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  1. crackdown Muslim Brotherhood Leaders Arrested Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty

    1. Muslim Brotherhood Leaders Arrested

    The bloody news from Egypt may have quieted, but the struggle for power continues. On Thursday, prominent Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed el-Beltagy was arrested by Egyptian authorities on counts of inciting violence, state media reported. Beltagy is the secretary-general of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, and was reportedly arrested along with former labor minister Khaled al-Azhari. Beltagy's arrest was ordered in early July, but he continued to appear almost daily at the pro-Morsi protests in Cairo. His 17-year-old daughter was killed in the violence at the protest camp earlier this month.

    August 29, 2013 10:06 PM

  2. toke toke Feds: States Decide on Pot Use Ted S. Warren/AP

    2. Feds: States Decide on Pot Use

    Let the smoky celebrations ensue. After 75 years of federal prohibition, new legislation allows states the right to decide whether citizens may use, grow, sell, and buy marijuana. Last fall, Washington and Colorado voted to legalize the drug, and now, the Justice Department has given states the power to oversee both medical and recreational industries, along with adoption of regulatory plans. But in a memo to all U.S. attorney offices, Deputy Attorney General James Cole warned that policy must safeguard public health and safety, saying, "If state enforcement efforts are not sufficiently robust ... the federal government may seek to challenge the regulatory structure itself."

    August 29, 2013 6:23 PM

  3. TAX EQUALITY IRS: Same-Sex Couples Can File Jointly Susan Walsh/AP

    3. IRS: Same-Sex Couples Can File Jointly

    File this in the rare “good tax news” category. The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department announced that legally married same-sex couples will be allowed to file tax returns together no matter where they live. On Thursday Treasury Secretary Jack Lew released a statement saying the decision assures that “they can move freely throughout the country, knowing that their federal filing status will not change.” The move comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling against the Defense of Marriage Act in June and allows same-sex couples married before then to file amended tax returns for past years.

    August 29, 2013 2:43 PM

  4. Explosive U.S. Intel ‘Black Budget’ Revealed Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

    4. U.S. Intel ‘Black Budget’ Revealed

    The details of the U.S. government’s top secret, $50 billion “black budget” for national intelligence is revealed in a blockbuster report from The Washington Post—driven by information provided by now-fugitive NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The CIA gets far and away the most funding of the 16 agencies covered; the agency requested $14.7 billion for 2013, much higher than any outside estimate. Despite the enormous expense, the agencies report numerous “blind spots” where they have not been able to provide the president clear information on terrorist threats.

    August 29, 2013 1:26 PM

  5. hermit kingdom rumors Report: North Korea Executes 12 Performers KCNA/AP

    5. Report: North Korea Executes 12 Performers

    In case there was any doubt about the ferociousness of baby-faced Kim Jong-Un, reports surfacing on Thursday claim the North Korean government killed 12 prominent performers by firing squad earlier this month. According to Chinese sources, singers, musicians, and dancers were arrested for reportedly selling sex tapes and violating pornography laws, though it's thought they were targeted for political reasons. All were apparently regarded as political dissidents, and their families have been shipped to prison camps. One of those allegedly killed was singer Hyon Song-wol, an ex-girlfriend of Jong-Un, who dated the leader in the early 2000s.

    August 29, 2013 8:26 PM

  6. on our own British Parliament Rejects Syria Strike Sang Tan/AP

    6. British Parliament Rejects Syria Strike

    The British Parliament voted down the option of taking military action against Syria by 13 votes on Thursday. Lawmakers voted 285 to 272 against a limited strike on Syrian targets as a response to the chemical-weapons attack the Syrian government unleashed on its own people last week. The motion was backed by Prime Minister David Cameron, and while it is nonbinding, Cameron acknowledged that the British public was against military support and admitted defeat. "I get it," he told Parliament.

    David Cameron argued Thursday in favor of military intervention in Syria.

    August 29, 2013 5:57 PM

  7. PAYOUT NFL Settles Concussion Suit for $765M Nick Laham

    7. NFL Settles Concussion Suit for $765M

    The NFL has agreed to pay $765 million to 4,500 plaintiffs who sued the league, claiming that the NFL hid the truth about the high risk of concussions for football players. The problem of concussions in football drew national attention in the past several years after at least six former NFL players committed suicide post-career and others complained of dementia and depression resulting from their on-field injuries. The NFL's payout will give about $170,000 per player involved to cover medical examinations, treatment, and other concussion-related costs.

    August 29, 2013 12:41 PM

  8. Goodbye, gus Iconic NYC Polar Bear Dies Julie Larsen Maher/Wildlife Conservation Society, via AP

    8. Iconic NYC Bi-Polar Bear, Gus, Dies

    The Central Park Zoo's beloved polar bear was euthanized Wednesday after a tumor was judged inoperable. Gus was 27 years old and weighed 700 pounds; he came to New York in 1988 after being born in Toledo, Ohio. He was an icon to a generation of New Yorkers and was visited by 20 million tourists in his 23 years at the zoo. He had battled health problems, and surgeons found a tumor near his thyroid during an operation that had caused him to suffer from loss of appetite and difficulty swallowing food. 

    August 29, 2013 10:41 AM

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  10. Long Trip Life Began on Mars NASA/AP

    9. Life Began on Mars

    If this study’s right, you’re a Martian: it shows that chemical elements involved in the early formations of life were available on Mars long before Earth, and were possibly brought to our planet by a meteorite. Three billion years ago the Earth was covered with water, and didn’t have enough oxygen to form molybdenum. “It’s yet another piece of evidence which makes it more likely life came to Earth on a Martian meteorite, rather than starting on this planet,” said Florida biochemist Steve Benner, who is presenting the finding at a conference in Florence, Italy.

    August 29, 2013 7:47 AM

  11. Back to Heartbreak Ridge Clint Eastwood Separates From Wife Frederick M. Brown/Getty

    10. Clint Eastwood Separates From Wife

    Dirty Harry is single again! Us Weekly reports that Clint Eastwood and his wife, former reporter Dina Ruiz, have separated after 17 years of marriage. Ruiz confirmed the news, revealing that "she and Eastwood remain close but have been living separately for some time." Eastwood met Ruiz, who is 35 years his junior, during an interview in 1993 and the couple married in March 1996.They have one child together, 16-year-old Morgan, who was featured along with Ruiz, Eastwood's other daughter Francesca, and their home full of animals on the E! reality show Mrs. Eastwood and Company (in which Clint made only a few cameos).

    August 29, 2013 4:33 PM

  12. BAD ROBOT Spader Is Next ‘Avengers’ Villain Dan Steinberg//Invision/AP

    11. Spader Is Next ‘Avengers’ Villain

    James Spader certainly isn't typecast. The ex–Brat Packer, known for roles ranging from quirky boss Robert California in The Office to a lobbyist in Spielberg's Lincoln, is now set to play Ultron, the evil robot villain in the Avengers sequel. No word on just how the Emmy Award winner plans on playing a machine—whether it'll be motion-capture special effects or just Spader's voice—but he’ll definitely be channeling some rage. “He’s not a happy guy ... He’s got pain,” director Joss Whedon said of Ultron’s character. The movie will be out in May. P.S., remember Spader in Mannequin?

    August 29, 2013 12:41 PM

  13. INQUIRE WITHIN Pregnancy Tests for Sale on Craigslist Corbis

    12. Pregnancy Tests for Sale on Craigslist

    It turns out that you really can find everything on Craigslist. In the past few months, women have been advertising positive pregnancy tests for sale on the site. According to the ads, there’s apparently a high demand. Some sellers just want $25 to pee on a stick and don’t care what happens afterward. One is offering up the goods so buyers can “get your boyfriend to finally pop the question.” But others, like one with the headline “I need positive pregnancy test or urine,” want to buy a test out of spite toward a cheating spouse. Shady, ladies.

    August 29, 2013 3:58 PM

  14. Handy Drone Fights California Wildfire Justin Sullivan/Getty

    13. Drone Fights California Wildfire

    A Predator drone is joining the 4,000 firefighters working to contain the giant 12-day-old wildfire in the Sierra Nevada. The California National Guard drone will fly 22-hour missions to surveil the fire, allowing officials to study its movement and view far-flung corners of the blaze. It’s not the first drone to be used in firefighting, but it will conduct the longest missions ever attempted. The fire is moving at the pace of a slow walk, and has already burned 192,000 acres of forest. Officials say it is 30 percent contained, and they expect to have it under control in three weeks.

    August 29, 2013 7:16 AM

  15. AWKWARD High-Ranking Google Exec Quits Nigel Treblin/AP

    14. High-Ranking Google Exec Quits

    Who said tech isn’t sexy. Hugo Barra, a top executive at Google’s Android operating system unit, is leaving the company for Xiaomi, the Chinese phone maker. According to All Things Digital, there’s a personal angle to Barra’s abrupt departure. Barra’s ex-girlfriend, a fellow Google employee, is reportedly now seeing the Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who recently split from his wife. It’s unclear how Barra’s departure could affect the growing success of Android, whose mobile operating systems hold down the largest share of the smartphone market.

    August 29, 2013 10:10 AM

  16. Slowdown Syria Skepticism Sets In Ugarit News/AP

    15. Syria Skepticism Sets In

    With a thin legal rationale for bombing and ghosts of bad Iraq intelligence in their minds, Western leaders are signaling some measure of caution about intervening in Syria. President Obama said Wednesday he “hasn’t made a decision,” and British Prime Minister David Cameron delayed a parliamentary vote on an intervention until after U.N. weapons inspectors report their findings. Obama plans to release detailed proof of the chemical attack Thursday. Meanwhile, top newspapers from both countries have begun to question a potential intervention; The New York Times’s editorial board wrote Thursday that Obama “has yet to make a convincing legal or strategic case,” and The Telegraph called for “complete transparency” in the decisionmaking process.

    August 29, 2013 6:47 AM

  17. RESPONSE Judge Defends Short Rape Sentence Matt Brown/AP

    16. Judge Defends Short Rape Sentence

    A Montana judge backtracked Thursday after issuing a 30-day sentence for a teacher convicted of raping a then-14-year-old girl (who killed herself just shy of her 17th birthday). The judge, G. Todd Baugh, in court had called the victim “older than her chronological age” and said she was “as much in control of the situation” as her teacher, Stacey Dean Rambold, 54, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison on sexual intercourse without consent—until Baugh shortened the sentence to 31 days. In his letter to the Billings Gazette, Baugh called his comments “demeaning of all women.” But he refused to budge on the light sentence, writing, “I think people have in mind that this was some violent, forcible, horrible rape ... It was horrible enough just given her age, but this wasn’t forcible, beat-up rape.”

    August 29, 2013 12:52 PM

  18. PARTING WAYS Vodafone Close to Selling Verizon Stake AFP

    17. Vodafone Close to Selling Verizon Stake

    Verizon Communications and Vodafone are breaking up. The British telecommunications behemoth is getting ready to part ways with its major stake in Verizon Wireless, the U.S.'s biggest wireless provider. Analysts predict that relinquishing its 45 percent of Verizon could yield up to $125 billion for Vodafone. If it goes through, it will be of the world's biggest business deals in a decade, since Vodafone took over German cellphone company Mannesmann for $181 billion in 2000. 

    August 29, 2013 11:42 AM

  19. RENT A SWAG Netflix to Release Aziz Ansari Special Paul Sakuma/AP

    18. Netflix to Release Aziz Ansari Special

    In a bit of dangerously delicious news, Netflix announced Thursday that it will be releasing comedian and Parks and Recreation star Aziz Ansari’s third comedy special on November 1. Titled Buried Alive, it marks Netflix’s biggest stand-up program yet. Ansari says the decision to put Netflix in control of it was in part due to the fact that everyone who watched his last special (which he released on his website) told him they "saw it on Netflix." The news comes just one month after the on-demand Internet streaming channel shared its plan to start rolling out more documentaries and comedy specials, in order to compete with other live-streaming sites. Yep, HBO, we’re lookin’ at you.  

    August 29, 2013 10:34 AM

  20. Prodigy 11-Year-Old Goes to College CBS 11 Dallas-Fort Worth/Youtube

    19. 11-Year-Old Goes to College

    He was so young the application website kicked him out. But 11-year-old Carson Huey-You was admitted to Texas Christian University to study physics after scoring 1770 on his SAT. Carson spoke Mandarin and played the piano during his admissions interview, and he was doing eighth-grade math by age 5. He’s the youngest student ever admitted to TCU, beating the previous record holder by six years. His parents expect him to graduate when he’s 15 or 16.

    August 29, 2013 7:43 AM

  21. Sleepless America 9 Million Take Sleeping Pills Getty

    20. 9 Million Take Sleeping Pills

    Americans are drugging themselves to sleep more than ever, says a five-year government study, the first ever to track use of sleeping pills in the U.S. About 8.6 million Americans take prescription drugs like Lunesta and Ambien to get to sleep—about 4 percent of the adult population over 20. That’s in addition to a Thomson Reuters study that found sleeping prescriptions had tripled among people under 45. The new study found that drug use started increasing with age, with people in their 40s and 50s more likely to start medicating to get sleep.

    August 29, 2013 7:41 AM

  22. Trayvon Trial Zimmerman’s Wife Guilty of Perjury Joe Burbank

    21. Zimmerman’s Wife Guilty of Perjury

    George Zimmerman may have gotten off scot free, but it’s his wife’s turn in the hot water. After Shellie Zimmerman pled guilty of perjury on Wednesday, she was sentenced to one year probation and 100 hours of community service by a Florida judge. At a bond hearing for her husband in April 2012, Zimmerman testified that she’d lied about the couple’s finances, when they had raised more than $100,000 via Internet donations. A recording of jail calls shows George used code to instruct Shellie to transfer $74,000 to her personal bank account and $50,000 to his sister’s right before the bond hearing.

    August 28, 2013 4:55 PM

  23. UNPRECEDENTED Saudi Domestic Abuse Law Passes HASSAN AMMAR/AFP/Getty

    22. Saudi Domestic-Abuse Law Passes

    In an unprecedented move, Saudi Arabia passed a domestic-violence law this week. It is particularly geared toward protecting women, who represent 98 percent of all domestic-abuse victims in the country, according to the law. If convicted, perpetrators face jail time of one month to one year, plus a fine of $1,330 to $13,300. Activists are pushing for immediate implementation of the law, which covers both physical and psychological abuse. “The law represents a turning point in the field of human-rights protection in the kingdom and mainly offers protection to women,” says Mufleh Qahtani, the head of Saudi Arabia’s National Society for Human Rights.  

    August 29, 2013 12:05 PM

  24. DOMESTIC HEROES FBI Unit Behind Kidnap Rescue FBI

    23. FBI Unit Behind Kidnap Rescue

    The unit that freed California teen Hannah Anderson from her captor in Idaho is the same unit that captured Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and rescued a 5-year-old named Ethan from an Alabama school-bus kidnappingall within the last six months. The FBI's Hostage Rescue Team is apparently the force behind three of this year's highest-profile domestic operations and no wonder: it trains and often operates alongside the Navy's SEAL Team Six and the Army's Delta Force, making the unit one of the country's three top-level “Tier 1” CT assets. There is one major difference between the Hostage Rescue Team and the Naval or Army outfits it is on par with, however: As Louis J. Freeh, former director of the FBI once stated, “The members of the HRT are not commandos.”

    August 28, 2013 10:02 PM

  25. Last Hurrah? Venus Williams Out at U.S. Open Al Bello/Getty

    24. Venus Williams Out at U.S. Open

    Is she winding down? It looked that way when Venus Williams lost to China’s Zheng Jie at the U.S. Open on Wednesday night, her third straight second-round loss at the tournament. Venus came into the tournament with limited play due to a back injury and quickly dropped the first set. But she held on, making the match the longest in the women’s singles draw so far at more than three hours. Venus won the second set and took the match to a third-set tiebreaker, where Zheng’s consistency finally overwhelmed her. “Really, she played well,” Venus said. “She just went for every shot.”

    August 29, 2013 7:10 AM

  26. Report Report: MLK Jr.’s Family in Bus Crash AP

    25. MLK Jr.’s Family in Bus Crash

    Following the rally to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963, his family reportedly got into an auto accident. MLK Jr.'s siblings and grandchildren were on a charter bus leaving the scene when a van ran a red light, causing the driver to slam on the brakes, according to TMZ sources. The driver was reportedly transported to a hospital.

    August 28, 2013 6:12 PM

  27. MCJOBS Fast-Food Strike Set for Thursday John Minchillo/AP

    26. Fast-Food Strike Set for Thursday

    Customers may have to forgo the chalupas Thursday as fast-food workers are planning walkouts in dozens of cities to pressure chains like Taco Bell, McDonald’s, and Wendy’s to pay higher wages. Organizers claim Thursday’s strike will be the largest ever by fast-food workers. Employees are demanding $15 an hour, for a full-time-employee yearly salary of $31,000, more than double the federal minimum wage ($7.25 an hour, or $15,000 yearly).

    August 28, 2013 8:18 PM

  28. EQUALITY? Respected Chinese Women Get Called ‘Mr.’ Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty

    27. Respected Chinese Women Get Called ‘Mr.’

    Liu Yu, a Tsinghua University political-science professor and respected author, is often referred to as Liu Yu Xiansheng, or the equivalent of Mr. Liu Yu—although Mr. Liu Yu recently gave birth to a daughter. In China, the phrase “xiansheng” is usually reserved for men—or well-respected women, who have been “really elevated to the status of a man,” said Mei Zhang, who works in Hong Kong in finance. “As a woman, you have to be really outstanding to be called it, whereas if you are a man, it can be anybody.” Liu herself called it “funny and quite sad” that she had earned the phrase in her 30s, because the phrase was usually used for older women or teachers. With the birth of social media—especially Weibo, China’s Twitter-like service—more and more younger women are earning the designation.

    August 29, 2013 1:52 PM