullivan reflects on his illustrious blogging career as he announces—via blog post, of course—that he and his Dish team are taking their show on the road. After 12 years and three major media outlets—most recently The Daily Beast—Sullivan and his two executive editors, Patrick Appel and Chris Bodenner, are breaking out on their own. The bloggers now make up the three-man independent company Dish Publishing LLC and, as of Feb. 1, can be found behind a metered paywall at their original URL, Their presence will surely be missed at The Beast.

    January 2, 2013 1:16 PM

  27. TRAGEDY Son of Clippers Owner Found Dead Stephen Dunn / Getty Images

    26. Son of Clippers Owner Found Dead

    Scott Sterling, the 32-year-old son of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, was discovered dead Tuesday night at the family’s home in Malibu. Detectives found his body after receiving a call from an unnamed person telling deputies that Sterling had not been heard from for “several days.” He was pronounced dead at the scene, and though no official cause of death has been given, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department says he died of an “apparent drug overdose.” In 1999, Sterling was arrested but not charged in the shooting of a childhood friend.

    January 2, 2013 1:18 PM

  28. EMBARRASSING C-SPAN Apologizes for Vulgar Titles MLADEN ANTONOV

    27. C-SPAN Apologizes for Vulgar Titles

    At least they're being honest. Many assumed C-SPAN's site was hacked over New Year’s when its online feed of the Senate’s fiscal cliff debate was topped with the title “Just Plain Dick” and its stream of the House debate said “I Want You to Shut the F#ck Up.” As it turns out, there's a much stranger explanation: the Senate debate had preempted a previously scheduled discussion of Just Plain Dick, a book about Richard Nixon, and a note during the House debate indicated that a discussion of I Want You to Shut the F#ck Up—a book on politics by D.L. Hughley—was airing on C-SPAN 2 at the same time. The network said in a statement, “While the site was not hacked, our policy of using current nonfiction book titles verbatim in our schedule led to the unfortunate posting of content some might find offensive on”

    January 2, 2013 2:42 PM

  29. BRANGELINA Report: Pitt and Jolie Marry Ethan Miller / Getty Images

    28. Report: Pitt and Jolie Marry

    How crafty of them. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie may have tied the knot during a secret and exclusive ceremony on Christmas Day. The wedding is rumored to have taken place at Parrot Cay, Donna Karan’s estate in the Turks and Caicos Islands, where the couple is spending the holidays with family. Pitt and Jolie announced their engagement in April 2012 after seven years together. Recent reports suggested that Greece would be the likely location of the wedding.

    January 2, 2013 12:03 PM

  30. TRAGEDY Bieber Paparazzo Hit By Car, Killed Chris McKay/Getty for Jingle Ball 2012

    29. Bieber Paparazzo Hit By Car, Killed

    A paparazzo who claimed to have snapped a photo of Justin Bieber was killed after being hit by a car Tuesday night in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Police Department is interviewing the motorist who hit the photographer, but no arrests have been made. The photographer, identified as Chris Guerra, arrived at Getty Center Drive shortly after 6 p.m., as Bieber’s Ferrari had been pulled over by California Highway Patrol for a traffic stop—although CHP said Bieber was not in the car at the time of the traffic stop. Guerra crossed over Sepulveda Boulevard, where Bieber's car was directed by CHP, and snapped some photos but was hit by a passing motorist as he crossed back toward his car.

    January 2, 2013 10:23 AM

  31. ACTIVISM Malala’s Dad Gets Diplomatic Post Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham via Getty Images

    30. Malala’s Dad Gets Diplomatic Post

    The father of Malala Yousafzai, the teenage girl targeted by Pakistan’s Taliban for promoting female education, is being honored for his role in forming the young activist. Ziauddin Yousafzai has been appointed Pakistan’s education attaché in Birmingham, England, where Malala has been recovering since she was shot in the head in October. The position ensures the young girl can stay in the U.K., far from threats of the Taliban who have sworn to target her again. It’s unclear whether Yousafzai will stay, as she originally said she planned to return to Pakistan after her treatment.

    January 2, 2013 3:45 PM