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  1. SEQUESTER GESTURE Obama to Return 5 Percent of Salary Win McNamee/Getty

    1. Obama to Return 5 Percent of Salary

    Fear not, furloughed federal workers! You may not be able to work because of the inability of stubborn politicians to cooperate with one another, but at least the president feels your pain. As a gesture of solidarity with the federal workers whose income will be sacrificed as a result of the sequester budget cuts, President Obama will return 5 percent of his salary—from March 1 through the rest of the calendar year—to the Treasury. Not one to be one-upped by his own appointees, Obama made the decision to cut a check to the Treasury after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter announced they’d be doing the same. Five percent of 10 months’ worth of a presidential salary—$400,000—comes out to $16,667.

    April 3, 2013 3:17 PM

  2. ‘Merciless’ N. Korea Approves Nuclear Strike on U.S. North Koren TV/AFP/Getty

    2. N. Korea Approves Nuclear Strike on U.S.

    In a statement published Thursday by North Korea’s official news agency, North Korean military officials announced that they had final approval for missile strikes on the U.S., possibly involving nuclear weapons. The Army said threats would be “smashed by ... cutting-edge smaller, lighter, and diversified nuclear strike means.” It added that “the moment of explosion is approaching fast,” and war could break out on the Korean peninsula “today or tomorrow.” The statement comes a week after North Korea ordered its strategic rocket units into combat status, aiming at strikes on the U.S. mainland, Guam, and Hawaii. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said North Korea posed a “clear and real” danger. The Pentagon has deployed an advanced missile defense system to Guam as a precaution.

    April 3, 2013 6:15 PM

  3. 'Mass Casualties' Texas Warned of Aryan Brotherhood Killings Jerome Pollos/Getty

    3. Texas Warned of Aryan Brotherhood Killings

    Texas authorities warned in a December 2012 bulletin that the Aryan Brotherhood might seek retaliation for the arrests of 34 of the gang's members, months before two Kaufman County prosecutors were killed. According to ABC News, the bulletin warned that "high-ranking members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas are involved in issuing orders to inflict 'mass casualties or death' to law enforcement officials involved in the recent case." The bulletin also warned that the plan would be carried out when officers were at "large gatherings" and that the Brotherhood was surveilling and "proactively working toward developing personal information about officers involved in the recent arrest of Aryan Brotherhood of Texas members."

    April 3, 2013 9:46 PM

  4. SNEAK ATTACK Taliban Suicide Bombers Kill Dozens AP

    4. Taliban Suicide Bombers Kill Dozens

    As many as 48 people were killed and 91 wounded Wednesday when Taliban suicide bombers disguised as soldiers stormed a court in Afghanistan in an attempt to free their comrades standing trial. The raid led to a seven-hour battle between insurgents and police, ending in the death of all nine bombers. The incident was one of the bloodiest attacks to date in Afghanistan, where the Taliban continuously ignite violence in their plot to overthrow the government of President Hamid Karzai.

    April 3, 2013 2:11 PM

  5. Report Apple to Launch 60" TV Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty

    5. Apple to Launch 60" TV

    Apple is ready to take over every screen you ever look at, according to one analyst. In a research note on Wednesday, Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets says that Apple's first TV will go on sale late this year, for $1,500 to $2,500. The "iTV," White said, will be 60 inches long diagonally, but could also come in slightly smaller versions. As for a remote control, White says that's what the "iRing" is for, a small ring that fits on the viewer's finger and allows users to control the TV by pointing. But wait, there's more! According to the analyst, the set will also come with tablet-like "mini iTVs," which will stream video from the "iTV" wirelessly around the house. Apple has not commented on the speculation.

    April 3, 2013 10:25 PM

  6. UNDER PRESSURE  Senate Gun Bill May Lose Key Clause Former U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday. (Win McNamee/Getty)

    6. Senate Gun Bill May Lose Key Clause

    Seriously, what is left in the Senate’s gun bill? On Wednesday, increased penalties for straw purchases of guns—one of the key provisions—looked in danger of being cut from the bill following pressure from the .... you guessed it, National Rifle Association. The provision passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee without a problem, but the NRA has called for the language to be changed so the penalties can be applied only if police can prove the straw purchaser intended to break the law. Meanwhile, Asa Hutchinson, the former Republican congressman who led the NRA’s school safety initiative, said on Tuesday he was “absolutely” in favor of gun background checks. But the provocateur couldn’t stop there, once again calling for guns to be in every school.

    April 3, 2013 6:55 AM

  7. Brought to You By the No. 5 Elmo Hit With Fifth Sex-Abuse Suit Michael Tran/Getty

    7. Elmo Hit With Fifth Sex-Abuse Suit

    Is consensual sex between a 16-year-old and a man in his 40s ever really consensual? Not according to the latest lawsuit filed this week against Kevin Clash, the puppeteer formerly known as Elmo. Kevin Kiadii, 25, is the fifth man to sue Clash for sexual abuse, alleging that the ex–Sesame Street star, whom he met through a gay phone chat line in 2004, sent a car service to bring the then-16-year-old to his Manhattan apartment, where he allegedly “gave Kiadii alcohol and groomed him with attention and affection.” While the accuser admits that the sex was consensual, the legal age of consent in New York is 17.

    April 3, 2013 11:48 AM

  8. Cursed?

    8. Carnival Triumph Breaks Loose

    This ship has got to be cursed. The Carnival Triumph, which made headlines in February when an engine fire left the ship stranded in the Gulf of Mexico with more than 4,200 people aboard, got hit with bad luck again on Wednesday when high winds tore the ship away from its repair dock in Mobile, Alabama. The winds also knocked a security hut into the Mobile River with two men in it, one of whom is still missing. As of Wednesday night, the Coast Guard continues to search for him. As for the Triumph, after several hours afloat it was re-secured at the Alabama Cruise Terminal.

    April 3, 2013 8:59 PM

  9. FREEDOM!

    9. T-Mobile to End Contracts

    Don’t call it a comeback! T-Mobile, in an attempt to disrupt a market dominated by Verizon and AT&T, will not only be ending onerous and unpopular yearly contracts, but will also allow phone users to opt out of phone subsidies and to use any phone model. Perhaps most important, T-Mobile will also end the 15 seconds of instructions callers hear when they want to leave a voicemail.

    April 3, 2013 5:11 PM

  10. GET WELL SOON Roger Ebert Taking ‘Leave of Presence’ Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

    10. Roger Ebert Taking ‘Leave of Presence’

    Roger Ebert will be forced to slow down his role as one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed film critics in order to undergo radiation for cancer, he announced this week. While he admits he will be slowing down, the resilient Ebert insists he’s not stopping. In a statement posted to his blog, Ebert called his break a “leave of presence,” assuring fans that he’s “not going away” but writing on select movies only. The incurable optimist is no stranger to suffering, having almost lost his battle with throat cancer in 2008. But he’s not giving up. “See you at the movies,” he ended his post. Two thumbs up for attitude.

    April 3, 2013 11:58 AM

  11. Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes NBC Confirms Jay Leno Exit Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

    11. NBC Confirms Jay Leno Exit

    It’s official! NBC has confirmed what the media has been predicting for nearly two weeks: Jimmy Fallon will replace Jay Leno as the host of The Tonight Show, starting in the spring of 2014. According to NBC’s press release, Leno graciously congratulated Fallon. “I hope you’re as lucky as me and hold on to the job until you’re the old guy,’ he said. NBCUniversal’s CEO Steve Burke hailed Leno as “an entertainment icon.” Explaining that the decision to make the switch now is no accident. “We are purposefully making this change when Jay is No. 1, just as Jay replaced Johnny Carson when he was No. 1. Jimmy Fallon is a unique talent, and this is his time.” Other changes include moving the show back to 30 Rock in New York City and bringing on SNL's Lorne Michaels as executive producer.

    April 3, 2013 12:43 PM

  12. #TechDreams Is Facebook Building Its Own Phone? BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP

    12. Is Facebook Building Its Own Phone?

    Facebook is gearing up for a big Android announcement Thursday, and it just might be the introduction of a Facebook phone. Maybe. Tech blogs are abuzz with speculation that there is a new mobile device in the works with an operating system designed specifically for Facebook, even though the social network has given no real indication that it’s interested in such a thing. In fact, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said exactly the opposite. Facebook is the “most-used application on basically every mobile platform,” he pointed out when asked about the possibility of a Facebook phone back in July. Building a whole phone, he said, “really wouldn’t make much sense for us to do.” Still, Zuck and Android are up to something, so who knows. A nerd can dream. 

    April 3, 2013 9:58 AM

  13. ROYAL DRAMA Spanish Princess Questioned in Corruption Case Spain's Princess Cristina in Sept. 2011. (Charles Dharapak/AP)

    13. Spanish Princess Questioned in Corruption Case

    Spain’s Princess Cristina was summoned to court on Wednesday over allegations that her husband misused millions of euros of public money. Her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, has not been charged and denies he has broken the law. It’s believed this is the first time a descendant of the Spanish king has been charged. Cristina, the youngest daughter of King Juan Carlos, has been asked to appear in court on April 27.

    April 3, 2013 8:36 AM

  14. REBEL WITH A CAUSE Colo. Killer Took Off Ankle Monitor Evan Spencer Ebel. (Colorado Department of Corrections/AP)

    14. Colo. Killer Took Off Ankle Monitor

    Evan Ebel, the man suspected of killing Colorado prison chief Tom Clements, slipped off his ankle monitor in violation of his parole days before his alleged killing spree—and Department of Corrections didn’t notice for five days, according to documents released on Tuesday. By the time the Department of Corrections noticed the violation, a Colorado prisons chief and pizza delivery man had been killed, and Ebel was heading south in a black Cadillac DeVille. Ebel was killed by police in a shootout with Texas police on March 21. On Monday, a district court apologized for the clerical error that resulted in Ebel’s release four years too soon.

    April 3, 2013 6:59 AM

  15. ALMOST DOESN’T COUNT Rangers’ Yu Darvish’s Near-Perfect Game Texas Rangers' Yu Darvish pitches in the ninth inning on Tuesday. (Pat Sullivan/AP)

    15. Rangers’ Yu Darvish’s Near-Perfect Game

    The Texas Rangers’ Yu Darvish came painfully close to a perfect game Tuesday night—making it to two outs in the final inning before letting a hit go by. A rare occurrence in baseball, a perfect game requires a pitcher to retire 27 hitters in nine innings—without a single hit, walk, or even an error by other players. In spite of Darvish's miss, the Rangers beat the Houston Astros 7–0, but Martin Gonzalez’s two-out single at the bottom of the ninth was particularly heartbreaking when it went through the pitcher’s legs. An optimistic Darvish said the first thing he thought was “a win’s a win.” It’s not like he walked away empty-handed, either: his 14 strikeouts tied a Minute Maid Park record.

    April 3, 2013 8:01 AM

  16. PRO-LIFE Strict Abortion Bill Goes to AL Gov. Pro choice rally at Alabama Statehouse on Tuesday. (Dave MartinAP)

    16. Strict Abortion Bill Goes to AL Gov.

    The Alabama legislature late on Tuesday passed a bill that would tighten abortion restrictions, sending it over to Gov. Robert Bentley, who supporters hope will sign it. The bill mandates that all doctors performing abortions possess the necessary license required to admit patients to hospitals. It also requires abortion clinics to ask girls under the age of 16 to name the baby’s father—including his age. Opponents have charged that the bill is a back-door attempt to make abortion illegal and shut down the state’s five abortion clinics. A similar bill in Mississippi has faced legal challenges, but its lone abortion clinic has remained open.

    April 3, 2013 7:33 AM

  17. TEEN MOM Nearly 20 Percent of Teen Births Are Not First Child Cultura/Corbis

    17. Nearly 20 Percent of Teen Births Are Not First Child

    Those Teen Moms with multiple children are such trendsetters. Nearly 20 percent of babies born to mothers ages 15–19 are not first children, according to a federal report released Tuesday. Almost 67,000 of the 365,000 teens who gave birth in 2010 already had at least one child, and 86 percent of those were the teen’s second child. But 91 percent of these teens used some form of contraception after having a baby. They must have learned the hard way that not all birth control is 100 percent effective, since only 22 percent of them were using what is considered the “most effective” forms of birth control, where the risk of pregnancy is less than one pregnancy in 100 users. The highest percentage of repeat teen births were among American Indian/Alaskan natives (21.6 percent), with Hispanics making up 20.9 percent and African-Americans 20.4 percent. Don’t be discouraged about the numbers, said one researcher, who pointed out that as recently as 1990 25 percent of teen births were repeat mothers.

    April 3, 2013 10:04 AM

  18. BOLD STATEMENT  Ben Carson: White Liberals Are ‘Most Racist’ Dr. Ben Carson during CPAC on March 16. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call, via Getty)

    18. Ben Carson: White Liberals Are ‘Most Racist’

    Did you learn nothing from Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain? One of the stars of CPAC, Ben Carson, ruffled feathers this week when he called white liberals “the most racist people out there.” Carson, a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins, became a conservative superstar after attacking Obamacare at CPAC last month. The African-American conservative appeared on Mark Levin’s radio show Monday to discuss the “left-wing media” attack he’s received after linking homosexuality and bestiality. Although Carson slammed MSNBC hosts as “phony reporters,” he says he’ll continue to appear on their networks, in order to keep “speaking the truth.” Hint: if you want the media to be your friend, don’t insult them.

    April 3, 2013 7:58 AM

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  20. STAY SAFE Egyptian Students Protest Food Poisoning Al-Azhar university students protest on Monday. (Mostafa Darwish/AP)

    19. Egyptian Students Protest Food Poisoning

    If you're homesick for your college cafeteria, this should help. Hundreds of students protested in Egypt on Wednesday after nearly 500 students from Al-Azhar University in Cairo were admitted to the hospital with food poisoning. A senior Egyptian health minister said on Tuesday that the poisoning occurred after a meal was served at the dormitories on Monday, but students insisted this was not the first case of food poisoning at the university. Students demanded “clean food” as well as the dismissal of the head of the director of the dormitory. The university, meanwhile, issued a statement warning the students not to “exploit” the incident.

    April 3, 2013 7:41 AM

  21. INSPIRATIONAL, CELEBRATIONAL Muppets Co-Creator Jane Henson Dies Jane Henson, co-creator of the Muppets, in August 2010. (Mark Wilson/Getty)

    20. Muppets Co-Creator Jane Henson Dies

    It’s a sad day for the Muppets. The puppets’ co-creator Jane Henson, the wife of Jim Henson, died Tuesday at her home in Connecticut. She was 78. Her family said she suffered from cancer. Jane and Jim Henson met at a puppetry class at the University of Maryland in the mid-1950s, and became partners both in marriage and business. They married in 1959 and had five children, while also collaborating to create the Muppets and Sesame Street. In 1992 Henson created and founded the Jim Henson Legacy, which promotes puppetry and makes grants to puppet artists.

    April 3, 2013 8:04 AM

  22. Just Keep Swimming ‘Finding Nemo’ Sequel Set for 2015 RICH SCHMITT / AFP

    21. ‘Finding Nemo’ Sequel Set for 2015

    They found Nemo, but what happened to Dory? The scatterbrained fish voiced by Ellen DeGeneres will be the focus of Finding Dory, the sequel to the 2003 hit Finding Nemo that Pixar just announced will be released on November 25, 2015. DeGeneres will be back to voice the character. “I have waited for this day for a long, long, long, long, long, long time,” the talk-show host said. “I’m not mad it took this long. I know the people at Pixar were busy creating Toy Story 16. But the time they took was worth it.”

     

    April 2, 2013 12:56 PM

  23. second chances Sanford Wins SC's GOP Primary Sanford with supporters in Charleston, S.C. on Tuesday. (Bruce Smith/AP)

    22. Sanford Wins SC's GOP Primary

    Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford snagged the GOP nomination for the state's House seat (the same one he held in the nineties) on Tuesday, beating opponent Curtis Bostic. He'll now face Elizabeth Colbert, sister of the famed Stephen, in a special election this May. Sanford, whose reputation was marred after he confessed to an extramarital affair, says voters are overlooking those indiscretions. "I think tonight's verdict will say a lot as to where people are or are not on that," Sanford said. "I suppose at some level, I will never completely move beyond that." Sanford made his first public appearance with his paramour, now fiancée, Maria Belen Chapur, Tuesday night. 

    April 2, 2013 9:15 PM

  24. KEEP CALM, JOURNEY ON Unexploded WWII Bomb Found Experts where bomb was found along railway in Berlin on Wednesday. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty)

    23. Unexploded WWII Bomb Found

    Happy Wednesday, Berlin commuters—hope you don’t mind delays caused by leftovers from the 1940s. An unexploded bomb from World War II was found near Berlin’s main train station, causing thousands of commutes to be interrupted as experts tried to decide whether to detonate the bomb or remove it. While the 220-pound bomb is not even remotely the biggest bomb in the Allies’ arsenal, it has the potential to cause serious damage. Experts claim there may be thousands of unexploded bombs in Germany. Three people were killed in 2010 when one unexpectedly detonated.

    April 3, 2013 7:35 AM

  25. TENSION North Korea Blocks Off Joint Zone South Korean drivers at Kaesong border crossing on Wednesday. (Ahn Young-joon/AP)

    24. North Korea Blocks Off Joint Zone

    North Korea on Wednesday closed the border crossing at Kaesong, a joint industrial zone, for the first time since 2009. Around 800 South Koreans who were there overnight were allowed to return, South Korea said. The industrial complex, launched in 2003, is the last functional border crossing between the two Koreas, and is home to more than 120 factories that employ more than 50,000 managers from North Korea. South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se appeared in Washington on Wednesday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who vowed to defend the U.S. and its “treaty ally” from threats from the North.

    April 3, 2013 6:49 AM