Content Section
  1. It's Here Sequester Cuts Take Effect U.S. Capitol on Thursday. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty)

    1. Sequester Cuts Take Effect

    You get the feeling they wanted this to happen: President Obama formally ordered the sweeping budget cuts known as the “sequester” into effect late Friday night after a final attempt to find common ground between the two parties failed. The $85 billion in cuts to government spending will hit everything from Medicare to the defense budget, and could send the country into a second recession. The cuts go into effect because Obama and Republican leadership couldn’t reach an agreement to stop them: Obama insisted on higher tax revenues while the GOP refused to accept even slight tax increases. The same old story, this time without a last-second happy ending.

    March 2, 2013 10:52 AM

  2. HELP Syrian Rebels: What We Need is Weapons AFP/Getty

    2. Syrian Rebels: We Need Weapons

    Syrian rebels say they would love America's aid—just not the kind it's offering. "We don't want food and drink and we don't want bandages. When we're wounded, we want to die. The only thing we want is weapons," Gen. Salim Idris, chief of staff of the Syrian opposition's Supreme Military Council told The Associated Press Friday. The United States pledged an additional $60 million in assistance in "nonlethal aid" to Syrian rebels Thursday, but many rebel leaders are expressing that they are in "desperate" need for actual weapons. "The whole world knows what we need," Idris said, "and yet they watch as the Syrian people are slaughtered."

    March 1, 2013 9:34 PM

  3. Guess Who's Back Romney Slams Obama Over Sequester Richard Ellis

    3. Romney Slams Obama Over Sequester

    Fully recovered from his “roller coaster” election campaign, Mitt Romney has emerged from hiding to criticize President Obama’s handling of the sequester. In his first public comments since Election Day, Romney slammed Obama for “berating Republicans” instead of leading the country, adding that the president’s habit of “blaming and pointing” has contributed to Congress’s inability to reach a deal. “That causes the Republicans to retrench and to put up a wall and to fight back,” he told Fox News’s Chris Wallace. Meanwhile, Ann Romney reflected on being a “nobody” in her post-election life. The full interview airs on Fox News Sunday this weekend.

    March 1, 2013 3:35 PM

  4. tragedy Family Waits for Word on Sinkhole Victim Jeremy Bush beside memorial at his home in Seffner, Fla. on Saturday. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

    4. Family Waits for Word on Sinkhole Victim

    Authorities are still trying to recover the body of Jeff Bush, the Florida man believed dead after a sinkhole opened up beneath his room Thursday night. Rescuers say they can't venture into the sinkhole itself to uncover the body, since it is too dangerous. Even worse, the hole is still expanding, and the house could collapse at anytime. "Until we know where it's safe to bring the equipment, we really are just handicapped and paralyzed, and can't really do a whole lot more than sit and wait,"County Fire Chief Ron Rogers told reporters Friday. "It's a tough situation. It's even tougher for the family."

    March 2, 2013 11:44 AM

  5. Oops Justice Roberts Flubbed Census Data Brendan Hoffman, The New York Times / Redux

    5. Justice Roberts Flubbed Census Data

    During oral arguments Wednesday for a case on the Voting Rights Act, Chief Justice John Roberts ripped into Obama Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, claiming he didn’t know his facts when it came to how the law applied to Massachusetts and Mississippi. Roberts used census data taken from a lower-court opinion to insist that Mississippi had a higher black-voter turnout rate than Massachusetts. It turns out those numbers are unreliable, and, according to the Census Bureau, make no sense for state-by-state comparisons. Basically Roberts ignored the high margin of error in the data, and—probably without realizing it—made a dubious assertion into a fact.

    March 2, 2013 11:08 AM

  6. Endangered 100 Million Sharks Killed Annually  Drying shark fins in Hong Kong in on Jan. 2. (Antony Dickson/AFP/Getty)

    6. 100 Million Sharks Killed Annually

    We may be obsessed with shows about sharks hurting us, but, really, it’s we humans who are hurting sharks. According to a new report in the journal Marine Policy, a staggering 100 million sharks are being killed by humans each year. The main reason? The demand for shark-fin soup in China. Researchers say the rate of killing endangers the fish, especially because they reproduce later in life. “They are not reproducing fast enough to keep up with the rate we are pulling them out of the ocean,” one researcher said. 

    March 2, 2013 11:16 AM

  7. Score!

    7. More Students Admitted Without the SAT

    This is making those of us who were forced to sit through hours of torturous standardized testing jealous. More than a quarter of all American colleges and universities are no longer requiring standardized test scores for admission, according to, a standardized-testing watchdog group. That means more and more students are skipping out on the two acronyms a high-school student fears most: SAT and ACT. But before teenagers take the day off, it should be noted that some test-optional schools still require some form of testing—say, three SAT Subject Tests in lieu of the regular SAT.

    March 1, 2013 3:51 PM

  8. CAN'T STOP, WON'T STOP Chávez ‘Battling for His Life’ A woman holds picture of Chavez in the capital Caracas on Wednesday. (Ariana Cubillos/AP)

    8. Chávez ‘Battling for His Life’

    News provided by the Venezuelan government must always be taken with a grain of salt. With that in mind, Venezuelan Vice President Nicolás Maduro announced on television Thursday that President Hugo Chávez is “battling for his health, for his life.” Chávez, who has not made a public appearance since undergoing cancer surgery in Cuba in December, is reportedly running the country from a Venezuelan hospital, writing orders and taking meetings from his bed as he is breathing through a tracheal tube. “Our commander is sick because gave his life for those who don’t have anything,” said Maduro, who is Chávez’s choice for his successor.

    March 1, 2013 7:24 AM

  9. MYSTERY Mississippi Mayoral Candidate Dead Reed is charged in the death of McMillian. (Coahoma County (Miss.) Sheriff's Office/AP)

    9. Mississippi Mayoral Candidate Dead

    Twenty-two-year-old Lawrence Reed is wanted for the murder of Marco McMillan, a candidate for mayor of the Mississippi Delta town of Clarksdale. McMillan’s body was found Wednesday near a levee, while Reed was discovered a day earlier in stable condition in McMillan’s SUV, which appeared to have been involved in a head-on highway collision. Police are still speculating about the motive for the murder. While McMillan, 34, was both black and gay, his family believes his death was more likely politically motivated than the result of a hate crime.

    March 1, 2013 6:54 AM

  10. Territorial Powerful Women Undermine Other Women Everett

    10. Powerful Women Undermine Other Women

    Cute name, not so cute behavior. “Queen-bee syndrome,” a term coined in the 1970s to describe women in positions of power who try to keep other women down, is alive and well today, a Wall Street Journal op-ed points out. If you’re a woman who’s ever worked in an office, that likely comes as no surprise. But here’s some evidence for the rest of you: a 2011 survey of working women by the American Management Association found that 95 percent of them believed they had been undermined by another woman at some point in their careers. And a 2008 University of Toronto study found that women with female bosses reported more symptoms of physical and psychological stress than did those working under male superiors. Women in positions of power might be well advised to recall Madeleine Albright’s famous warning: “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

    March 2, 2013 11:31 AM

  11. GOOD RIDDANCE Miss O'Brien Leaving ‘Downton Abbey’ Frederick M. Brown

    11. O’Brien Leaves ‘Downton’!

    The original cast members of Downton Abbey are truly dropping like flies, to the point that we might even miss the cruel and calculating Miss O’Brien—the latest to leave the show. Siobhan Finneran, who plays the scheming maid to Lady Grantham in the soapy period drama, announced that she’s departing Downton and will soon be seen on BBC One’s The Syndicate. “I’m not doing any more,” she said Friday. “O’Brien is a thoroughly despicable human being—that was great to play.” Despicable indeed, from her conniving antics with the closet-homosexual young under-butler, Thomas Barrow, to causing Lady Grantham to miscarry. How will the show go on without her?

    March 1, 2013 1:22 PM

  12. YOU CAN'T DO THAT Mile-High Harlem Shake Probed

    12. Mile-High Harlem Shake Probed

    There are certain things you just can’t do on a plane. Apparently, recording a viral video is one of them. Members of the Colorado College Ultimate Frisbee team were simply trying to participate in the latest YouTube craze when they recorded their own version of the Harlem Shake aboard a Frontier Airlines flight on their way to San Diego for a Presidents Day weekend Frisbee tournament. Now they’re being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration. While the FAA seems to be doing its due diligence in confirming that the students did not interfere with the flight crew to make the video, or that it wasn’t filmed during takeoff or landing, a Colorado College spokeswoman insists that the students “definitely had permission from the flight crew.”

    March 1, 2013 6:57 AM

  13. Sign up For the daily beast's cheat sheet email
  14. SPRING BREAK Catholic Church Has No Pope Vatican officials seal the apartment of Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday. (L'Osservatore Romano, via AP)

    13. Catholic Church Has No Pope

    Catholics are running wild through Vatican City! Probably not, but since Benedict XVI resigned at 8 p.m. Thursday, the church has been without a leader. This period between old pope and new, known as sede vacante, is not unusual, as most papacies end before a new pontiff is elected. It should take no more than 20 days for the College of Cardinals to decide on Benedict’s successor. During this time, the cardinals will also discuss issues within the Catholic church and challenges it will face. So it’s still kind of like a giant party. Kind of.

    Watch the Pope's epic last ride.

    March 1, 2013 6:18 AM


    14. Prisoners Executed on Chinese TV

    Public executions are back, apparently, at least in China. The Chinese government broadcast a two-hour television special Friday during which four foreign drug traffickers were sent to their deaths by lethal injection. Two years ago, the men were convicted of killing 13 Chinese sailors. Some in China thought the television special was a cathartic delivery of justice, while others condemned the television special as violent and tasteless, comparing it to the bygone tradition of parading prisoners through the streets before their executions. “Rather than showcasing rule of law, the program displayed state control over human life in a manner designed to attract gawkers,” a Chinese criminal-law professor blogged. “State-administered violence is no loftier than criminal violence.”

    March 1, 2013 10:22 AM

  16. CHUCKLES Report: Kimmel Favored for Oscars Frederick M. Brown/Getty

    15. Report: Kimmel Favored for Oscars

    Tina Fey is not interested, and Seth MacFarlane probably won't be invited back even if he wanted to, so who’s left for the Academy to parade on stage at next year’s Oscars? Fearless Jimmy Kimmel may be up to the task. The late-night host is apparently favored to be 2014’s master of ceremonies. According to a source, “ABC has been pushing him for the role.” It’s still a bit early to be planning next year’s show, as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences must first select its new president.

    March 1, 2013 7:50 AM

  17. ISSUES IN ORBIT Problems With SpaceX Launch Falcon 9 SpaceX launch for Cape Canaveral on Friday. (John Raoux/AP)

    16. Problems With SpaceX Launch

    The Space X Falcon 9 rocket left its launchpad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 10 a.m. Friday without a hitch. Not more than a few minutes later, however, there appeared to be some problems with the unmanned Dragon cargo capsule that had accompanied the rocket on its journey to space. “Issue with Dragon thruster pods,” Space X founder Elon Musk tweeted. “System inhibiting three of four [pods] from initializing. About to command inhibit override.” This is the third Dragon flight to the International Space Station, but while the others took several days to make the trip, this one, carrying more than 2,300 pounds of cargo, is expected to reach its destination around 6:30 a.m. Saturday if all goes as planned.

    March 1, 2013 10:51 AM

  18. WHISTLEBLOWER Bradley Manning Pleads Guilty in WikiLeaks Case BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI

    17. WikiLeaks’s Manning Pleads Guilty

    Bradley Manning pleaded guilty to 10 of 22 charges against him in the WikiLeaks case on Wednesday, admitting that he helped engineer the largest intelligence leak in U.S. history. But the Army private denied that the leaks directly benefited al Qaeda—the most serious charge in the case. A military judge will now decide whether to accept the guilty plea, though prosecutors could still pursue the 12 remaining charges. The 10 charges he admitted to carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, but Manning could face a lifetime sentence if convicted of aiding the enemy.

    February 28, 2013 12:06 PM

  19. BARELY LEGAL Justin Bieber’s 19 and Ready to Party Jeff Daly/Invision/AP

    18. Justin Bieber’s 19 and Ready to Party

    It’s his party, and he can go topless if he wants to. Ahead of his 19th birthday, Justin Bieber showed off his pecs during a performance in Birmingham, England. “Great show!!! Now gonna go celebrate 19!! Thanks,” the pop star tweeted as he made his way from Birmingham to London, where he’ll reportedly ring in the big 1-9 with a circus-themed bash.

    March 1, 2013 7:35 AM

  20. DELAYED CLASH Bangladesh Clashes Leave 44 Dead Celebration in Dhaka on Thursday. (Pavel Rahman/AP)

    19. Bangladesh Clashes Leave 44 Dead

    At least 44 people were killed as police and protesters clashed in Bangladesh on Thursday. Violence erupted after Islamic leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee was sentenced to death by a special war-crimes tribunal for crimes against humanity committed while the South Asian nation was fighting for independence from Pakistan in 1971. Hundreds of thousands of young protesters took to the streets to celebrate the news of Sayedee’s sentence and to demand further justice for war criminals. “This verdict is a victory for the people,” said one local blogger and protest organizer.

    March 1, 2013 6:48 AM


    20. The Tragedy of John Allen

    Newsweek’s Daniel Klaidman takes a deeper look at the events leading up to Marine Gen. John Allen’s retirement, just as he’d been slated to become the head of U.S. and NATO operations in Europe. Allen had been working overtime for years, not taking a vacation since his now adult daughters were children, and weathered the deaths of his mother and both of his wife’s parents between 2010 and 2012, while at the same time his wife, Kathy, was suffering from several of her own chronic illnesses. These alone are reasons for a longtime general to call it quits, but Klaidman wonders if the seemingly harmless—yet flirtatious—emails exchanged between Allen and Florida socialite Jill Kelley, discovered during the probe into Gen. David Petraeus’s affair with biographer Paula Broadwell, that ultimately drove Allen to resign. Klaidman questions just how much the public really needs to know about the private lives of our military leaders.

    March 1, 2013 7:26 AM

  22. gay rights Obama: Strike Down Prop 8 Jewel Samad / AFP / Getty Images

    21. Obama: Strike Down Prop 8

    It's time for the end of California's controversial Proposition 8, President Obama says. On Thursday, the White House urged the Supreme Court to strike down Prop 8, saying the voter-approved ban on gay marriage violates federally given equal rights for same-sex couples and does "not substantially further any important government interest." The stance is unprecedented, and marks the first time the administration has targeted state laws. The Supreme Court will hear arguments challenging the legality of Prop 8 on March 26.

    February 28, 2013 10:46 PM

  23. politics schmolitics Schwarzenegger Returns to Bodybuilding Jacques Brinon / AP Photo

    22. Schwarzenegger Returns to Bodybuilding

    Well, he did say, "I'll be back." Arnold Schwarzenegger is returning to bodybuilding—albeit in only an editorial capacity. The former Governator has been tapped as executive editor for both Muscle Fitness and Flex magazines, to which he will contribute monthly columns and dish out all the personal and professional insight he can totally recall. In case you've forgotten the inexpendable man's credentials in the area, he's a 7-time Mr. Olympia champion and has been on the cover of both the aforementioned magazines more than 60 times.

    March 1, 2013 8:39 PM

  24. LOLZ White House Runs With ‘Jedi Mind Meld’ Meme @whitehouse/Twitter

    23. White House Runs With ‘Jedi’ Meme

    The White House’s digital team has clarified the president’s “Jedi mind meld” sequester slip-up with a Star Wars–Star Trek meme that deserves serious props. Sci-fi nerds across the country jabbed Obama for mixing his references this morning when he said he can’t perform a “Jedi mind meld” (rather than a Jedi mind trick or a Vulcan mind meld) to get Republicans to agree to a sequester deal. Hours later, the White House released a clever meme on Facebook and Twitter indicating what the president meant, correctly referencing both sci-fi franchises: “These cuts aren’t the solutions Americans are looking for,” the first part reads. “To deny the facts would be illogical.” Clever, are you. 

    March 1, 2013 5:04 PM