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  1. Time for Action Obama Proposes Gun-Control Plan Obama and Biden propose gun violence reduction measures. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty)

    1. Obama Proposes Gun-Control Plan

    President Obama on Wednesday put forward a plan to reduce gun-control violence that included a universal background check, banning military-style weapons, improving mental-health services, and allowing schools the opportunity to hire up to 1,000 school resource officers and counselors. “This is our first task as a society—keeping our children safe,” Obama said at a press conference attended by some of children who wrote him letters after the Newtown school massacre. “This is how we will be safe.” Acknowledging “this will be difficult,” Obama said he will “put everything I have into this.” Vice President Joe Biden, who headed up the task force that met with 229 special-interest groups, said the country has a “moral obligation” to act on gun violence at this time.

    'President Obama said his proposals protect, not destroy, constitutional rights.'

    January 16, 2013 11:58 AM

  2. HOSTAGES Americans Seized in Algeria BP/AP

    2. Americans Seized in Algeria

    Forty-one hostages—including an unspecified number of Americans—were seized by militants at a gas field in Algeria on Wednesday, the U.S. State Department confirmed. Specific details concering the Americans in custody have yet to be released, a move the State Department deems necessary to “protect their safety.” Described by the State Department as a terrorist attack, the incident allegedly took place at a gas operation in In Aménas, a joint-venture operation that includes BP. Citing two Mauritania-based news agencies, Reuters places the blame on Islamic militants, most likely retaliating against France for its intervention in Mali.

    January 16, 2013 1:41 PM

  3. halt! FAA Grounds Dreamliners Stephen Brashear / Getty Images

    3. FAA Grounds Dreamliners

    The FAA is taking the "better safe than sorry" approach to the escalating concerns over safety of the Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Two Japanese airlines have already grounded all fleets of Dreamliners after battery problems have demonstrated a fire risk, and now the U.S. is doing the same. United, currently the only airline with Dreamliners, has been ordered to stop using them until the risk is fixed. "Before further flight, operators of U.S.-registered, Boeing 787 aircraft must demonstrate to the Federal Aviation Administration that the batteries are safe and in compliance," the FAA said Wednesday evening.

    January 16, 2013 6:50 PM

  4. Whale Flop JPMorgan CEO’s Pay Halved Bloomberg

    4. JP Morgan CEO's Pay Halved

    JPMorgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon won’t be reaping any benefits from the bank’s third consecutive year of record profits. Dimon’s pay will be cut by more than half, the company revealed in an internal report that blamed him for at least $6.2 billion in losses from the “London Whale” trade. Dimon will take home $11.5 million in 2012, including his $1.5 million salary and $10 million in restricted stock—roughly half of his 2011 haul of $23 million. The bank pointed out Dimon’s “egregious mistakes” in the chief investment office that resulted in the Whale flop, for which he “bears ultimate responsibility.”

    January 16, 2013 12:37 PM

  5. LOW BLOW NRA Ad Targets Obama Daughters NRA membership card. (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty)

    5. NRA Ad Targets Obama Daughters

    Stay classy, National Rifle Association. The gun-lobbying group released a video on Tuesday that calls President Obama an “elitist hypocrite” for using Secret Service protection for his daughters. “Are the president’s kids more important than yours?” the video asks. “Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their schools?” The NRA denied that the ad is about Malia and Sasha Obama, with spokesman Andrew Arulanandam saying that "misses the point entirely." Arulanadam said the ad is about "keeping our children safe," and about the president's skepticism about schools having armed security guards when he and his family have them. The White House called the ad "repugnant and cowardly" and spokesman Jay Carney said that the president's children should not be used as "pawns in a political fight."

    January 16, 2013 12:00 PM

  6. UNSTABLE African Troops to Deploy to Mali Malians greet French soldiers on Tuesday. (Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty)

    6. African Troops to Deploy to Mali

    French troops advanced on the ground toward the northern region of Mali on Wednesday, one day after France’s prime minister said African forces are set to deploy to the troubled Islamic nation “within a week.” Six days after France began airstrikes against Islamic militants and at least partially halted their advance toward the capital, Bamako, the rebels hunkered down in the strategic town of Diabaly, which remained under the rebels’ control. West African army chiefs met in Bamako on Tuesday to plan out the deployment of some 3,300 troops as part of a United Nations–backed intervention.

    January 16, 2013 6:41 AM

  7. ZERO DARK WHAT? Bigelow Denounced Torture Bigelow at Golden Globes on Sunday. (Jason Merritt/Getty)

    7. Bigelow Denounced Torture

    Is this a reaction to losing to Ben Affleck? Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow wrote an editorial in the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday denouncing the controversial depiction of torture in the film. Calling herself a “lifelong pacifist,” Bigelow writes that she supports all protests against any use of torture. “Those of us who work in the arts know that depiction is not endorsement,” Bigelow writes. Calling it “illogical” to ignore the CIA’s alleged use of torture, Bigelow acknowledges that Osama bin Laden was found not by “superheroes zooming in from the sky,” but rather “ordinary Americans who fought bravely and sometimes crossed moral lines.”

    January 16, 2013 7:21 AM

  8. REALLY? NRA Vows ‘Fight of the Century’ Julie Jacobson/AP

    8. NRA Vows ‘Fight of the Century’

    Hey, NRA, the century is not even 13 years old, declaring a “fight of the century” might be a bit premature. The nation’s largest gun lobby vowed to use all their resources to fight President Obama in a fundraising letter distributed on Wednesday—the same day Obama announced a crackdown in gun laws. “I warned you this day was coming and now it is here,” NRA president Wayne LaPierre declares in the leaflet, which is being circulated at the 35th Annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas. On Wednesday, the NRA and other gun advocacy groups spend the whole day in closed-door meetings to draft a response to Obama’s proposal to reduce gun violence, which included a ban on assault weapons, higher-capacity magazine guns, and stricter background checks.

    January 16, 2013 1:33 PM

  9. fooled Manti Te'o's Girlfriend Was Hoax Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images

    9. Manti Te'o's Girlfriend Was Hoax

    He fooled us all. Well-known Notre Dame football player Manti Te'o went through a public tragedy this season when his grandmother and girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, died within six hours of each other. He was hailed for bravely still deciding to play for his team in the BCS championship. But, according to an investigation by Deadspin, the story that moved the sports world to tears is false. Te'o's grandmother did die, but, despite coverage in The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, the Associated Press, and a touching interview he did with ESPN on his girlfriend's tragic struggle with leukemia, there's no evidence she ever existed. Deadspin found no record of Lennay Kekua's death, nor a student by that name at Stanford, where he said she attended, and the picture of her was taken off a Facebook account of a woman who says she's never met Te'o. Well, this is awkward.

    January 16, 2013 5:25 PM

  10. Fair and Balanced Fox News Signs Dennis Kucinich Jemal Countess

    10. Fox News Signs Dennis Kucinich

    They're certainly casting against type these days. Former Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich has just signed as a paid contributor to Fox News and Fox Business Network. The liberal Kucinich represented Ohio's 10th district in Congress for 16 years before leaving office earlier this month. He also sought the Democratic nomination for president in 2004 and 2008. His new gig will begin on Thursday's edition of The O'Reilly Factor. Fox News CEO Roger Ailes said, "I've always been impressed with Rep. Kucinich's fearlessness and thoughtfulness about important issues. His willingness to take a stand from his point of view makes him a valuable voice in our country's debate."

    January 16, 2013 4:10 PM

  11. 'Happy Valley' Pacino to Play Paterno in Film AP

    11. Pacino to Play Paterno in Film

    The Penn State child abuse debacle was at a Hollywood drama-level from the start, so it was only a matter of time before a silver screen announcement happened. Director Brian De Palma and actor Al Pacino, who worked together on Scarface, will be back together for Happy Valley, the tale of head football coach Joe Paterno's undoing by a multi-tiered rape scandal coverup. Pacino will be depicting Patero in the film adaptation of the book Paterno by Joe Posnanski. "I can’t think of a better duo to tell this story of a complex, intensely righteous man who was brought down by his own tragic flaw,” announced producer Edward Pressman.

    January 16, 2013 9:50 PM

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  13. RELIEF House Approves $50.7B in Sandy Aid Susan Walsh/AP

    12. House Approves $50.7B in Sandy Aid

    After a delay that infuriated the nation, the House has approved a $50.7 billion measure for the victims of Superstorm Sandy. The 241-180 vote pushes the measure to the Senate, where it will likely be taken up next Tuesday. Leaders in both New York and New Jersey applied ruthless pressure to Congress in early January after House Speaker John Boehner pulled a bill that would have provided much-needed relief. The October 29 storm wreaked havoc on the East Coast, pounding New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut with catastrophic wind and rain and killing 140 worldwide.

    January 15, 2013 7:42 PM

  14. ATTACKS Afghan Spy Agency Bombed Scene of Afghan intelligence service bombing on Wednesday.(Musadeq Sadeq/AP)

    13. Afghan Spy Agency Bombed

    At least two people were killed and another 22 injured in a series of coordinated attacks on Wednesday in Kabul aimed at Afghanistan’s main spy agency. The Taliban sent a text message to the media about the attack but did not claim responsibility. At around noon a suicide bomber detonated a large car bomb near the entrance of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), and then Afghan officials shot and killed five people with explosives strapped to their chests as they tried to enter the compound. Police said two NDS guards were killed in the attack.

    January 16, 2013 6:46 AM

  15. in tribute Rep. Lofgren Introduces 'Aaron's Law' Pernille Ironside/ThoughtWorks (left), Haraz Ghanbari/AP (right)

    14. Rep. Lofgren Introduces 'Aaron's Law'

    Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced “Aaron’s Law” on Tuesday night, announcing it via the user-generated site Reddit. The piece of legislation would modify the the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to exclude terms of service violations. “There’s no way to reverse the tragedy of Aaron’s death, but we can work to prevent a repeat of the abuses of power he experienced,” Lofgren wrote. “The government was able to bring such disproportionate charges against Aaron because of the broad scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and the wire fraud statute.” Read the full bill here.

    January 15, 2013 8:55 PM

  16. flight trouble Airline Grounds All 787s Kin Cheung / AP Photo

    15. Airline Grounds All 787s

    Sometimes bigger is definitely not better. All Nippon Airways realized that on Tuesday, when decided to ground all Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets immediately after experiencing multiple problems. On Wednesday in Japan, one of the airline’s flights made an emergency landing after a battery alarm alert. ANA had several other problems with the Dreamliners but would not detail them. Last week, the FAA announced it would investigate the 787s after a fire aboard a Japan Airlines flight in Boston and a leak on a Dreamliner the next day.

    January 15, 2013 9:41 PM

  17. GET READY Obama to Unveil Gun Laws George Frey/Getty

    16. Obama to Unveil Gun Laws

    President Obama is set to reveal a sweeping package of gun-reform measures on Wednesday, including a proposed ban on assault weapons and higher-capacity magazines, as well as universal background checks. Obama will make the announcement at an 11:45 a.m. press conference. The move comes less than 24 hours after New York became the first state to pass gun reform laws on Tuesday, a move the powerful gun lobby had already attacked as “schemes.” White House spokesman Jay Carney refused to outline any specifics of Obama’s proposal on Tuesday, but Republicans have already been gearing up for a fight since the president asked Vice President Biden to head up a task force on reducing gun violence.

    January 16, 2013 6:29 AM

  18. Cabinet Exodus Interior Secretary Steps Down Joe Raedle

    17. Interior Secretary Steps Down

    Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will leave his post at the end of March. Salazar, a former Colorado senator, served as interior secretary for all of President Obama’s first term, and spent much of his time focused on energy issues, but the 2010 BP oil spill undermined many of his most ambitious plans. His departure means that Obama’s cabinet, which has already been criticized for a lack of diversity among recent nominees, may now be even less diverse in his second term. Salazar is of Hispanic descent. A replacement has not yet been announced.

    January 16, 2013 9:19 AM


    18. FBI Arrests 27 in NY Mob Raid

    The FBI arrested 27 people early Wednesday morning in New York in a sweeping Mafia raid. The arrests are reportedly in connection to an investigation into the mob’s alleged control of the private garbage-hauling industry. They are expected to be arraigned this afternoon. Those arrested allegedly come from three out of the area’s five mob families, although the names have not been made public yet.

    January 16, 2013 10:09 AM

  20. LI-NO! Sundance Snubs ‘The Canyons’ Jason Merritt / Getty Images

    19. Sundance Snubs ‘The Canyons’

    Here’s what happens when Lindsay Lohan gets blamed for everything. The producers of the independent film The Canyons are stunned that their film has been rejected by the Sundance Film Festival, but sources told TNZ on Wednesday that producers are blaming the snub on Lohan herself. Coming off of a tumultuous year, Stephen Rodrick’s viral New York Times article on Lohan surely didn’t help her cause. But all things considered, producer Braxton Pope is remaining optimistic. Lohan’s costar James Deen is following suit—joking that the festival falls on a more important day for him. “The AVN (porn awards),” he says “Priorities, man!!” Sundance is the biggest independent-film festival in the U.S., attracting cinema aficionados from across the globe.

    January 16, 2013 11:36 AM

  21. DIRTY DIGGER Murdoch Rants on Twitter on Welfare Scott Barbour / Getty Images News

    20. Murdoch Rants on Twitter on Welfare

    At least he reads his own newspapers. News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch took to Twitter on Tuesday night to comment on a story that ran in the New York Post earlier this week about a 400-pound woman who fell through a sidewalk—although his comments were less than politically correct. “How did fat lady who fell thru street get to 400 lbs? Welfare, stamps, etc? Then leave us all with 20yrs immense health bills,” Murdoch tweeted. The woman, who is not described in the article as being on welfare, is a social worker who said that her size actually saved her and that an investigation into the sidewalk found defective steel doors. Murdoch, however, didn’t apologize for his tweets, and instead answered that he “didn’t mean to be unsympathetic.” Well, that makes it all right.

    January 16, 2013 10:43 AM

  22. ‘LITTLE EARTHQUAKE’ Helicopter Crashes in Central London Scene of helicopter crash in London on Wednesday. (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty)

    21. Helicopter Crashes in Central London

    At least two people are dead and another 13 were injured in central London when a helicopter crashed into a crane near a bus station in a busy part of the city during the morning commute on Wednesday. The helicopter crashed into the crane near the Vauxhall Cross bus station at 8 a.m. local time, and then hit various vehicles before bursting into flames. One of the fatalities has been confirmed as the pilot, Pete Barnes, 50. “When I heard the explosion—it was like a little earthquake,” eyewitness Sarah-Beth Casey told The Telegraph. Sixty firefighters responded to the scene at Wandsworth Road, with the London Fire Brigade station manager Bruce Gain saying crews arrived to the scene within four minutes.

    January 16, 2013 11:30 AM

  23. NOT NEWLYWEDS NBC Inks Deal With Jessica Simpson Jessica Simpson in Nov. 2012. (Getty for Jessica Simpson Collection)

    22. NBC Inks Deal With Jessica Simpson

    Hopefully this will last longer than her Weight Watchers stint. NBC Universal Television is creating a sitcom with Jessica Simpson about her life, NBC and Simpson announced on Tuesday. In a statement, NBC parent company Electus president Ben Silverman called Simpson a “modern day Lucy” and said “her unique yet totally accessible approach to family is something I think America will love and laugh at.” Simpson is teaming up with the same group of executives behind her 2004’s series Fashion Star, and her father, Joe Simpson, will coproduce. Simpson told Jay Leno on Tuesday night that the show will be “loosely based” on her life. Simpson admitted her second pregnancy was a surprise—and that she and fiancé Eric Johnson are planning on marrying but “he keeps knocking me up.”

    January 16, 2013 7:25 AM