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  1. ESCALATION Israel Bombs Syrian Research Facility Jack Guez/AFP, via Getty

    1. Israel Bombs Syrian Research Facility

    Syria's chaotic civil war got even messier Wednesday when an Israeli airstrike—allegedly aimed at truck convoy inside Syria—hit a scientific research center, killing two and causing "huge material damage." Israel and Syria, technically in a state of war, have maintained a fairly tranquil relationship for the past five years. Earlier in the week, Israel expressed concern about Syria's "chemical or advanced conventional weapons" making into the hands of Islamic rebels. The Syrian government denounced the attack in a statement, calling it a "breach of Syrian sovereignty.” Estimates of 60,000 have been killed in Syria's bloody civil war, which began in March of 2011.

    January 30, 2013 4:30 PM

  2. NEW NORMAL? Several Shot at Office in Phoenix Outside Phoenix office building on Wednesday. (ABC15.com)

    2. Several Shot at Office in Phoenix

    Police are confirming that five people are injured after someone opened fire at an office complex in Phoenix on Wednesday. It is still unclear where the suspect is. Video footage from the scene showed at least one person taken out of the office on a gurney, but speaking at the scene, Sgt. Tommy Thompson said he could not yet say what happened. The shooting was mentioned at Wednesday's congressional hearing about gun violence by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’s husband, Mark Kelly, who told the Senate panel there had just been a shooting.

    January 30, 2013 2:00 PM

  3. GOING DOWN U.S. Economy Shrank in Fourth Quarter Port of Boston in Dec. 2012. (Steven Senne/AP)

    3. U.S. Economy Shrank in Fourth Quarter

    The United States economy unexpectedly shrank during the last quarter of 2012, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday. Economic output during that quarter fell by 0.1 percent, marking the slowest rate of growth since the second quarter of 2009. In comparison, the economy experienced growth of 3.1 percent in the third quarter of 2012. The contraction was somewhat expected because of weaker exports, a drop in military spending, and a slower buildup of inventories, but it was worse than economists had predicted. Before the announcement, the general consensus was that the fourth-quarter growth was 1.1 percent. Economists warn that the slow growth has continued into the first quarter of 2013.

    January 30, 2013 8:56 AM

  4. Wild Weather Storms Tear Through the South WSB TV/AP

    4. Storms Tear Through the South

    Tornado warnings were issued in Tennesee and Kentucky this morning, and three tornadoes had been reported by 4:35 a.m. Severe-weather warnings are in effect for the areas between New Orleans and Jacksonville, Fla., in the south and between Baltimore and Pittsburgh in the north. More than 13,000 people lost power when the storms tore through Memphis and four inches of rain fell over three hours. Downed power lines caused a grass fire in Arlington, Tenn. The storms are part of an unusual weather pattern this year fueled by winds blowing unseasonably warm air from the Gulf of Mexico into cold air coming over the plains from Canada. “It's not a normal weather pattern for this time of year,” one expert said.

    January 30, 2013 9:57 AM

  5. REVENGE Hackers Target NY Times, WSJ Sean Gallup / Getty Images

    5. Hackers Target NY Times, WSJ

    Since an Oct. 25 story exposing the lucrative business dealings of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, The New York Times has been battling constant attacks from the country’s hackers. TheTimes has been fending them off for four months with the help of security experts, who say the methods used by attackers are similar to those of the Chinese military in the past. They targeted the South Asia bureau chief along with Shanghai bureau chief David Barboza, who wrote the report about Wen's family. The Wall Street Journal also reported Thursday their computers had been targeted by the same source.

    January 31, 2013 3:45 PM

  6. big money Facebook Revenues Soar, Stock Falls Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty

    6. Facebook Revenues Soar, Stock Falls

    Facebook certainly isn't struggling, but Wall Street can't seem to make up its mind. The tech giant reported big earnings on Wednesday, beating analysts' expectations. Fourth-quarter revenue was $1.59 billion—showing 40 percent growth. But after the report, stock of Facebook fell more than 5 percent (it recovered later). Expectations for this quarter are already high, as mobile advertising rises and Facebooks works to become profitable in the mobile era.

    January 30, 2013 6:27 PM

  7. TELL-ALL Tuiasosopo Comes Clean About Manti Te’o Hoax J. Meric/Getty

    7. Tuiasosopo Comes Clean About Hoax

    Finally, the mastermind behind the Manti Te’o hoax has confirmed what we all suspected: he was “deeply, romantically in love” with the Notre Dame linebacker. In an interview with Dr. Phil McGraw, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo said Te’o was completely clueless of the scam—he was just an innocent victim who fell for Lennay Kekua. Tuiasosopo admitted he was the voice of Te’o’s phantom girlfriend and that he was “confused” about his sexual identity. He also said he knew his role in the hoax would ultimately be revealed. “I wanted it to end, because after everything I had gone through, I finally realized I just had to move on with my life ... and let this go,” Tuiasosopo said. The full interview with McGraw will run Thursday and Friday on Dr. Phil.  

     

    This morning, "The Today Show" aired the first clips of Dr. Phil's interview with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.

    January 30, 2013 12:00 PM

  8. WELCOME TO WASHINGTON William ‘Mo’ Cowan Tapped for Senate Charles Krupa/AP

    8. William ‘Mo’ Cowan Tapped for Senate

    The Senate is slowly becoming more diverse. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick on Wednesday appointed William “Mo” Cowan to be the state’s next U.S. senator, succeeding John Kerry. Cowan, Patrick’s former chief of staff, will hold the seat until a special election is conducted June 25. Cowan, 43, will become the Senate’s fifth black member ever—and it is the first time in history that two black senators will be serving at the same time. In his speech appointing Cowan, Patrick noted the new senator’s humble childhood, saying he is the “affirmation of the American dream.”

    January 30, 2013 12:29 PM

  9. AILING Ron Jeremy in Critical Condition Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

    9. Ron Jeremy in Critical Condition

    Prodigious porn star Ron Jeremy is being treated at an L.A. hospital after suffering an aneurysm near his heart. TMZ reports that Jeremy is in critical condition. His manager, Mike Esterman, says that Jeremy drove himself to Cedar-Sinai hospital after experiencing chest pain. Doctors soon discovered the aneurysm, and Jeremy’s condition worsened Wednesday. He’s currently being prepped for surgery. Jeremy, probably one of the most recognizable porn stars, has starred in more than 2,000 adult films.

    January 30, 2013 2:09 PM

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  11. OBIT Last Andrews Sister Dies at 94 AP

    10. Last Andrews Sister Dies at 94

    Here's hoping the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy pays his respects. The last member of the Andrews Sisters—the group behind classic hits like “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” and “Rum & Coca-Cola”—passed away Wednesday. Patty was the middle Andrews sister and apparently the group's most fun-loving member. The Andrews Sisters were one of the most popular groups of the ’40s, recorded more than 400 songs, and sold 80 million records. Patty Andrews was 94 years old and died of natural causes.

    January 30, 2013 7:34 PM

  12. MEDIA Time Inc. to Cut 500 Jobs Jin Lee/Bloomberg, via Getty

    11. Time Inc. to Cut 500 Jobs

    Sad days in the media business. Time Inc. will be eliminating about 500 jobs—or 6 percent of its workforce—from all divisions of its company, sources said Wednesday. Time Inc. CEO Laura Lang is attempting to merge the print and Web advertising divisions in an attempt to breathe new life into the company’s worst-performing divisions. Time Inc. is currently the largest magazine publisher in the U.S., although it still has felt the pain of recent years—readers aren’t buying as many magazines on the newsstands, with even People’s sales falling 19 percent in the first half of 2012 compared with the same period the year before.

    January 30, 2013 1:53 PM

  13. GUN REFORM Giffords to Senate: ‘Be Bold’ Giffords on Capitol Hill Wednesday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

    12. Giffords to Senate: ‘Be Bold’

    In a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday on gun violence, former representative Gabrielle Giffords pleaded with Congress: “Do something.” Still recovering from the horrific shooting in Tucson, Ariz.—which ended the lives of six, and almost her own—Giffords admitted “speaking is difficult." But as the nation grapples with the issue of gun control, she said her experience was too important not to share. “Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying; too many children,” she said. “We must do something. It will be hard. But the time is now. You must act. Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you.”

    January 30, 2013 10:24 AM

  14. BLASTOFF South Korea Launches Rocket Korea Aerospace Research Institute via Getty

    13. South Korea Launches Rocket

    Take that, North Korea. Not to be discouraged by two earlier failed attempts and postponements, South Korea successfully launched a rocket into outer space on Wednesday. The 140-ton rocket, known as Naro, was built in partnership with Russia, and will be used primarily to collect climate data. South Korea had twice before attempted to launch rockets, in 2009 and 2010, and postponed this launch another two times. But the timing of the success couldn’t have been more crucial: it comes just weeks after North Korea used its own rocket to place a satellite into orbit and faced international criticism.

    January 30, 2013 6:54 AM

  15. UM, WHAT?

    14. Jason London Arrested

    Dazed and Confused actor Jason London was arrested Sunday night in Scottsdale, Ariz., for allegedly fighting at a club—but this is where the story gets weird. After being picked up by police, the 40-year-old allegedly got aggressive as paramedics tried to treat him. He was eventually arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct—but on the way to the station, he uttered a homophobic slur and defecated in the back of the police car, telling officers “it smells like shit in your car and your breath smells like diarrhea.” Apparently his behavior came as no surprise to his wife, who said he “acts like an asshole when he drinks.”

    January 30, 2013 7:16 AM

  16. STANDOFF

    15. Ala. Man Takes Child Hostage

    An Alabama man is holding a 6-year-old child hostage in an underground bunker on Wednesday after boarding the child’s bus the day before and reportedly killing the bus driver. By Tuesday evening, police were communicating with the man via a PVC pipe. The man allegedly boarded a school bus and told most of the children to get off and then reportedly shot the driver four times before grabbing the little boy. Authorities did not confirm who had been shot, but did say one had been killed. The suspect had initially demanded two children as hostages, but one fainted. The one boy he did take hostage reportedly needs to take medication daily—which he received last night through the pipe.

    January 30, 2013 7:15 AM

  17. SHADY FBI Raids Fla. Doc With Ties to N.J. Sen. Saul Loeb / AFP

    16. FBI Raids Fla. Doc With Ties to Sen.

    This is probably not the type of “foreign policy connections” chairmen of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are supposed to have. FBI agents on Tuesday raided the home of a Florida doctor who is accused of allegedly providing free trips and underage prostitutes from the Dominican Republic to New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez. Dr. Salomon Melgen, a contributor to Menendez, has an outstanding lien of $11.1 million on taxes owed from 2006 to 2009—and is reportedly being investigated for his finances and the alleged prostitution ties. The allegations couldn’t come at a worse time for Menendez, who is expected to be the next chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after John Kerry resigns to become the next secretary of state.

    January 30, 2013 8:37 AM

  18. POTUS Obama Backs Senate Immigration Plan Jim Watson

    17. Obama Backs Senate Immigration Plan

    Your move, Congress. President Obama unveiled his plans for immigration reform, embracing the bipartisan Senate proposal and outlining the steps illegal immigrants could take to apply for citizenship. He called on Congress to take up his comprehensive approach to finally deal with the "11 million undocumented immigrants who are in this country right now,” adding that he would send up his own bill if they don't act now. Despite predictions that Obama would take up a more liberal approach than John McCain and Marco Rubio, Obama said he was on board: “For the first time in 80 years, Republicans and Democrats seem ready to tackle this problem together.”

    January 29, 2013 3:27 PM

  19. FINALLY Obama Signs Sandy Relief Bill Rockaways resident in Sandy-damaged basement on Jan. 25. (Spencer Platt/Getty)

    18. Obama Signs Sandy Relief Bill

    There couldn’t have been a better way to honor the three-month anniversary of superstorm Sandy. President Obama signed a $50.5 billion relief bill on Tuesday night, one day after Congress gave the final seal of approval on the bill, which had spent weeks under fierce debate. Even as he signed it, Obama continued his criticism of congressional leaders for not passing it sooner. Conservatives, believing the bill to have too much unrelated spending, had held up passing the emergency funding. Earlier this month, House Republicans removed the unrelated spending while Congress also passed a $9 billion flood insurance bill. The Oct. 29 storm, one of the worst to hit the Northeast in history, is blamed for 130 deaths and billions in property damage.

    January 30, 2013 7:08 AM

  20. oversight Boeing Knew of Battery Problems Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP, via Getty

    19. Boeing Knew of Battery Problems

    Secrets don't make friends, Boeing. Earlier this month all Boeing 787 jets were grounded after battery failures led to unsafe conditions--and apparently Boeing was made aware of issues months earlier. All Nippon Airways, the biggest operator, told The New York Times that it had replaced 10 batteries already before the fires, and reported the issues to Boeing. They were not reported to safety regulators because no flights had been cancelled. The Transportation Safety Board says it will now include battery replacements in inquiries. Boeing officials said the battery issues suggested safeguards may have kicked in, and acknowledged the batteries weren't lasting. The incidents are being investigated.

    January 29, 2013 10:05 PM

  21. BRAZILIAN TRAGEDY Nightclub Fire Blamed on Flares Mourning outside nightclub on Tuesday. (Felipe Dana/AP)

    20. Nightclub Fire Blamed on Flares

    Flares lit by a band playing at a Brazilian nightclub could have been the cause of the deadly fire that killed 234 people and injured at least 122 on Sunday, the chief police inspector said on Tuesday. What’s more, it may not be a simple tragic accident: Police Inspector Marcelo Arigony said that the flares were for outdoor use only and “the band knew that.” Arigony, whose cousin died in the fire, alleged that the outdoor flares were chosen because they cost $1.25 apiece—and the band did not want to pony up the $35 apiece for the flares approved for indoor use. “These guys even wore gloves on stage so they wouldn’t burn their hands,” Arigony said.

    January 30, 2013 6:51 AM

  22. Radical Michigan Gov. Seeks Detroit Takeover Leon Halip / Getty Images Sport

    21. Michigan Gov. Seeks Detroit Takeover

    But what about Belle Isle? Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder wants to appoint an emergency manager to take over the city of Detroit, alleging fiscal mismanagement, sources told the Motor City Muckracker on Wednesday. State officials have reportedly been in talks with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and members of his administration to discuss a state financial takeover—which would allow the emergency manager to bypass the city council, impose new union contracts, privatize services, and possibly sell city assets. Many city residents oppose the state takeover, worrying that an emergency manager could unilaterally cut crucial services, sell city parks, and more. 

    January 30, 2013 9:30 AM

  23. OP-ED American Taliban’s Victory Getty Images

    22. American Taliban’s Victory

    The so-called American Taliban has won the right to pray in prison five times a day with his fellow Muslim inmates—a privilege he asked for by citing the same Constitution he sought to destroy, writes imam Ammar Amonette in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal. Called as an expert witness for the government, Amonette is against creating a separate space for Muslims to pray in prison, since it creates problems among the general population and limits staff elsewhere. Meanwhile, Lindh and his fellow extremists have created their own authority structure, sometimes resorting to violence to achieve their goals. Above all else, Amonette writes, “Lindh doesn’t recognize the rights of other inmates, Muslim or non-Muslim.”

    January 30, 2013 8:20 AM

  24. JOE’S THE MAN Bloomberg: Biden’s Got ‘Balls’ Bloomberg unveils budget on Tuesday. (Pool photo by Robert Miller)

    23. Bloomberg: Biden’s Got ‘Balls’

    Unveiling his final city budget must have really loosened up Michael Bloomberg. In an interview with Politico published on Tuesday, the New York City mayor praised Vice President Joe Biden as having “a set of balls, and he says what he believes.” While Biden had “forced the focus on gay marriage,” Bloomberg said, “I’m sure the president was evolving and was about to do it anyways. But Biden deserves the credit. He should be the hero of the pro-gay marriage community.” Bloomberg criticized the president for not embracing gay marriage sooner—as in, making it a priority on “day one.” As his last year in office winds down, Bloomberg’s off-the-cuff comments have also been in the news for telling a reporter to “check out the ass” on an unknown woman.

    January 30, 2013 7:10 AM

  25. PATROL French Troops Enter Malian Holdout Malian youth celebrate with French flag on Tuesday. (Kambou Sia/AFP/Getty)

    24. French Troops Enter Malian Holdout

    French troops on Tuesday night entered the town of Kidal, one of the last holdouts of the al Qaeda–linked militants who had controlled vast parts of the country. By Wednesday morning—just 24 hours after securing Timbuktu—French forces had already taken control of the town’s airport and there was no combat fight. But taking control of Kidal is just the end of the first phase of the French intervention—there are still large numbers of militants who have fled into the desert in the north. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb seized control in the northern region of Mali after a coup, and France led a United Nations–backed intervention as the militants showed signs of moving to the southern region.

    January 30, 2013 6:40 AM

  26. RELATIONSHIP Rape Victim’s Friend Talks Love Story Protesters demand death penalty for accused in Delhi rape case. (Altaf Qadri/AP)

    25. Rape Victim’s Friend Talks Love Story

    He was supposed to tutor her. The first time they met they went to McDonald’s. The Wall Street Journal has an interview with the man who was friends with the girl murdered in the brutal gang-rape in Delhi. He was also beaten, and now walks with a cane. While he thought they would forever just be friends (because of her lower caste), the two were essentially dating (he shared his Facebook password with her; they went to movies together). She called him a “perfect man.” When taking trips to Hindu temples together, they would share a hotel room, hug, and hold hands. The day of the tragic attack was “boring” at first he says—but five minutes after getting on the bus he knew something was wrong. Five days after the rape, when visiting her in the hospital, he apologized for “letting her down.” She said that if they had stayed by the fountain at the mall, like  he wanted to, they may have missed the bus.

    January 30, 2013 8:18 AM

  27. SPOKESPERSON NO-NO Alicia Keys Betrays BlackBerry? Mario Tama/Getty

    26. Alicia Keys Betrays BlackBerry?

    Awkward. BlackBerry proudly named singer Alicia Keys the company’s new spokesperson Thursday, an announcement that was accompanied by a tweet from Keys about how excited she was to “jump right in2my new role as Global Creative Director of @Blackberry.” Recent tweets the singer has sent, however, reveal that she used an iPhone to post them—despite being in an exclusive relationship with BlackBerry. Keys says she had used a non-BlackBerry device in the past, but no longer will. As Leslie Horn at Gizmodo asks, “Is this a consensual relationship or just business?”

     

    January 30, 2013 12:40 PM

  28. splitsville Ashley Judd to Divorce Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

    27. Ashley Judd to Divorce

    Actress Ashley Judd and her husband Dario Franchitti are calling it quits after 11 years of marriage, her spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday. Judd released a statement saying the couple will "always be family" and will always cherish their relationship. Franchitti, a Scottish race car driver, has won the Indianapolis 500 race three times. Judd starred in the ABC series "Missing" last year and went as a Tennesse delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

    January 29, 2013 10:58 PM