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  1. bad timing Asma al-Assad Reportedly Pregnant Gerard Creles, AFP / Getty images

    1. Asma al-Assad Reportedly Pregnant

    Well, now we finally know how Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his wife, Asma, have been passing the time while their country goes up in flames. According to Beirut-based al-Akhbar newspaper, anonymous visitors recently met with al-Assad, who revealed that his 37-year-old wife is pregnant with the couple's fourth child. Previous rumors have suggested that she became pregnant in June—the same time the United Nations withdrew its monitors from Syria as the turmoil became increasingly dangerous. For the rest of the interview, he continued to insist that his country was on the brink of victory against foreign-funded extremists.

    January 28, 2013 7:53 PM

  2. militant troubles U.S., Niger Sign Military Agreement Claude Paris/AP

    2. U.S., Niger Sign Military Agreement

    We're inching near, folks. On Monday, the United States signed an agreement with Niger that allows an American military presence on the border of conflict-ridden neighbor, Mali. The U.S. is in the beginning stages of building an intelligence-gathering hub in Niger that will be assisting France with its escalating military campaign and using drones to monitor nearby militants in Mali's northern desert. It is not yet known how many troops will be stationed in Niger or what exactly they will be doing. The agreement comes as French forces move into Timbuktu, and is a major sign of an increased U.S. role in the conflict.

    January 28, 2013 10:15 PM

  3. C'mon Treasury OK'd Excessive CEO Pay AP Photo

    3. Treasury OK'd Excessive CEO Pay

    Seriously, guys? A watchdog group has found that the U.S. Treasury Department allowed big raises for executives at three firms being bailed out during the financial crisis. The special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program published findings that show the Treasury approved 18 requests for paydays around $100,000—and even up to $1 million—for leaders at General Motors, American International Group and Ally Financial—despite rules that limited pay. Together, the three firms received close to $250 billion in bailout money. The Treasury official who approved the raises said the pay wasn't excessive.

    January 28, 2013 3:30 PM

  4. PROGRESS Boy Scouts Mulls Ending Gay Ban KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP

    4. Boy Scouts Mulls Ending Gay Ban

    Welcome to the 21st century, Boy Scouts. The organization is reportedly considering ending its ban gay members and leaders, a spokesman said on Monday. The about-face comes as somewhat of a shock since the Boy Scouts in July reaffirmed their ban on openly gay scouts and leaders, declaring it “absolutely the best policy.” If they do decide to change their policy, each local organization will decide whether to adopt it or not. Gay-rights groups applauded the decision, with Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, the founder of Scouts for Equality, calling it “an incredible step forward in the right direction.”

    January 28, 2013 3:15 PM

  5. bad boy Ocean Might Press Charges Against Brown AP

    5. Ocean Might Press Charges Against Brown

    Chris Brown can't seem to stay out of trouble. R&B crooner Frank Ocean is apparently considering pressing charges against Brown, who allegedly started a fight over a parking spot at a recording studio in LA on Sunday. Los Angeles County Sherriff's spokesman says Ocean is "is desirous of prosecution in this incident," during which witnesses say Brown punched Ocean. "Got jumped by chris and a couple guys," Ocean tweeted after the brawl. Brown is already serving five years probation for assaulting Rihanna in 2009, and could face a revoked probation if more charges are filed. Can't Brown learn to keep his hands to himself?

    January 28, 2013 9:38 PM

  6. The Royals Dutch Queen to Abdicate Lex Van Lieshout/AFP

    6. Dutch Queen to Abdicate

    Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands has announced that she will abdicate the throne on April 30, after 33 years as queen. The announcement will clear the way for her son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, to become the country's first king in more than a century. The 75-year-old monarch made the announcement during a nationally televised speech. Beatrix is immensely popular in the Netherlands, and many of her subjects refer to her by the nickname "Bea."

    January 28, 2013 1:20 PM

  7. BABA WAWA Barbara Walters Has Chicken Pox Theo Wargo/Getty Images

    7. Barbara Walters Has Chicken Pox

    Barbara Walters has been hospitalized with the chicken pox. The 83-year-old journalist was hospitalized over a week ago after a fall. At first doctors said they would not release Walters because she had a fever, and it turns out that she has the disease that most people get as children. Whoopi Goldberg made the announcement during a taping of The View on Monday, saying “No scratching.” After suffering a fall on Jan. 19 in Washington, D.C., Walters was taken to the hospital for observation. She has since been transferred to a hospital in New York.

    January 28, 2013 11:40 AM

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  9. HERO Taye Diggs Fights Off Home Invasion Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images Entertainment

    8. Taye Diggs Fights Off Home Invasion

    So why doesn’t Taye Diggs star as an action hero then? The Private Practice star reportedly managed to catch—by himself—a man who was attempting to break into his house on Sunday night. Diggs and his wife, actress Idina Menzel, returned home from the SAG awards shortly after 11 p.m. when a man allegedly tried to break into their house. Diggs reportedly confronted the suspect, who took off running—only to be chased down by Diggs. After catching up with the intruder, Diggs allegedly held the man for about 20 minutes until police arrived. Only one thing stopped it from being perfect: police sources told TMZ that a suspect driving a getaway car did in fact manage to get away.

    January 28, 2013 12:02 PM

  10. DANGEROUS Rapper Rick Ross Crashes Car Isaac Brekken / Getty Images Entertainment

    9. Rapper Rick Ross Crashes Car

    This is not a good end to a birthday celebration. Rapper Rick Ross crashed his car into a Miami apartment building early Monday morning after gunshots were fired on the vehicle. Unknown assailants allegedly fired “dozens” of rounds at Ross’s Rolls-Royce as Ross exited the Miami club LIV, where he was celebrating his 37th birthday. Neither Ross, a.k.a. William Leonard Roberts, or his passenger, Shateria L. Morange-el, were injured in the crash. The pair reportedly tried to keep their name out of reports to prevent a reiteration—Ross has had run-ins with the Gangster Disciples street gang in the past, even canceling several shows.

    January 28, 2013 4:56 PM

  11. GONE French Forces Enter Timbuktu Gerard Julien/AFP, via Getty

    10. French Forces Enter Timbuktu

    French-led troops in Mali entered the city of Timbuktu on Monday but have not yet seized control, according to the Associated Press. A French Army spokesman said that “substantial airpower” had been used to support the 1,000 French and 2,000 Malian forces in the offensive in Timbuktu, and they were encountering little resistance from the Islamists. However, Timbuktu’s mayor did indicate that the militants burned the homes of several civil servants and buildings that have housed ancient manuscripts for centuries. French troops seized control of the city of Gao on Saturday and expect to focus on Kidal, the last rebel stronghold, once Timbuktu is secured.

    January 28, 2013 12:19 PM

  12. STILL GOT IT ‘Pride & Prejudice’ Celebrates Bicentennial Matt Cardy

    11. ‘Pride & Prejudice’ Celebrates Bicentennial

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice will be celebrated with a host of Austen-related events and shameless quoting of the literary classic. So tune into a 12-hour “readathon” of the novel that will be broadcast live online from the Jane Austen Center in Bath, England. Or head to the Free Library of Philadelphia for lectures, film screenings, and “pop-up” theatrical performances of scenes from the book (Elizabeth and Darcy at the Netherfield Ball!). The BBC actually filmed a 90-minute reconstruction of the scene last week at Chawton House—the Hampshire manor once owned by Austen’s brother—which will air in May. Meanwhile, Colin Firth fanatics will likely be watching the lake scene from the BBC’s infamous 1995 production.

    January 28, 2013 3:00 PM

  13. OOPS Lawrence’s Dress Rips at SAG Awards Frazer Harrison/Getty

    12. Lawrence’s Dress Rips at SAG Awards

    Well, maybe this will endear her to Oscar voters. When Jennifer Lawrence walked up to the stage to collect the Screen Actors’ Guild Award for Best Female Actor in a leading role on Sunday night, her dress ripped apart. The bottom of Lawrence’s Dior gown caught under a chair and then ripped just where the skirt meets the underskirt with sheer lining. Lawrence was able to pull up the skirt to cover the damage, but then further revealed her thighs as she tried to walk up to the stage. Lawrence, who is suffering from walking pneumonia, took it in stride, delivering a charming speech in which she thanked her peers for giving her this “naked statue.”

    January 28, 2013 9:56 AM

  14. BACK UP Bloomberg: ‘Look at the Ass on Her’ Mario Tama

    13. Bloomberg: ‘Look at the Ass on Her’

    Cue the angry feminist rants against New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has stolen the show by stealing glances at a woman’s bum in New York magazine’s latest cover story on Christine Quinn, a leading candidate for Bloomie’s position when he leaves office. Writer Jonathan Van Meter paints a picture of Quinn as an ambitious lesbian Democratic city councilwoman in stark contrast to the billionaire, who ignored a compliment about his work on gun control to admire a woman’s derriere at a recent Christmas party. “Look at the ass on her,” he said, and we can almost see him, eyes wide, tongue out, etc. Alas, the biggest takeaway from this great piece on Quinn may end up being that a crafty writer did a good job portraying Bloomberg as a shmuck.

    January 28, 2013 1:31 PM

  15. GRIM ASSESSMENT Russian P.M.: Assad Losing Power IRIB TV, via AP

    14. Russian P.M.: Assad Losing Power

    Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev sought to distance Moscow from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in an interview Sunday, saying that Assad “had much closer allies among the Europeans” and that Russia “never said that our goal was to preserve the current political regime.” He also claimed to have personally lobbied Assad to grant reforms and that ignoring his advice was an “important, if not fatal” mistake. “The chances for him surviving are slipping way as days and weeks go by,” Medvedev said. But he also warned that if Assad’s rule is “swept away,” it could result in a conflict that could last “for decades.”

    January 28, 2013 6:19 AM

  16. INVESTIGATION

    15. Texas School on Lockdown

    An elementary school outside Dallas is on lockdown Monday after a person was found dead in a car outside the school, allegedly from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police said they believe the shooting took place either late Sunday night or early Monday, and the body was found Monday morning at Cross Oaks Elementary School in Denton, Texas. Despite being placed on lockdown, the school is currently open and classes will be held during the day.

    January 28, 2013 10:31 AM

  17. EMERGENCY Riots Rage in Port Said, Cairo Mohammed Abed/AFP, via Getty

    16. Riots Rage in Port Said, Cairo

    Violence flared for a fifth day in Egypt, as protests against death sentences for “ultra” soccer fans raged in Port Said and Cairo. The riots come a day after President Morsi announced a state of emergency and placed a curfew on the cities of Suez, Ismailia, and Port Said. Protesters fought back against armored cars using rocks and shoes, and called for everyone to ignore curfews. Meanwhile in Cairo, cops used tear gas to hold back rioters by the Kasr el-Nile bridge. The state-of-emergency order suspends most civil rights and the judicial process—something that Hosni Mubarak was notorious for doing.

    January 28, 2013 12:05 PM

  18. award season ‘Argo’ Takes Cast SAG Award John Shearer

    17. ‘Argo’ Takes Cast SAG Award

    Take that, the Academy! Ben Affleck got his time at the mic accepting the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Cast in a Motion Picture for his movie, Argo. Not many surprises otherwise Sunday night though—Anne Hathaway snagged Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role for Les Misérables, while Daniel Day Lewis and Jennifer Lawrence took home leading actor awards. For comedy, Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin of 30 Rock had an epic swan song with back-to-back trophies for Best Female Actor and Best Male Actor in a Comedy Series.

    January 27, 2013 9:00 PM

  19. GOING DIGITAL B&N to Close a Third of Stores Elise Amendola/AP

    18. B&N to Close a Third of Stores

    Browse those bookshelves while you can. Barnes & Noble expects to close as many as a third of its retail stores over the next decade. CEO Mitchell Klipper said, “In 10 years, we’ll have 450 to 500 stores.” As of Jan. 23, the company was operating 689 retail stores. Klipper expects the company to close about 20 stores per year over the period. The company closed an average of 15 stores per year over the past decade, but until 2009, it was also opening about 30 stores per year. The company’s bookstores peaked at 726 in 2008. “You have to adjust your overhead, and get smart with smart systems,” Klipper said. “Is it what it used to be when you were opening 80 stores a year and dropping stores everywhere? Probably not. It’s different. But every business evolves.”

    January 28, 2013 7:13 AM

  20. EXODUS France’s Richest Man Heads to Belgium Francois Guillot/AFP, via Getty

    19. France’s Richest Man Heads to Belgium

    Maybe it was for the waffles. Bernard Arnault, France’s richest man, has transferred his multibillion-euro fortune from France to Belgium. The luxury-goods magnate claims that he has not made the move for tax reasons, but because he wants to ensure that his company remains in his family after he dies. The decision has reignited a debate over President François Hollande’s tax policies, which critics say are driving the wealthy to leave.

    January 28, 2013 7:08 AM

  21. DEFENSIVE

    20. Pentagon Boosts Cybersecurity Force

    The Pentagon has announced a plan that would greatly expand its cybersecurity force over the next few years. The move would grow the Defense Department’s Cyber Command, which is currently made up of about 900 people, to include about 4,900 troops and civilians. The command was established three years ago, but has mostly been consumed with developing policy and legal frameworks and making sure military networks are protected. The new plan would divide the command into three sections: one to protect the Defense Department’s networks, one to protect national infrastructure, and one to help commanders abroad plan and execute cyberattacks.

    January 28, 2013 7:06 AM

  22. BRAZIL NIGHTCLUB FIRE Over 100 Students Killed in Blaze Jefferson Bernardes/AFP, via Getty

    21. Over 100 Students Killed in Blaze

    New details have emerged about the deadly fire that swept through a Brazilian nightclub. Guards reportedly first tried to prevent people from leaving, but the death toll was also increased because there was only one door through which clubgoers could exit. Once firefighters arrived, they were unable to enter due to “a barrier of bodies blocking the entrance.” They later tried to cut their way in through the walls, but most of those who died suffocated within minutes after the fire started. Many of the victims were younger than 20, and the Federal University of Santa Maria confirmed that 101 of its students were killed in the blaze. Officials believe that the fire started when band members held up a flare and ignited soundproofing in the ceiling. Police have now arrested three people in connection with the fire, including the nightclub's owner, a vocalist in the band, and a person in charge of stage safety.

    January 28, 2013 6:17 AM

  23. rage Morsi Declares State of Emergency Ed Giles / Getty Images

    22. Morsi Declares State of Emergency

    Four people were shot and killed and hundreds more were injured in Port Said during the funerals for 33 protesters killed on Saturday. The initial protests broke out after 21 people were sentenced to death for their roles at a deadly soccer match last year. Protests raged in Cairo for the fourth day as Egyptians accused President Mohamed Morsi of corruption and betraying the democratic aims of the revolution. Since Thursday, 46 people have died in protests, and President Morsi has declared a 30-day state of emergency and issued a curfew for three Suez Canal provinces. 

    January 27, 2013 6:25 PM

  24. 60 Minutes Clinton on 2016: ‘I Can’t Predict Future’ CBS via AP

    23. Clinton on 2016: ‘I Can’t Predict Future’

    The real question is, when can we start printing the T-shirts? Appearing on CBS’s 60 Minutes with President Obama Sunday, soon-to-be-former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seemed pretty open to the idea of running for president in 2016. Clinton said she cares “deeply about what’s going to happen for our country in the future” and that she can’t “make predictions about what’s going to happen tomorrow or the next year.” Obama, for his part, seemed to give a ringing unofficial endorsement, saying Clinton “will go down as one of the finest secretaries of state we’ve had,” and that he wants “the country to appreciate just what an extraordinary role she’s played during the course of my administration.”

    January 27, 2013 8:13 PM

  25. BIPARTISAN Senators Agree on Immigration Blueprint Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/MCT, via Landov

    24. Senators Agree on Immigration Blueprint

    A bipartisan group of senators has agreed on a framework for an overhaul of the immigration system, which would include a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country. The group, which includes Chuck Schumer, John McCain, and Marco Rubio, among others, reached a deal after incorporating the Democratic demand for one comprehensive bill and Republican wishes for stronger border security before Congress considers legal status for illegal immigrants. The proposal includes tougher enforcement and a less direct path to citizenship than President Obama has previously proposed, but he is expected to lay out his own detailed plan Tuesday.

    January 28, 2013 6:22 AM

  26. BEAST BEAST Iran Sends Monkey Into Space Press TV/Retuers, via Landov

    25. Iran Sends Monkey Into Space

    One small step for astronaut monkeys, one giant leap for Tehran. Iranian State TV reports that the nation has successfully sent a monkey into space. The monkey launched 72 miles into the air in a rocket named Pishtam, or Explorer. While the mission remains shrouded in secrecy, the monkey is said to have returned alive. Three years ago, Iran sent a mouse, a turtle, and worms into orbit. It’s all part of the nation’s push to send a man into space—or develop long-range missiles.

    January 28, 2013 7:23 AM