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  1. RETALIATION Syria Warns of 'Surprise' Response Baz Ratner/Reuters, via Landov

    1. Syria Warns of 'Surprise' Response

    One day after an Israeli airstrike killed two in a Damascus research facility, Syrians are still reeling, warning the U.N. of a potential "surprise" response. On Syrian TV Thursday, officials denounced the attack as a violation of the military disengagement agreement formed between the two nations in 1974."Syria holds Israel and those who protect it in the Security Council fully responsible for the results of this aggression and affirms its right to defend itself, its land and sovereignty." U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced his "grave concern" about the possible escalation of violence in war-torn Syria, where an estimated 60,000 have been killed since March 2011.

    January 31, 2013 3:35 PM

  2. APPROVED Senate Extends Debt Limit John Gurzinski / Getty Images

    2. Senate Extends Debt Limit

    It’s official: The government is not going to run out of money ... at least not until May. The Senate approved a three-month suspension of the debt limit Thursday, pushing back the deadline when the government can no longer borrow money until May 18. Without the extension, the government would have run out of money and been unable to meet its financial obligations in a matter of weeks. Congress is now tasked with drafting and approving separate budget resolutions by mid-April—otherwise their pay will be placed into escrow. President Obama, who reportedly wanted a longer-term extension, is expected to sign the legislation into law Thursday.

    January 31, 2013 4:39 PM

  3. DISASTER Blast at Mexican Gas Plant Kills 25 Guillermo Gutierrez/AP

    3. Blast at Mexican Gas Plant Kills 25

    At least 25 people are dead and more than 100 are injured after an explosion Thursday at the headquarters of state oil company Pemex in Mexico City—while rescuers are desperately searching for more survivors. “An explosion took place in the B2 building of the administrative centre,” the company tweeted. “There are injuries and damage on the ground floor and mezzanine.” The cause is not yet known, but this is the second incident involving the oil giant recently. Just four months ago, 26 people were killed when a Pemex gas plant exploded in northern Mexico. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has called for an investigation into Pemex, which has a 75-year monopoly in the country.

    February 7, 2013 10:45 PM

  4. OBIT Ed Koch Dead at 88 Mayor Ed Koch in April 2007. (Frank Franklin II/AP)

    4. Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch Dead at 88

    Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch died early Friday morning. He was 88. A Bronx native, Koch was sworn in as mayor in 1978, leading the city out of the grim 1970s by rescuing it from bankruptcy and using a tough-on-crime platform. But he left an uncertain legacy: his third term was marred by corruption and internal scandals as well as the lasting legacy of the AIDS crisis in his own neighborhood—not to mention questions about his own sexuality. After leaving office in 1989, Koch spent two years as a judge on The People’s Court and practiced private law.

    Remembering Ed Koch: a short video obituary to New York City's mayor.

    February 1, 2013 6:18 AM

  5. IN THE HOT SEAT Senate: Not So Fast, Hagel Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty

    5. Senate: Not So Fast, Hagel

    Chuck Hagel must be pretty jealous of John Kerry right now. The Senate challenged Hagel, nominated to be the next secretary of Defense, highlighting his vote against the Iraq war surge and his support of Israel. Arizona Republican John McCain—once a close friend of Hagel’s—attacked Hagel over his 2006 vote against the Iraq surge, which Hagel insisted “history will judge” the war, despite McCain’s insistence that it won the war.  “I’m not certain, doesn’t mean I’m right,” Hagel said, noting that 1,200 Americans died in the surge, something he does not take lightly. Hagel tried to walk back his comments about the “Jewish lobby” “influencing” Washington, insisting he should have said “pro-Israel” and “influence.”

    January 31, 2013 1:01 PM

  6. not again

    6. Shots Fired at Atlanta Middle School

    Atlanta police report that two people were injured at a shooting at Price Middle School, in south Atlanta, Georgia. The victims are reportedly a 14-year-old student who was shot in the head, and one teacher, who suffered minor injuries but was not shot. Both victims are alert and breathing, according to police. The school has been placed on lockdown and sources told an Atlanta TV station that one suspect is in custody.

    January 31, 2013 2:58 PM

  7. Mustache Power Geraldo Rivera ‘Contemplates’ Senate Run Jesse Grant / Getty Images

    7. Geraldo Rivera ‘Contemplates’ Senate Run

    Get ready, New Jersey: Fox News host Geraldo Rivera is mulling a run to represent the state in 2014's Senate race. “I mention this only briefly ... fasten your seatbelt,” he said Thursday on his radio program. “I am and have been in touch with some people in the Republican Party in New Jersey. I am truly contemplating running for Senate against Frank Lautenberg or Cory Booker in New Jersey.” Frank Lautenberg, the 90-year-old incumbent Democratic senator, says he has no plans to step down.

    January 31, 2013 5:16 PM

  8. SHOOTING Phoenix Suspect Found Dead Ross Franklin/AP

    8. Phoenix Suspect Found Dead

    Phoenix’s manhunt appears to be over. A 70-year-old man suspected of opening fire at an office, killing one and wounding two, has been found apparently dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Arthur Douglas Harmon allegedly went on his rampage after a meeting for a legal dispute. Two of the men shot were reportedly intended victims, while the lone woman was not a target. The Arizona company said Thursday the second victim “will not survive.”

    January 31, 2013 3:00 PM

  9. Queen B Beyoncé Sings National Anthem Live Scott Halleran / Getty Images

    9. Beyoncé Sings National Anthem Live

    Boom. Beyoncé opened a press conference touting her appearance in the Super Bowl halftime show by singing the National Anthem—flawlessly, and live—before reporters. She then confirmed that she sang live along to a pre-recorded track at the inauguration because she did not have time to rehearse with the live band before the ceremony. “I am a perfectionist, and one thing about me—I practice 'til my feet bleed,” she said. “I did not want to take a risk.” She added, too, that she was proud of her performance. As for the halftime show, the singer played coy about whether there will be a Destiny’s Child reunion (but hinted quite obviously there will be), and confirmed that she “absolutely” will be singing live.

    January 31, 2013 3:38 PM

  10. GIRLS 2.0 Lena Dunham to Create New Comedy Kevin Winter/Getty

    10. Lena Dunham to Create New Comedy

    All that dancing on her own paid off. On the heels of two Golden Globe wins, Girls writer, producer, and star Lena Dunham is rumored to be pairing up with coproducer Jenni Konner to create a new comedy. Based on an upcoming memoir All Dressed Up and Everywhere to Go, the show would be centered around the life of its author, Betty Halbreich. At 85, Halbreich is still operating the Bergdorf-based personal-shopping enterprise that she launched in the mid-’70s. Described as “part Angela Lansbury and part Lucille Ball," Halbreich has dressed stars from Sarah Jessica Parker to Meryl Streep.


    January 31, 2013 4:48 PM

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

    11. 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

  13. Pileup ‘Mile-Long’ Crash in Detroit Kills 4 Multi-vehicle accident on I-75 in Detroit. (Paul Sancya/AP)

    12. ‘Mile-Long’ Crash in Detroit Kills 4

    At least four people are dead after a 30-car pileup occurred on I-75 in Detroit during the morning rush hour. The death toll includes three children. The accident forced the closure of both sides of the highway and firefighters said the accident scene is at least a “mile long.” As many as 30 people may have been hurt, and the pileup led to an emergency request for 20 ambulances. Emergency crews have been evaluating the scene for potential fuel spills and declared it to be a HAZMAT level 3, which is an area extremely hazardous to health. Witnesses spoke of “whiteout conditions” that caused drivers to lose control of their vehicles.

    January 31, 2013 12:41 PM

  14. NEXT STEP France Seeks Malian Peace Talks Legionnaries in Timbuktu on Wednesday. (Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty)

    13. France Seeks Malian Peace Talks

    France on Wednesday called for peace talks between the Malian government and “legitimate representatives” of the al Qaeda–linked militants who had overrun large parts of the country before the French-led invasion. Earlier Wednesday, French troops seized control of Kidal, the last major holdout of the rebels. The militants had taken advantage of ethnic tensions between the northern and southern portions of Mali, leading a spokesman for the French foreign minister to insist that “only a north-south dialogue” will bring peace. But Mali’s secular president, Dioncounda Traore, has insisted that he will speak only with secular groups in the north—and has refused to have a dialogue with anyone from the radical Islamists who seized control of the north last year.

    January 31, 2013 6:42 AM

  15. TRAGEDY Snowmobiler Caleb Moore Dies Moore in Jan. 2012. (Eric Lars Bakke/AP)

    14. Snowmobiler Caleb Moore Dies

    Caleb Moore, an award-winning 25-year-old snowmobiler, died Thursday following complications of an injury he suffered on Jan. 24 at the freestyle final of the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado. Moore was knocked unconscious after a failed backflip, a move ESPN claims he had "landed several times previously." Initially diagnosed with a concussion, the discovery of bleeding in Moore's heart prompted doctors to perform emergency surgery. On Sunday, a spokesperson for the family announced that he had suffered a "brain complication." Moore's death is the first to occur at the Winter X Games in 17 years. He leaves behind a younger brother, Colten, who competed alongside him last Thursday.

    January 31, 2013 1:16 PM

  16. Harsh

    15. 'Gay' Dog to Be Put to Death

    A dog in Tennessee is scheduled to die today, after his owner abandoned him after deciding that the canine was gay. The dog's original master noticed him "hunched over" another male dog, which made him think that the dog was homosexual. In fact, animal experts say that a male dog mounting another male dog is a sign of dominance rather than a sign of sexual orientation. The pitbull is currently at a shelter in Jackson awaiting his fate, but he is set to be put down at 1 p.m. unless a new owner can be found. A Facebook group has been set up to save him, with the message, "Don't let this gorgeous dog die because his owner is ignorant of normal dog behavior!"

    January 31, 2013 9:47 AM

  17. PEACEFUL PURPOSES Iran to Accelerate Uranium Enrichment Natanz nuclear enrichment facility in 2007. (Majid Saeedi/Getty)

    16. Iran to Accelerate Uranium Enrichment

    Iran plans to install more sophisticated equipment at its main nuclear enrichment plant, which will greatly accelerate its processing of uranium. Iranian officials reportedly sent a note to the International Atomic Energy Agency saying it plans to upgrade the centrifuges at its enrichment facility at Natanz, and the upgrade could make the enrichment process two to three times faster. Iranian officials informed the watchdog group of the plan January 24, and the IAEA replied January 29, asking for more technical information about the plan. The Natanz plant is used to enrich uranium to less than 4 percent. But a newer enrichment plant, near the city of Qum, is more troubling, because it is buried deep underground, making it better able to withstand an attack.

    January 31, 2013 9:21 AM


    17. Ala. Hostage Situation Continues

    An Alabama man is still refusing to give up a 5-year-old boy he has been holding hostage since Tuesday, despite that SWAT teams positioned themselves around his residence during an all-night standoff Wednesday. The man, identified as Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, took the boy hostage Tuesday after killing the boy’s school-bus driver. Dykes’s neighbors said he once beat a dog to death with a lead pipe and has threatened to shoot children who come onto his property. He had been scheduled to appear in court Wednesday about allegedly shooting at his neighbors last month. Authorities have not given any information on the negotiations, and it remains unclear whether Dykes is making demands from his underground bunker.

    January 31, 2013 7:24 AM

  19. WHAT?! Deer Antler Spray Snares Singh Lewis against Colts on Jan. 6. (Patrick Smith/Getty)

    18. Deer Antler Spray Snares Singh

    Yes, you read that right: deer antler spray. The PED, also available in pill form, contains the hormone IGF-1, which is used to help in recovery and in building lean muscles. A story published in Sports Illustrated has dropped two major names in sports: football star Ray Lewis and golfer Vijay Singh. Lewis has repeatedly denied the allegations, and on Wednesday, Singh said that while he did use the spray, he had no idea it contained a banned substance.

    January 31, 2013 12:06 PM

  20. IT’S FANTASTIC Barbie Café Opens in Taiwan Barbie-theme cafe in Taipei on Wednesday. (Sam Yeh/AFP/Getty)

    19. Barbie Café Opens in Taiwan

    Just a Barbie girl, living in a Barbie world. The world’s first Barbie Café opened in Taiwan on Wednesday, with enough pink to make Skipper blush. Located in Taipei’s main shopping district, the Barbie Café features chairs modeled after tutus, candy-colored couches, and fashion sketches of the doll on the walls. The menu features a seafood dish made to look like a jewelry box among its options of American, French, and Italian cuisine. Although Barbie has always been somewhat of a career gal—how many different jobs can she boast?—the café, at least according to its Facebook page, is looking for customers who are “princesses.”

    January 31, 2013 7:28 AM

  21. OBIT Last Andrews Sister Dies at 94 AP

    20. 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

  22. TIMETABLE Obama: Pass Immigration Reform by Summer Watching Obama's speech on immigration reform on Tuesday. (Damian Dovarganes/AP)

    21. Obama Sets Summer Deadline

    Looks like somebody is hoping to skip ahead to the warm weather. President Obama said Wednesday that he expects his sweeping immigration overhaul to be passed by Congress “within six months.” While bashing Congress’s glacially slow pace seems to have become one of Obama’s favorite pastimes these days, the president admitted to a Spanish-language channel that he is not a “king” and he understands that these bills take time to pass through Congress. But Obama did threaten to use executive action on immigration reform if necessary, saying, “I’ve got a bill drafted. We’ve got language.” Obama said he is willing to talk to “anybody any time” from Congress, but indicated he would not make the first move.

    January 31, 2013 7:10 AM

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

    22. 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

  24. STILL SHADY Menendez: I Reimbursed Donor FBI raid medical office in Palm Beach, Fla., on Wednesday. (Joe Raedle/Getty)

    23. Menendez: I Reimbursed Donor

    Denials probably won’t make those allegations go away. New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez’s office insisted Wednesday that he had reimbursed a donor for two of three personal trips to the Dominican Republic—and denied any allegations that the senator had used prostitutes on those travels. The FBI raided the office of the donor, Florida doctor Salomon Melgen, on Tuesday night and early Wednesday, but it was unclear whether the raid was related to Menendez, who traveled on Melgen’s private plane to the Dominican Republic three times in 2010. On Tuesday, Menendez became the chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee—a post held by incoming Secretary of State John Kerry.

    January 31, 2013 7:25 AM

  25. ADIEU John Kerry Bids Farewell to Senate Kerry after approved as Secretary of State on Tuesday. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty)

    24. John Kerry Bids Farewell to Senate

    Leaving a job after 28 years can be emotional, sure, but calling the Senate a “great institution” seems to be taking things a bit too far. Incoming Secretary of State John Kerry bid an emotional goodbye to the Senate on Wednesday, calling the legislative body a “lasting memorial to the miracle of the American experiment.” Rejecting the claims of a “broken Senate,” Kerry tearfully defended the Senate’s ability to compromise—and he insisted that junior senators need to keep intact the Senate’s rules, even the filibuster. “It’s not the rules that confound us, per se,” Kerry said. “It’s the choices people make about those rules.” Kerry insisted that his failed ambitions—his unsuccessful 2004 presidential run, his bid for vice president in 2000, and losing the secretary-of-state job in 2008—had made him a better senator.

    January 31, 2013 7:12 AM

  26. ALL OR NOTHING Hagel Grilling Expected Hagel meeting Sen. Levin on Jan. 22. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

    25. Hagel Grilling Expected

    This sounds like a reality-show version of Capitol Hill. Chuck Hagel’s critics are expected to grill him Thursday about his policies regarding the Middle East—and especially that vote against the Iraq War surge—at his confirmation hearing to become the next secretary of defense. Senators will be asking about, among other things, Hagel’s comments about the “Jewish lobby,” his 2011 statement that the Pentagon budget is “too bloated,” his remark that a diplomatic colleague was “aggressively gay,” and his vote against funding for the Iraq surge. A Republican, Hagel has already garnered the support of about a dozen Democrats—although seven Republicans say they will vote against him.

    'Watch a roundup of pre-confirmation Hagel critiques.'

    January 31, 2013 6:43 AM