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  1. WOO-HOO House Passes Student-Loan Bill Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

    1. House Passes Student-Loan Bill

    The U.S. House approved a bipartisan bill Wednesday that would reduce the cost of loans for millions of students at a vote of 392–31. The bill is on its way to President Obama for his signature. “This is a win for students and taxpayers,” Rep. John Kline, the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, said. The new plan would mean capping the growth of interest rates, as well as putting a lock on interest rates for the life of each year's loan. According to the White House, the new loan structure would offer lower rates to 11 million borrowers right away and save the average undergraduate student $1,500 in interest charges.

    July 31, 2013 6:47 PM

  2. JUICE BREAK O.J. Simpson Paroled on Some Charges Ethan Miller/Getty

    2. O.J. Simpson Paroled on Some Charges

    O.J. Simpson caught a break today when a Nevada parole board decided in favor of his request for leniency in his 2008 kidnapping and robbery convictions involving a 2007 stickup of memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel. In his hearing last week, the former football star told the board he regretted his actions and has been a model prisoner. “I just wish I never went to that room,” he said at the meeting. While Simpson’s lawyer says he’s “very happy and grateful,” he won’t be packing his bags just yet. He still has a remaining portion of his sentence to serve: at least four years.

    July 31, 2013 5:08 PM

  3. About time! Senate OKs First ATF Director Since 2006 Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call/Getty

    3. Senate OKs First ATF Director Since 2006

    The Senate voted 60–40 to approve Bryon Todd Jones to be director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) on Wednesday. The bureau had not had a permanent director since 2006. All 54 members of the Democratic caucus voted to move forward with consideration of President Barack Obama's pick, along with six Republicans. Jones had been the acting director of the ATF since 2011, while also serving as the U.S. Attorney for Minnesota. 

    July 31, 2013 8:04 PM

  4. Sayonara MLB Readies Lifetime Ban for A-Rod Kathy Willens/AP

    4. MLB Readies Lifetime Ban for A-Rod

    Yankees fans, prepare your goodbyes. USA Today reports that Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is prepping a lifetime suspension for Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, along with suspensions for about eight others for their involvement with Biogenesis, a Miami clinic that allegedly provided performance-enhancing drugs. No announcement is expected until Thursday or Friday, but according to Rodriguez's attorney, A-Rod will appeal any suspension, regardless of the severity. In addition to Rodriguez, All-Stars Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers and Jhonny Peralta of the Detroit Tigers are facing suspensions. 

    Here's a history of A-Rod's doping denials, revisions, and half-truths.

    July 31, 2013 7:18 PM

  5. Road to Recovery Randy Travis Released From Hospital Tony Gutierrez/AP

    5. Randy Travis Released From Hospital

    Country crooner Randy Travis is moving to a physical therapy facility after spending three weeks at a Texas hospital, his representative said on Wednesday. Travis was hospitalized for complications following a viral heart infection but then suffered a stroke and underwent surgery to relieve pressure in his brain. Doctors have said it will take months of physical therapy for Travis to recover.

    July 31, 2013 9:55 PM

  6. big brother U.S. Requested a Ton of Twitter Data Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty

    6. U.S. Requested a Ton of Twitter Data

    Big Brother's (still) watching, y'all. According to a transparency report released by Twitter on Wednesday, the U.S. government requested information on 1,319 Twitter accounts in 902 requests over six months. Though the U.S. isn't the only one snooping (twenty-five countries submitted such requests in the first half of 2013), the majority came from the American government. Requests were mainly for basic information, such as email addresses and IP addresses. About 67 percent of the requests were granted at least some information.

    July 31, 2013 8:52 PM

  7. CHAOTIC Police Ordered to Stop Pro-Morsi Protests Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images

    7. Police Ordered to Stop Pro-Morsi Protests

    Egypt's government has ordered the police to break up demonstrations backing ousted president Mohamed Morsi. The government maintains the sit-ins are a threat to national security and has charged three leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood with inciting violence. Morsi supporters have been staging protests in Cairo since the Egyptian Army removed Morsi from power on July 3. Some of the sit-ins have turned violent. Seventy people were killed on Saturday in clashes near the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque. The Muslim Brotherhood spokesman said the demonstrators won't be cleared away easily, adding that they have the democratic right to protest.

     

     

     

    July 31, 2013 5:51 PM

  8. Loyalty Weiner Sticking With Profane Aide Win McNamee

    8. Weiner Sticking With Profane Aide

    Anthony Weiner can’t exactly afford to be firing staff these days, even when they lash out with profane rants. Weiner said he’ll be sticking with Barbara Morgan, the spokesperson who called former intern Olivia Nuzzi a “slutbag” among other epithets, after the Nuzzi portrayed Weiner negatively in the New York Daily News. Morgan has since issued a public apology, said she thought she was off the record, apologized to Nuzzi, and tweeted a picture of a cash-filled "swear jar." Nuzzi has updated her Twitter profile to read, "Slutbag, twat and cunt."

    July 30, 2013 10:53 PM

  9. Big Brother Massive NSA Web Surveillance Program Revealed NSA, via Getty

    9. Massive NSA Web Surveillance Program Revealed

    There may have been truth to Edward Snowden’s controversial claim that he said he could “wiretap anyone” if he had their email address. The Guardian has revealed a training guide for a program called XKeyscore, which NSA documents call the agency’s “widest-reaching” system for gathering Internet information. The program monitors everything anyone does on the Internet, from the content of emails to websites visited, searches, chats, and metadata. It can also be used to watch real-time Internet activity. The quantity of data collected is so huge—1 billion to 2 billion records a day—that they can only be stored for several days, with more “interesting” data saved for longer. Though an NSA worker would need a warrant to target a U.S. citizen, the agency can collect data on any citizen in communication with someone on foreign soil without a warrant.

    July 31, 2013 10:31 AM

  10. Superspy George Clooney Spies on Omar al-Bashir Spencer Platt / Getty Images

    10. George Clooney Spies on Omar al-Bashir

    Some buy Ferraris, some start spy programs to track the movements of Sudanese war criminals. George Clooney recently divulged to The Guardian that he has been spending paychecks earned from doing Nespresso commercials on maintaining a spy satellite aimed at the border of North and South Sudan "to keep an eye on Omar al-Bashir [the Sudanese dictator charged with war crimes at the Hague]." As the plan according to Clooney goes, “Then he puts out a statement saying that I'm spying on him and how would I like it if a camera was following me everywhere I went and I go ‘well welcome to my life Mr War Criminal’. I want the war criminal to have the same amount of attention that I get. I think that’s fair.” Clooney’s spy program, the Satellite Sentinel Project, tracks Sudan’s army and warns civilians ahead of attacks. 

    George Clooney and Omar al-Bashir star in the new movie "Satellite."

    July 31, 2013 6:40 PM

  11. EPIC MISTAKE Student Left in DEA Cell Gets $4.1M K.C. Alfred/AP

    11. Student Left in DEA Cell Gets $4.1M

    On April 21, DEA agents raided a house in San Diego and seized a smorgasbord of drugs including about 18,000 ecstasy pills, prescriptions, mushrooms, and marijuana—not to mention a number of guns and thousands of ammunition rounds. They also detained nine people and then left one of those people, Daniel Chong, alone and handcuffed in a holding cell for five days without food or water. The dehydrated and abandoned 25-year-old lost 15 pounds, drank his own urine, and even carved “Sorry Mom” into his arm with a piece of his broken glasses before he was discovered by the authorities who’d forgotten about him. Now Chong, who was never even arrested or charged with a crime, has settled a lawsuit against the DEA for $4.1 million. “This was a mistake of unbelievable and unimaginable proportions,” said his attorney.

    July 31, 2013 6:33 AM

  12. Maverick McCain: Rand Paul vs. Hillary Would Be Tough Choice J. Scott Applewhite/AP

    12. McCain: Rand Paul vs. Hillary Would Be Tough Choice

    The maverick is back. In an interview with The New Republic, Sen. John McCain bemoans the Republican “crazy birds” in the House—though he says he apologized for calling them that—and calls Fox News “schizophrenic.” When asked whom he’d vote for in a 2016 presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Sen. Rand Paul, the Arizona senator says, laughing, “It’s gonna be a tough choice.” He also calls Clinton a “rock star” and says many in the Tea Party “came to power to keep things from getting done.”

    July 31, 2013 12:25 PM

  13. Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Zimmerman Caught Speeding, Carrying Gun Joe Burbank/AP

    13. Report: Zimmerman Speeding, Carrying Gun

    Old habits die hard. Acquitted Trayvon Martin killer George Zimmerman was stopped by police for speeding in Forney, Texas, on Sunday afternoon. When questioned by cops, Zimmerman said he was headed “nowhere in particular” and revealed that he had a firearm in his glove compartment, according to a TMZ report. Police let him off with a warning after about five minutes and politely wished him a “safe trip.”

    Watch dashcam footage of George Zimmerman getting pulled over for speeding.

    July 31, 2013 3:06 PM

  14. IN CAHOOTS Hollywood Collaborated With Hitler Roger Viollet/Getty Images

    14. Hollywood Worked With Hitler

    Watch closely the films Hollywood generated in the 1930s and you may see a subtext of Nazi propaganda. In his new book, The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact With Hitler, scholar Ben Urwand draws on scores of previously uncited documents to show how Hollywood’s studios cooperated with the Third Reich to keep American movies in German cinemas. Beginning with the 1930 release of All Quiet on the Western Front, Hollywood regularly ran scripts and screeners by German officials for approval, many of which were rejected by Hitler and his cohorts if they drew attention to Germany’s growing anti-Semitism. Urwand’s book documents the collaboration in detail, but the American press was onto Hollywood at the time. In 1937, Newsweek ran a story with the headline “Long Arm of Hitler Extends to Hollywood Studio.”

    July 31, 2013 1:14 PM

  15. TIME APART Huma Taking a Vacation From Hillary Pool photo by Susan Walsh, via AP

    15. Huma Taking a Vacation From Hillary

    One might think Huma Abedin would want to throw herself even further into her own work, as her husband’s mayoral campaign and dignity simultaneously continue to unravel before the public, but Anthony Weiner’s wife is reportedly moving forward with plans to take an extended vacation from her job as Hillary Clinton’s right-hand woman. Apparently, as Hillary heads out on a Hamptons vacation of her own, it’s the floundering Weiner who really needs Huma now. Just because she appeared with him during that first press conference, however, doesn’t mean she’ll be by his side throughout the whole campaign—at least visibly. Huma was notably absent from her husband’s most recent video ad in which he declared, “Quit isn’t the way we roll in New York City.”

    July 31, 2013 6:29 AM

  16. Oops Daily News Corrects Weiner’s Evasive Sexting Answer Spencer Platt/Getty

    16. Daily News Corrects Weiner’s Evasive Sexting Answer

    These days, this counts as good news for Anthony Weiner. It turns out the evasive-sounding answer to the New York Daily News’s question “There’s no one you’re sexting now?” wasn’t so sketchy after all. The Daily News had previously reported that Weiner answered, “You can quibble about beginnings, middles and ends but what we're talking about is over a year ago,” a bizarrely vague answer to a simple question. But now the exchange reads, “And it was over a year ago? There’s been nothing else?” To which Weiner replies, “I mean, oh yeah, all that stuff is behind me. You can quibble about you know, beginnings, middles and ends, but it was basically a year ago.” The Daily News blames a transcription error.

    July 31, 2013 2:47 PM

  17. LGBT RIGHTS Olympics Won’t Stop Antigay Laws

    17. Olympics Won’t Stop Antigay Laws

    Despite assurances from the International Olympic Committee that gay or “progay” Olympic athletes and spectators wouldn’t be arrested under Russia’s antigay laws during the 2014 Games, Vitaly Milonov, the lawmaker who sponsored the “non-traditional relationships” bill is saying the government doesn’t have the right to suspend the laws. “It doesn’t have the authority,” he said in an interview with Interfax. And according to him, several of his U.S. counterparts agree with the anti-LGBT legislation. “Having spoken with many American politicians, I understand that they support the stance I’ve taken on this issue,” he said. And which ones would those be?

    July 30, 2013 9:56 PM

  18. SOCIAL MEDIA FOR DICTATORS Assad Joins Instagram Syrian State TV, via AP

    18. Assad Joins Instagram

    Just what the world needs: another megalomaniacal dictator using social media. Perhaps as an attempt to appeal to Syrian youth—of course not those against whom he’s been accused of waging chemical warfare—President Bashar al-Assad has joined Instagram. The Syrian leader’s foray into posting filtered photos—mostly of himself and his wife smiling and waving to throngs of supporters—coincided with the Syrian civil war's death toll topping 100,000. The country’s internal violence is now taking approximately 7,000 civilian lives per month, and Assad has been accused of contributing to the mass murder of his people. Nothing like Instagram to make a country of people who hate you forget about alleged war crimes and human-rights violations, right Assad?

    July 31, 2013 7:23 AM

  19. FREE LILO Lindsay Lohan Leaves Rehab Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

    19. Lindsay Lohan Leaves Rehab

    Your move, Oprah. After extending her 90-day stay in rehab, actress Lindsay Lohan is finally back in the real world. The star of upcoming movie The Canyons (which opens Friday) reportedly waved and smiled at paparazzi Tuesday night as she left the Cliffside Malibu facility, where she spent the last three months. Before entering rehab, which was prompted by a reckless-driving charge, Lohan told David Letterman the time off would be a “blessing.” From all appearances thus far, she was right. Next up, a sit-down with the queen of interviews herself.

    July 31, 2013 9:12 AM

  20. IN LOVE Report: Diana Wanted to Remarry JOHN STILLWELL

    20. Report: Diana Wanted to Remarry

    Princess Diana was thinking about leaving her life in Britain to move to Pakistan and marry a heart surgeon, according to the latest issue of Vanity Fair. The story reveals that the princess was in love with Dr. Hasnat Khan and traveled to Pakistan to see if she could adapt to life in his home country. “Diana was madly in love with [him] and wanted to marry him, even if that meant living in Pakistan,” says Jemima Khan, Diana's close friend who is quoted in the article. Khan says Diana also asked her about the cultural issues that arise when dating a Pakistani man. Diana and Hasnat were a couple for two years. Their relationship is the subject of the new movie Diana, which is set to be released in September.

     

     

    July 31, 2013 11:10 AM

  21. SEE YA! Hawaii Offers Homeless One-Way Tickets Marco Garcia/AP

    21. Hawaii Offers Homeless One-Way Tickets

    Hawaii is employing one of the more creative ways to save money on housing, food, and other services earmarked for the homeless. The Aloha State is offering one-way plane tickets to volunteers to ship them back to the mainland. The “return to home” pilot program, which will be run by the Department of Human Services, is a three-year endeavor that will launch this fiscal year. The state legislature has approved spending $100,000 in the first year. The state, which has an estimated 17,000 homeless, expects to save money even if some people return. To be eligible for the program, individuals must have a support system in their home state and must not be able to afford the airfare on their own.

    July 30, 2013 6:50 PM

  22. SLACKING ON THE JOB TSA Misconduct Up 26 Percent Patrick Semansky/AP

    22. TSA Misconduct Up 26 Percent

    Looking for another reason to hate flying? It’s your lucky day. A recently released government report reveals that, over the past three years, TSA workers—the people who rifle through your bags and pat you down in the name of safety—have engaged in 26 percent more misconduct. Such indiscretions include stealing, sleeping on the job, leaving work early—without permission—and letting friends and family members pass through security without being screened. In fact, according to the Government Accountability Office’s new report, over 9,000 incidents of misconduct were reported over the past three years--over 1,900 of which were considered potential security threats. “There’s not even a way to properly report some of the offenses, so this may be just the tip of the iceberg,” said Rep. John Mica of Florida, who ordered the investigation.

    July 31, 2013 7:36 AM

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  24. MEDIATOR EU Envoy Visits Morsi Uncredited

    23. EU Envoy Visits Morsi

    Deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi is apparently now accepting visitors. EU foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton was taken to Morsi’s secret detention facility late Monday night, becoming the first outsider to see him since he was removed from office and detained by the Egyptian army. The Islamist politician is under investigation on charges that include murder. Ashton and Morsi had what she described as a “friendly, open, and very frank” two-hour talk, about which she revealed few details. “I’ve tried to make sure that his family knows he is well,” said Ashton, who saw inside of where Morsi is being held but, because she was flown there by helicopter at night, has no idea where he actually is.

    July 31, 2013 7:03 AM

  25. WikiLeaks Manning Acquitted of Aiding the Enemy Mark Wilson/Getty

    24. Manning Acquitted of Aiding the Enemy

    Bradley Manning, the army private who gave classified documents to WikiLeaks, has been acquitted of aiding the enemy, the most serious charge against him, but convicted of multiple violations of the Espionage Act and stealing government property. The prosecution had argued that Manning should have known the leaked documents would make their way to al Qaeda, while Manning’s defense argued that he was a well-intentioned but naive whistleblower. He faces up to 136 years in prison, with his sentencing hearing beginning Wednesday.

    July 30, 2013 1:08 PM

  26. YEAH, BABY

    25. U.S. Economy Grows 1.7 Percent

    Despite government cuts and high import numbers, the U.S. economy expanded at a 1.7 percent pace in the second quarter, up from 1.1 percent in the first. Strong housing, consumer demand, and a robust stock market contributed to the growth. In addition, last year’s GDP numbers were revised up from 2.2 percent to 2.8 percent.

    July 31, 2013 10:46 AM

  27. NOT GIVING IN Sharpton: Obama, Holder Promised to Enforce Voting Rights Act Carolyn Kaster/AP

    26. Sharpton: Obama, Holder Promised to Enforce Voting Rights Act

    What do you get when you put Al Sharpton, Eric Holder, and Barack Obama in a room together? An “unprecedented” discussion of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to strike down part of the Voting Rights Act. “They wanted us to know that this may have been a wounding of what we consider in voter rights,” Sharpton told MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts of the get-together on Tuesday. “But it does not disable the Voting Rights Act and they intend to go forward and not only protect voting rights for all Americans, but enforce the Voting Rights Act.” Sharpton called the Supreme Court decision “a real blatant attempt to suppress the vote” and criticized conservatives for hypocritically complaining about minorities’ lack of responsibility while simultaneously advocating for laws that limit voting.

    July 31, 2013 6:36 AM

  28. SPANISH DISASTER Train Driver on Cell Before Crash Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty

    27. Train Driver on Cell Before Crash

    Every day that passes since 79 people were killed in last week’s Spanish rail crash, we learn more about just how reckless the vehicle’s driver was being when the train derailed. We already knew that train operator Francisco Jose Garzon de Amo was driving at about twice the speed limit when the tracks curved near Santiago de Compostela, sending the train off the track and into a wall, but now the court has discovered that Garzon was on the phone and reading a document as well. According to investigators, the train operator, who is charged with 79 counts of negligent homicide, was simultaneously answering a call from rail company Renfe and reading a document as the speeding train headed into the curve. Distracted, he didn’t slam on the breaks until “seconds before the crash.”

    July 31, 2013 7:12 AM