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  1. Shhh Brennan to CIA: Keep Secrets Better Xinhua/Zhang Jun/Corbis

    1. Brennan to CIA: Keep Secrets Better

    Other organizations might warn off a culture of secrecy, but for the CIA, that’s what they’re hoping for. After a number of recent media leaks, Director John Brennan launched a new “Honor the Oath” campaign this week urging CIA officers to better keep the agency’s secrets. In an unclassified memo, Brennan wrote the push will “reinforce our corporate culture of secrecy” with education and training.

    June 26, 2013 7:49 PM

  2. Not So Fast, Davis Perry Announces Special Session Mandel Ngan, AFP / Getty Images

    2. Perry Announces Special Session

    For 13 hours last night, Texas State Rep. Wendy Davis filibustered legislation that would close almost all of Texas's abortion clinics, but next Monday it may all have been for naught. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, expressing a desire to “protect women and the unborn,” has announced that the legislature will hold a special session on July 1. Noting that “too much important work remains undone,” Perry said, “We will not allow the breakdown of decorum and decency to prevent us from doing what the people of this state hired us to do.” The session will consider the regulation of abortion procedures, providers, and facilities, along with infrastructure funding, and a mandatory sentence of life with parole for a capital felony committed by a 17-year-old.

    June 26, 2013 5:18 PM

  3. CUFFED AND STUFFED Hernandez Charged With Murder Michael DeHoog/Sports Imagery/Getty

    3. Hernandez Charged With Murder

    Appearing in a Massachusetts courtroom, former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was charged with murder in the death of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. Hernandez was arrested at his home around 9 a.m. Wednesday morning, and a few hours later, the Patriots announced they had released him from the team. Over the weekend police searched Hernandez’s house for evidence related to the death of Lloyd, a friend of the tight end’s whom he’d allegedly been with the night Lloyd died.

    Watch Aaron Hernandez being led away from his house in handcuffs.

    June 26, 2013 2:54 AM

  4. ASKED FOR IT Snowden Said Leakers Should Be Shot Getty Images

    4. Snowden Said Leakers Should Be Shot

    Edward Snowden should consider himself lucky that the America he's fleeing doesn't punish leakers in the manner he suggested during an online chat in 2009. "Those people should be shot in the balls," Snowden said about anonymous sources in a New York Times story about U.S. plans to sabotage Iran's nuclear program. The now-famous leaker, using the handle TheTrueHOOHA, went on further to assert it was unethical for the paper of record to report on issues of national security, saying, "that shit is classified for a reason." Guess he had a change of heart?

    June 26, 2013 3:26 PM

  5. Tough Justice Texas Executes 500th Inmate Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice

    5. Texas Executes 500th Inmate

    Death-row inmate Kimberly McCarthy was executed on Wednesday for the 1997 robbery, beating, and fatal stabbing of her 71-year-old neighbor, Dorothy Booth. She was also linked to two additional killings. McCarthy was the 500th person executed by the state since it resumed capital punishment sentences in 1982. Her lawyer made a final appeal, claiming that black jurors were improperly excluded from the trial, but was denied by the court. Texas has a notoriously tough justice system, and 40 percent of the 1,300 executions in the U.S. since 1976 have been carried out in the Lone Star State. McCarthy was the 13th woman put to death in U.S. history.

    June 26, 2013 7:56 PM

  6. HOT POTATO Walmart, Caesars Drop Paula Deen Slaven Vlasic

    6. Walmart, Caesars Drop Paula Deen

    Paula Deen offered a tearful apology and denied being a racist on the Today show this morning, thanking the partners that have stuck by her—a list that's getting smaller by the minute. Today, Walmart and Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment cut the embattled celebrity chef's apron strings, joining the Food Network and Smithfield Foods, which announced splits earlier in the week. Deen still has fan support, though soon they'll have to look elsewhere for her "Gooey Butter Cake" and French-toast-scented candles; Walmart isn't placing “any new orders beyond what's already committed.”

    June 26, 2013 4:17 PM

  7. EQUAL RIGHTS High Court Strikes Down DOMA Pete Marovich/MCT/Getty

    7. High Court Strikes Down DOMA

    In a historic victory for gay rights, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law that prevented the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage. In a 5-4 decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court ruled that DOMA is an unconstitutional deprivation of equal liberty, a violation of the Fifth Amendment. The ruling will allow federal benefits—tax breaks, insurance for government employees—to couples in D.C. and the 12 states (13, now that California’s Proposition 8 has been dismissed) that already recognize same-sex marriage.

    "No more DOMA!" After hearing news of the ruling, crowds outside the Supreme Court erupted in cheers.

    June 26, 2013 9:50 AM

  8. OBAMA PHONE President Calls Prop 8 Challengers via YouTube

    8. President Calls Prop 8 Challengers

    The challengers in the Supreme Court case that resulted in the historic decision striking down California’s Proposition 8 no doubt expect their phones to be ringing off the hook for the next couple of days, but today’s call from President Obama during an MSNBC interview might top them all. An emotional Sandy Stier fought tears as she and her partner, Kris Perry, thanked the president for his support. Over choppy reception (he called from Air Force One), he congratulated the winners. “We’re proud of you guys, and we’re so proud to have this in California,” Obama said. “And it’s because of your leadership things are heading the right way. So you should be very proud today.” Paul Katami, another plaintiff, added, “You’re invited to the wedding!”

    June 26, 2013 12:06 PM

  9. Wimbledon Federer Loses in Second Round Alastair Grant/AP

    9. Federer Loses in Second Round

    Just two days after Rafael Nadal fell in the first round at Wimbledon, Roger Federer lost his second-round match Wednesday to Ukrainian Serhiy Stakhovsky. Three of the match's four sets ended in tiebreaks, leading to a final tally of 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (5-7), 5-7, 6-7 (5-7). Federer, the defending Wimbledon champion, is ranked No. 3 on the ATP tour, while Stakhovsky is all the way down at 116. Federer has won Wimbledon seven times, and a win this year would have set a record for all-time victories in the tournament.

    June 26, 2013 3:18 PM

  10. SOB STORY Deen Says She’s Not a Racist Slaven Vlasic/Getty

    10. Deen Says She’s Not a Racist

    Paula Deen still won’t cop to being racist, but she did tell Matt Lauer on Wednesday morning that “there are a couple of kinds of people I’m prejudiced against—and that is thieves and liars.” That’s why, she explained during her highly anticipated Today show appearance, she admitted to using the N word during her infamous court deposition, even though she swears it was only a one-time thing. “The day I used that word, it was a world ago,” Deen said, referring to being robbed at gunpoint 30 years ago. The celebrity chef got emotional, urging her supporters not to boycott the Food Network (even though she wouldn’t have fired someone like her), and asked, through tears, for anyone in the audience who’s never said something they regret to “please take up that stone and throw it as hard as they can and kill me.”

    June 26, 2013 8:35 AM

  11. LOST AND FOUND Bodies Recovered in India Chopper Crash Mahesh Kumar A./AP

    11. Bodies Recovered in India Chopper Crash

    The bodies of 20 people were recovered Wednesday, one day after a helicopter carrying survivors of major landslides and flooding crashed into a hillside in northern India. Over 1,000 people have died and thousands of homes have been destroyed in the floods, which have ravaged the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand since the middle of June. Five members of the Air Force crew were among the 20 bodies recovered Wednesday.

    June 26, 2013 6:55 AM

  12. LAST WORDS Chris Stevens’s Diary Published MAHMUD TURKIA

    12. Chris Stevens’s Diary Published

    Chris Stevens’s journal has been published online, revealing the innermost thoughts of the slain U.S. ambassador to Libya in his final days., a military website that promotes the opinion of a deliberate government cover-up of the attack on the compound, posted pages from the diary today—pages that provide an insight into Stevens’s personal life and professional commitment, hopeful, even amid concerns for his own security. In one entry he writes, “Islamist ‘hit list’ in Benghazi. Me targeted…” and his final entry, on September 11, reads, “Never ending security threats...”

    June 26, 2013 12:48 PM

  13. CONSEQUENCES NSA Leak Spooks Terrorists Charles Dharapak/AP

    13. NSA Leak Spooks Terrorists

    Members of al Qaeda and pretty much every other terrorist organization are now reportedly switching up their communication tactics in response to the leaked details of the National Security Agency’s surveillance program. According to two anonymous U.S. intelligence officials, this poses a major problem for keeping an eye on operatives and staying ahead of potential plots. The officials would not explain what exactly the terrorists are doing—switching their email accounts or cellphone providers, for example—but did specify that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the organization’s Yemeni branch, was one of the first to change.

    June 26, 2013 6:43 AM

  14. Comeback Weiner Pulls Ahead in Mayoral Primary Mario Tama/Getty

    14. Weiner Pulls Ahead in Mayoral Primary

    In a miraculous turn of events, Anthony Weiner is now leading the pack of Democratic candidates for New York City mayor. The former U.S. representative, who resigned in disgrace two years ago after accidentally tweeting a lewd photo of himself intended for a woman who was not his wife, got the nod from 25 percent of registered Democrats who responded to a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist poll while only 20 percent said they're in favor of Quinn—the lowest the City Council speaker has polled since entering the race. 

    June 26, 2013 11:58 AM

  15. ‘DIRTY LAUNDRY’ Kelly Rowland Is Not Jealous of Beyoncé Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

    15. Kelly Rowland Is Not Jealous of Beyoncé

    Kelly Rowland would like to clarify that she has nothing but love for her fellow Destiny’s Children— Beyoncé included. It’s true that the track “Dirty Laundry” off her new new album, Talk a Good Game, does address Rowland’s relationship with her and how she’s handled Beyoncé’s success, but “it’s not necessarily that it’s tough to watch. You just are wanting something more for yourself or wanting a different opportunity,” the singer explained to The Huffington Post. Jealousy “is the only thing [people] can think of when they think of myself, or Michelle, or B. We’re all in a group together, and we’re so used to hearing that, but those are my girls. I love them to death. We’re stuck with each other for life.”

    June 26, 2013 6:58 AM

  16. When Speed Counts

    16. Interns Race to Deliver SCOTUS Decisions

    A Vine video making the rounds Wednesday morning that shows a frantic intern racing to deliver the paper copy of a Supreme Court ruling to NBC’s Pete Williams has lifted the veil on a Washington tradition. “The Running of the Interns” (as dubbed by BuzzFeed) is a time-honored custom in which interns race a good 300 feet to deliver groundbreaking rulings to their respective networks first. Go forth, brave interns—and don’t forget your sneakers.

    An intern races through the crowd to give NBC's Pete Williams the Supreme Court Decision

    June 26, 2013 3:20 PM

  17. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT Texas to Execute 500th Person David J. Phillip/AP

    17. Texas to Execute 500th Person

    Texas might not have been able to pass one of the most expansive abortion restrictions in the country Monday night, but it hasn’t lost everything it holds dear. The state with the biggest death-penalty program—responsible for about 40 percent of the 1,300 executions that have taken place in the U.S. since the Supreme Court ruled that capital punishment legal in 1976—is set to execute its 500th prisoner Wednesday. No. 500, Kimberly McCarthy, a 52-year-old convicted killer, will also be the first woman in the country to be put to death since 2010. The attorney for McCarthy, who was convicted of robbing, beating, and stabbing retired professor Dorothy Booth to death in 1997, said she’s made every attempt to keep her client from execution. “If there was something to appeal, I would.”

    June 26, 2013 6:23 AM

  18. FULL CIRCLE Clintons Cheer Death of DOMA

    18. Clintons Cheer Death of DOMA

    Bill and Hillary Clinton added their voices to the swell of support of the Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, the law that then-president Bill Clinton signed in 1996. In a statement, the former first couple praised the ruling and congratulated the advocates that had worked for it. “By overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, the Court recognized that discrimination towards any group holds us all back in our efforts to form a more perfect union," it read. Bill Clinton penned an op-ed earlier this year arguing for DOMA's overturn, saying that the discriminatory law was contrary to "principles of a nation that honors freedom, equality and justice above all."

    June 26, 2013 2:08 PM

  19. SCOTUS Supremes Punt Prop 8 Carolyn Kaster/AP

    19. Supremes Punt Prop 8

    After declaring the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the supporters of Proposition 8, California's ban on gay marriage, lack standing to appeal. The state’s controversial gay-marriage ban was voted into law in 2008, but ruled unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment—which guarantees equal protection under the law—by a federal appeals court last year. Today the justices upheld that federal court ruling. This means that, at least in areas where court clerks oppose Prop 8, same-sex marriage will now be legal in California.

    San Francisco erupts in cheers after hearing the news that the Supreme Court struck down DOMA and Prop 8.

    June 26, 2013 10:07 AM

  20. YOU SNOOZE, YOU LOSE Texas Abortion Bill Did Not Pass Eric Gay/AP

    20. Texas Abortion Bill Did Not Pass

    It might not have been easy to stand on the Texas House floor in those pink running shoes for over 10 hours, but it looks like Sen. Wendy Davis’s filibuster actually worked. Despite first claiming to have successfully passed the expansive abortion-restriction bill that Davis had attempted to stall, Republican representatives later recanted their victory, admitting that—thanks to the delay—the vote took place after midnight, when the state legislative session expired, and was marred by confusion. This is bad news for Gov. Rick Perry, who was ready to sign the bill into law as part of his goal to make abortion “a thing of the past” this year.

    At around 3:20 a.m., Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards told raucous supporters in the Texas Capitol Rotunda that the abortion bill was dead.

    June 26, 2013 6:19 AM