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  1. DRONES Justice Dept. Can ‘Legally’ Kill Americans U.S. Predator drone over Afghanistan. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)

    1. Gov’t Can ‘Legally’ Kill Americans

    A 16-page memo from the United States Justice Department exposes details of how the U.S. government can legally order the murder of American citizens if they are considered “senior operational leaders” of al Qaeda or an “associated group.” The document (PDF) says Americans can be killed even in the absence of an “active plot” to attack the United States. The finding sheds new light on the Obama administration’s aggressive use of drones in targeting al Qaeda. The employment of drones—considered by many to be redefining the front lines in the war on terror—is likely be a major topic of discussion in the upcoming hearing to confirm new CIA Director John Brennan.

    February 5, 2013 6:20 AM

  2. war on terror CIA Ran Secret Base in Saudi Arabia Massoud Hossaini/AP

    2. CIA Ran Secret Base in Saudi Arabia

    The CIA has been hitting al Qaeda militants in Yemen with clandestine drone stikes from a base in Saudi Arabia for over a year, according to an investigative New York Times report published Tuesday night. The base was first used to kill U.S.-born al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki in 2011. The program has been controversial, with some saying it has exacerbated anti-American sentiment. The architect of the drone strikes program, John Brennan, will face the Senate on Thursday for a confirmation hearing to become CIA director.

    February 5, 2013 10:42 PM

  3. Kick the can Obama Proposes Sequester Stopgap Getty Images

    3. Obama Proposes Sequester Stopgap

    The prospects of a long-term budget deal are looking dim. With the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester set to take effect March 1, President Obama called on Congress to pass a mix of stopgap measures to avert the economic damage and give Congress more time to figure out a solution. Obama didn't go into specifics, but he said the package should be a mix of budget cuts and tax reforms. Responding to early reports about the president's proposal, House Speaker John Boehner said Republicans would oppose any tax increases.

    February 5, 2013 11:55 AM

  4. Subprime Justice Department Sues S&P Henny Ray Abrams / AP Photo

    4. Justice Department Sues S&P

    It took five years, but the U.S. government is finally going after Standard & Poor’s for its role in the financial crisis. The Justice Department, along with 16 states and the District of Columbia, is seeking $5 billion in a civil lawsuit against the ratings agency, claiming S&P defrauded investors by claiming their ratings were objective when in fact they were giving top grades to risky mortgage-backed securities. “Put simply, this alleged conduct is egregious—and it goes to the very heart of the recent financial crisis,” said Attorney General Eric Holder at a news conference announcing the charges. S&P issued a statement calling the suit meritless.

    February 5, 2013 2:34 PM

  5. At Last Obama to Visit Israel in Spring

    5. Obama to Visit Israel in Spring

    President Obama will finally make his way to Israel this spring—for his first visit since he was elected president. Apparently, Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu planned the trip on Jan. 28, when the president congratulated Netanyahu on his reelection. The White House has said it plans to reinforce its relationship with Israel in the start of Obama’s second term, which is probably music to the ears of pro-Israel groups who’ve criticized Obama for not visiting the country since his 2008 campaign.

    February 5, 2013 2:07 PM

  6. voted through British Parliament Votes for Gay Marriage Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

    6. British Parliament Votes for Gay Marriage

    Even the stiff-lipped English showed some enthusiasm on Tuesday when the British Parliament voted overwhelmingly for full equality for homosexual couples, celebrating with a rare round of applause. Prime Minister David Cameron failed to mobilize his troops in the Tory Party as less than half of his MPs voted for his bill. "Strong views exist on both sides but I believe MPs voting for gay people being able to marry too, is a step forward for our country," he tweeted later. The final tally had 400 MPs voting in favor and 175 against. It will become law once it passes through the House of Lords.

    February 5, 2013 6:37 PM

  7. DROPPED THAT BALL Superdome Worried About Blackout Ezra Shaw/Getty

    7. Superdome Worried About Blackout

    While experts attempt to sort through the cause of the 34-minute blackout that rocked the Superdome during Super Bowl Sunday, public records released reveal that top officials had serious qualms about a possible power outage. A memo from October 15, which included tests on the dome’s electrical feeders, reported “some decay” and “a chance of failure,” due to an outdated system. The engineering staff from Entergy New Orleans—the stadium’s power supply company—expressed concern “regarding the reliability of the Dome service from Entergy’s connection point.” Following the worrisome report, the state board at the Superdome authorized nearly $1 million in electrical equipment replacements. A legal counsel for the board claims the blackout was unrelated to the replacement equipment. Mmm, k.

    February 5, 2013 8:30 AM

  8. DUDE Dell Taken Private in $24B Deal Paul Sakuma / AP Photo

    8. Dell Taken Private in $24B Deal

    Following a late-night meeting between Dell's board of directors, the No. 3 computer maker announced Tuesday morning that it has agreed to go private.The $24 billion transaction—the largest leveraged buyout since the financial crisis—is being led by founder and CEO Michael Dell. In the weeks leading up to the decision, Dell was rumored to be "increasingly worried about his legacy," a reflection of his failure to implement necessary changes needed to turn a profit. Microsoft is also part of the investment consortium, donating a handsome $2 billion to help keep one of its key partners alive. 

    February 5, 2013 9:35 AM

  9. Fired Fox News Drops Dick Morris Win McNamee / Getty Images

    9. Fox News Drops Dick Morris

    Fired for always being wrong? Conservative former Clinton adviser Dick Morris will no longer serve as a contributor to Fox News, the network confirmed Tuesday. “His contract is up and we will not be renewing it,” a spokesman said. Morris had not appeared on the network for three months, but announced via Twitter on Tuesday that he will make an appearance on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight. Meanwhile, Fox News re-signed Karl Rove to a multiyear contract and added former Congressman Dennis Kucinich as a contributor.

    February 5, 2013 7:22 PM

  10. Everybody Hates Chris DA: Brown Faked Community Service Lester Cohen/WireImage

    10. DA: Brown Faked Community Service

    At least his mom still believes in him. The L.A. County district Attorney alleges that Chris Brown submitted fraudulent community service records and did not complete the 180 days of community service he was sentenced to after assaulting Rihanna. Brown’s mother, a former director at Tappahannock Children’s Center in Richmond, Virginia, where Brown claimed to have served, provided the times, locations, and types of service—though Richmond police admit he was only supervised 9 or 10 times. Either way, sources tell TMZ that Brown was actually out of the country performing concerts on several dates when he claims to have served.

    February 5, 2013 2:16 PM

  11. MOBAMA Michelle Obama Physique Criticized Coach Bob Grisham. (TimesDaily)

    11. Michelle Obama Physique Criticized

    First lady Michelle Obama, an advocate for improved kids’ nutrition in schools, was once again the subject of criticism aimed at her own physique this week. “Fat butt Michelle Obama,” a high school student secretly recorded his football coach Bob Grisham quipping. “Look at her. She looks like she weighs 185 or 190. She’s overweight,” he continued. Suspended 10 days for the comments, Grisham represents an ongoing trend that revolves around Mrs. Obama’s appearance—ranging from her body size to her hair. Inflammatory radio host Rush Limbaugh regularly refers to her campaign for low-calorie lunches as “Michelle ‘My Butts’ Lunch Program.” America’s fixation with the first lady’s looks has been around for decades, with Hillary Clinton being slammed with the claim that she had “cankles.”

    February 5, 2013 7:00 AM

  12. Chick Lit New Bridget Jones Novel Coming Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

    12. New Bridget Jones Novel Coming

    Look out, romcom lovers, Helen Fielding is back. The British author has written a new Bridget Jones novel and it will be released in the U.S. in November by Knopf. It’s been 17 years since Bridget Jones’s Diary became an international bestseller in 1996, spawning a 1999 sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, and two movies featuring Renée Zellweger sporting a raspy fake British accent choosing between Colin Firth and Hugh Grant. No title has been released yet, but the book might no longer be a modern remake of Pride and Prejudice. “My life has moved on,” Fielding said, “and Bridget’s will move on, too.” According to Knopf, the first two novels have sold more than 15 million copies in 40 countries.

    February 5, 2013 12:23 PM

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  14. in cold blood Alleged Navy Seal Murderer Had PTSD Erath County Sheriff's Office/AP

    13. Alleged Navy Seal Murderer Had PTSD

    In the months before allegedly killing Chris Kyle, author of American Sniper, and his friend Chad Littlefield, Iraq war veteran Eddie Ray Routh had checked into a mental hospital twice. "Eddie stated he was hurting and that his family does not understand what he has been through," according to the check-in report. He also told authorities he was suffering from PTSD. Twenty-five-year-old Routh is being charged with one count of capital murder and two counts of murder for the killing of Kyle and Littlefield at a shooting range in Texas.

    February 4, 2013 10:22 PM

  15. Accident Skier Lindsey Vonn Hospitalized After Crash Vonn airlifted after skiing accident on Tuesday. (Luca Bruno/AP)

    14. Vonn Hospitalized After Crash

    Four-time World Cup skiing champion Lindsey Vonn has been airlifted to the hospital after injuring two knee ligaments in a crash. Vonn lost balance on her right leg after landing a jump in a super-G race, tumbled down the course, and crashed into a gate. She may require reconstructive knee surgery. The crash comes one year before the 2014 Winter Olympics.

    February 5, 2013 11:13 AM

  16. Propaganda N. Korea Releases Bizarre Video December 2012 launch of North Korea's Unha-3 rocket. (KNS/AFP/Getty)

    15. N. Korea Releases Bizarre Video

    When Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie got together to write “We are the World” in 1985, chances are they did not envision a North Korean space shuttle flying across the globe, reuiniting the Koreas, and blowing up New York City. But that’s art, right? Open to interpretation. In a new propaganda video, an instrumental version of the hit charity single plays as a North Korean man dreams about the future of his country—and, more specifically, its space program. Not only did the North Korean P.R. team that put this video together turn one of the most wholesome songs of all time into a menacing mantra, the scene in which New York is violently destroyed was apparently lifted from the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Who says North Korea is behind the times?

    February 5, 2013 9:49 AM

  17. Farewell Obama Speechwriter Leaves for Hollywood Jon Favreau on the South Lawn in June 2010. (Charles Dharapak/AP)

    16. Obama Speechwriter Leaves for Hollywood

    The White House is becoming a pipeline for Hollywood. First President Obama’s speechwriter Jon Lovett left to write the comedy 1600 Penn, and now Jon Favreau, the young writer behind Obama’s first inaugural address and his health-care speech to Congress, is departing to pursue screenwriting, the Los Angeles Times reports. Favreau’s rise seems torn from a West Wing script: a 23-year-old junior writer for Sen. John Kerry in 2004, Favreau was sent to tell Obama to trim his convention speech; instead he interrupted the rehearsal to give the then-senatorial candidate some tips on improvement. In the seven years since, Favreau has written many of Obama’s key speeches, been called one of People magazine’s most beautiful people, dated actress Rashida Jones, and lit up gossip blogs with photos of shirtless beer pong.

    February 5, 2013 10:47 AM

  18. TESTIMONY Delhi Gang-Rape Trial Begins Activists from women organizations in New Delhi on Monday. (Manish Swarup/AP)

    17. Delhi Gang-Rape Trial Begins

    The first of 80 witnesses scheduled to testify on the Delhi gang-rape case took the stand Tuesday in Saket District Court, where five men are standing trial for the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman. If convicted of the 13 charges, the five defendants could face the death penalty. The witness arrived with the victim’s male friend, who remains in a wheelchair following the injuries he sustained. Neither can be named for legal reasons. After more than a month of riots calling for increased protection of women in India, President Pranab Mukherjee passed sweeping legislation Sunday, which included allowing the death penalty to be employed in “extreme cases.”

    February 5, 2013 6:50 AM

  19. MAKING HISTORY President Ahmadinejad Arrives in Egypt Ahmadinejad and Morsi in Cairo on Tuesday.(Egyptian Presidency, via AP)

    18. Ahmadinejad Arrives in Egypt

    Next stop, space. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Cairo Tuesday, a historic trip that marks the first visit to Egypt by an Iranian head of government since Iran’s 1979 revolution. Kissing Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi as he got off the plane, Ahmadinejad announced plans to “pave the ground for developing cooperation” between the two nations. The visit is indicative of improved relations between Egypt and Iran that began when the former elected an Islamist head of state. Ahmadinejad is in Egypt to attend a summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which begins on Wednesday. He arrival falls on the heels of a weeklong string of violence in Egypt that prompted President Morsi to issue a state of emergency.

    February 5, 2013 6:15 AM

  20. HE’S OK Alabama Boy Rescued From Bunker Jimmy Lee Dykes. (Alabama Department of Public Safety)

    19. Alabama Boy Rescued From Bunker

    The 5-year-old Alabama boy rescued from an underground bunker after a week of captivity is set to have the “greatest” birthday of his life when he turns 6 on Wednesday, said his local pastor. Ethan was rescued Monday night after police shot and killed his 65-year-old captor, Jimmy Lee Dykes. Appearing on Today Tuesday morning, Ethan’s local pastor Michael Senn called him “very brave.” An Alabama state senator also made a statement, confirming that he was safe and happy. “Ethan is doing really well, lots of hugs and kisses going around,” he said. Alabama Gov. Robert J. Bentley said he will continue to pray for the boy and his family. “I am so happy this little boy can now be reunited with his family and friends,” he said.

    February 5, 2013 8:10 AM

  21. PARKING LOT GUY King Richard III’s Face Unveiled Facial reconstruction of King Richard III. (Dan Kitwood/Getty)

    20. King Richard III’s Face Unveiled

    One day after the surprise discovery of former King of England Richard III’s skeleton under a parking lot, scientists have revealed a facial reconstruction of the monarch most famous as Shakespeare's hunchbacked villain. The image was constructed using 3-D scans of his skull and reveals what he may have looked like 500 years ago. Experts say that the king’s features match those of original portraits painted of him following his death. Richard III’s body was found just two feet beneath a concrete parking lot following a “sensation” by Philippa Langley, a member of the Richard III Society, that his body was there. Richard III is said to have died of fatal wounds during the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

    February 5, 2013 6:55 AM

  22. LUCKY FISHES AR Couple Wins Lottery Twice Lottery winners Terri and Stephen Weaver. (Arkansas Scholarship Lottery)

    21. AR Couple Wins Lottery Twice

    It’s the fish tale of the century. An Arkansas couple who went out for a day of fishing got more than they bargained for: two winning lottery tickets. Stephen and Terri Weaver allegedly took a break from their fishing trip in Pangburn, Arkansas, to buy a lottery ticket at T-Ricks convenience store. On the way home, the two decided to double their chances and buy another ticket. When they cashed them in Monday night, they discovered they had landed not one, but two winners—one worth $1M and the other $50K. According to the Arkansas Lottery Commission, the couple said they plan to use the money for retirement.

    February 5, 2013 7:20 AM

  23. YOLO Drake Gets Rowdy at Super Bowl Party Drake in Feb. 2012. (Theo Wargo/Getty for ESPN)

    22. Drake Gets Rowdy at Super Bowl Party

    It’s the best he ever had, OK? Canadian rapper Drake’s post–Super Bowl celebration got a little too crazy for his neighbors, who allegedly called the cops on his home several times. The star celebrated the Baltimore Ravens’ win at his Los Angeles mansion, with a YOLO-style party complete with a foam machine and live DJ, beginning as early as 5 p.m. Police were nice enough to refrain from reporting the incident, issuing Drake a citation instead. The singer has taken a break from the hip-hop world of late, but returned just this week with a new single, “Started From the Bottom.”

    February 5, 2013 7:25 AM