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  1. WMDS Assad Denies Using Chemical Weapons YouTube

    1. Assad Denies Using Chemical Weapons

    Oh really? “Any rebel can make sarin,” embattled President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview with Fox News, denying the Syrian government ever used chemical weapons on its people. Assad said that the shocking videos of victims following a chemical weapons attack could have been forged, but said if they did occur, it would be “despicable. It’s a crime.” Acknowledging his stockpile of chemical weapons, Assad said he is prepared to destroy them, but that the operation is “complicated,” would cost a billion dollars, and would take “a year—maybe a little bit less, maybe a little bit more.”

    September 18, 2013 8:06 PM

  2. SURPRISE Fed to Continue Stimulus Effort Mark Wilson/Getty Images

    2. Fed to Continue Stimulus Effort

    The Federal Reserve will continue buying $85 billion a month in bonds in an effort to spur economic growth, officials announced on Wednesday. It was a surprise move, as many analysts thought the Fed would be ending its stimulus campaign. But with another showdown over government spending looming, the Fed felt that fiscal policy was hampering the economy and that tapering off its bond purchases would threaten the recovery. The Fed also decided to keep short-term interest rates near zero. The news rallied investors on Wall Street as both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrials hit new all-time-high records. The S&P reached 1,709.67 after the announcement.

    September 18, 2013 2:41 PM

  3. TRUST US Iran: We’ll ‘Never’ Build Nukes Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty

    3. Iran: We’ll ‘Never’ Build Nukes

    Too good to be true? “We have never pursued or sought a nuclear bomb, and we are not going to do so,” Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, said in an interview with NBC. Rouhani also said that his country should have the ability to seek “peaceful nuclear technology.” The new leader has wasted no time in showing his more moderate side—he tweeted wishes for a blessed Rosh Hashanah earlier this month and also ordered the release of political prisoners. Rouhani is pushing for engagement with the West to ease crippling sanctions and told NBC he and President Obama have exchanged “positive and constructive” letters.

    September 18, 2013 7:18 PM

  4. DOWNSIZING BlackBerry May Cut 40 Percent of Staff Neilson Barnard/Getty

    4. BlackBerry May Cut 40 Percent of Staff

    BlackBerry is tightening its belt, and as a result thousands of people will be out of a job starting at the end of this year. All departments are susceptible to layoffs, which will be done in waves and could cut up to 40 percent of BlackBerry’s workforce. BlackBerry went from cornering 14 percent of the U.S. smartphone market to only 3 percent in just two years, downsizing from 17,000 to 12,700 employees. But even that size staff is unsustainable if BlackBerry wants to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung. “Organizational moves will continue to occur to ensure we have the right people in the right roles to drive new opportunities in mobile computing,” a BlackBerry spokesman said. 

    September 18, 2013 2:06 PM

  5. FIGHTER Former Boxing Champ Ken Norton Dies AP

    5. Former Boxing Champ Ken Norton Dies

    Ken Norton, the famed boxer who defeated Muhammad Ali some 40 years ago, died at a Nevada medical facility Wednesday. At 70 years old, Norton had been recovering from a series of strokes over the last several years. The 1973 fight where Norton beat Ali and broke his jaw is still talked about to this day. The two fighters met for a second time six months after that, where Ali walked away the winner. And the third time the two fought at Yankee Stadium and Muhammad Ali won again, keeping his heavyweight title. But Ken Norton earned the heavyweight-title eliminator the following year and was declared champion by the World Boxing Council.

    September 18, 2013 11:03 PM

  6. pricey test run U.S. Deploys $23.7K Bomb on Tiny Boat Courtesy Dyess Air Force Base

    6. U.S. Deploys $23.7K Bomb on Tiny Boat

    Now we know why everyone thinks America is so wasteful. The U.S. Air Force blew up an empty dummy “pirate” motorboat in the Gulf of Mexico with a 2,000-pound smart bomb that costs $23,700 to make. The laser-guided GBU-10 bomb is being tested to see if it’s capable of being deployed against small targets at sea, possibly with the goal of aiming at the speedboats used by Iran in the Persian Gulf.

    September 18, 2013 3:51 PM

  7. DISASTER Acapulco Evacuates 2,000 Tourists Eduardo Verdugo/AP

    7. Acapulco Evacuates 2,000 Tourists

    Mexican officials on Wednesday evacuated over 2,000 tourists from Acapulco, where flooding and landslides from Tropical Storm Manuel have already killed at least 80 people and trapped an estimated 40,000 more. Passengers are being taken directly from shelters to the runways to ferry them to Mexico City, since the main airport terminal remains closed. There are also worries that many are stranded in remote hillside communities in southwestern Mexico, where the severe weather is making aid by air impossible. Many elderly and ill remain trapped. Meanwhile, Hurricane Ingrid walloped the eastern coast, making it the first time since 1958 that two powerful storms hit Mexico within 24 hours.

    September 18, 2013 7:14 AM

  8. SHELTER IN PLACE Shots Fired Near University of Wisconsin Education Images

    8. Shots Fired Near University of Wisconsin

    Can everyone just stop shooting at people? Madison police have detained two suspects, males, ages 17 and 18, who allegedly fired shots at the University of Wisconsin’s Madison campus early this evening. The university warned students “to shelter in place and stay indoors until the situation is resolved.” The two young men were originally described as a “black males wearing black clothing with a black/white baseball cap, black jacket, and dark backpack.”

    September 18, 2013 8:59 PM

  9. ROCKSTAR Grand Theft Auto V Rakes in $800M Wikimedia Commons

    9. Grand Theft Auto V Rakes in $800M

    That’s quite a heist. On its first day on the market, Grand Theft Auto V made a record $800 million in sales worldwide (not counting Japan and Brazil, where the game has yet to launch), according to game-maker Take-Two Interactive. GTA’s opening sales blow away the previous record holder, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, which brought in $500 million in its first 24 hours. Some 8,300 stores opened at midnight to accommodate gamers, who lined up to get their itchy trigger fingers on the most highly anticipated (and graphically violent) videogame of the year, which is expected to cross the $1 billion mark soon.

    September 18, 2013 4:26 PM

  10. CONFIRMED Kate Moss to Pose for Playboy Cover Getty

    10. Kate Moss to Pose Nude for Playboy

    Bunny ears and all. Playboy’s editorial director, Jimmy Jellinek, confirmed that Kate Moss will pose on the cover of the 60th-anniversary issue. The photos will hit stands this December and will feature the supermodel fully nude. “She’s a worldwide celebrity, is iconic, and crosses the boundaries from sexual imagery to upscale modeling,” Hugh Hefner said. “It’s a natural for us.” What Moss will be wearing: velveteen bunny ears, French cuffs, and silk stockings. “It started with Marilyn Monroe on the cover of Playboy 60 years ago, an icon for her time,” Jellinek said. “Now we’ve got Kate Moss!”

    September 18, 2013 3:05 PM

  11. a mother’s pain Gunman’s Mom: I’m Very Sorry FBI via Getty Images

    11. Gunman’s Mom: I’m Very Sorry

    Cathleen Alexis, the mother of the man suspected of opening fire in the Washington Navy Yard, apologized to the victims’ families, saying her heart is broken by the news. “His actions have had a profound and everlasting effect on the families of the victims,” she said in a short statement, her voice trembling at points. “I don’t know why he did what he did, and I’ll never be able to ask him why. Aaron is now in a place where he can no longer do harm to anyone, and for that I am glad.”

    September 18, 2013 11:08 AM

  12. DISTURBING Report Highlights Gun Loophole Problems Andrew Burton/Getty Images

    12. Report Highlights Gun Loophole Problems

    Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the bipartisan coalition created by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has released a report detailing how criminals use the private-sale loophole to get around background checks. The report notes that one in 30 people buying guns online from Armslist, a popular firearms retailer, have criminal records that should prohibit them from purchasing weapons. It estimates that more than 25,000 guns a year are sold through Armslist to people who shouldn’t have them. Bloomberg said this investigation just “scratched the surface,” and that Congress should pass a law requiring background checks for all gun purchases.

    September 18, 2013 5:06 PM

  13. BUSTED Beanie Babies Creator Evaded Taxes New York Daily News

    13. Beanie Babies Creator Evaded Taxes

    Hopefully H. Ty Warner kept the tags on all his Beanie Babies, because he's going to needs $53 million fast. The creator of the tiny-animal empire that ruled the ’90s has been accused of federal tax evasion. Apparently, as billionaires are wont to do, he had a secret offshore bank account and did not report the money he made from it to the IRS. Though a lawyer for the 69-year-old has issued a statement saying that Warner plans to plead guilty and pay the $53 million fine, there is still a chance that he could go to jail. A federal-tax-evasion conviction could mean up to five years in prison.

    September 18, 2013 2:56 PM

  14. COLLISION Six Killed in Canada Train-Bus Crash AFP

    14. Six Killed in Canada Train-Bus Crash

    At least six people were killed and 30 injured in a train-bus collision Wednesday morning in Ottawa—the second major rail accident in Canada this year. Witnesses said the bus mowed through a crossing barrier and into the side of a passing locomotive. Bodies could be seen among the wreckage, and at least five people were declared dead at the scene. Officials confirmed no one aboard the train was injured and are still investigating the cause of the crash.

    September 18, 2013 2:42 PM

  15. KEEP CALM, CARRY ON BBC Newsman Mistakes Paper for iPad BBC

    15. BBC Newsman Mistakes Paper for iPad

    Maybe he meant it as a commentary on the role of technology in news? BBC Newsman Simon McCoy clutched a ream of A4 paper during a morning broadcast on drunk tanks, mistaking it for his iPad. McCoy realized his mistake, but the consummate professional carried on and read the news with paper in hand, much to the delight of a bewildered audience. “In the rush of live news, he didn’t have an opportunity to swap the items, so simply went with it,” a spokesperson said. The Internet followed quickly after, turning the 51-year-old’s on-air blunder into a meme: holding a bunny, with a pizza, and more.

    September 18, 2013 3:08 PM

  16. NEW DEVELOPMENT Alexis Etched Odd Phrases on Gun Drew Angerer/Getty Images

    16. Alexis Etched Odd Phrases on Gun

    Before he killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard, Aaron Alexis carved odd messages onto the stock of his shotgun, officials say. One read “Better off this way,” while the other said “My ELF weapon,” according to officials involved in the investigation. It's not clear what was meant by the carvings, though ELF stands for extremely low frequency. Alexis told Rhode Island police in August that he was hearing voices and that three people were following him to keep him awake. He also said they were using “some sort of microwave machine” to send vibrations into his body.

    September 18, 2013 12:55 PM

  17. MO' MONEY Wellesley Unveils College Cost Calculator Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters

    17. Wellesley Unveils College Cost Calculator

    With the price of higher education skyrocketing, many worthy students feel they can't afford to attend an elite college. But, Wellesley is looking to change that perception. On Wednesday, Wellesley launched a "cost of college" calculator to help families figure out whether they can swing the tuition. The calculator asks for basic information like annual family income, how much their home is worth, what's left on any mortgages, and if the student has any siblings in college. The calculator gives an estimated parent contribution that is often well less than the published $57,042 cost, which includes tuition, room, board, and other fees.

    September 18, 2013 11:22 AM

  18. CRISIS Israeli Gen.: Assad Could Stay for Years Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty

    18. Israeli Gen.: Assad Could Stay for Years

    One of Israel’s top commanders said Wednesday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could stay in power for years, despite the bloody civil war that has gripped his country for two years already. “I don’t see any force toppling him tomorrow—though he deserves to pass from this world, and the quicker that happens, the better,” said Major General Yair Golan, the top commander on the Syrian front. In separate comments, the Israeli ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, said Tuesday that Israel “always wanted Bashar Assad to go.” Meanwhile on the diplomatic front, Russian Deputy Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Wednesday that Assad’s government has handed over evidence that the rebels were responsible for the August 21 sarin gas attack that killed more than 1,400 people.

    September 18, 2013 7:04 AM

  19. LEGAL ODYSSEY Judge Tosses Katrina Shooting Convictions Mario Tama/Getty

    19. Judge Tosses Katrina Shooting Convictions

    A federal judge on Tuesday threw out the convictions of five former police officers who were convicted in 2011 of killing two citizens on the Danziger Bridge in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and as well as attempting to cover up the evidence. In a 129-page order, Judge Kurt Engelhardt granted a new trial for the former officers due to what he called “grotesque” misconduct by prosecutors. Englehardt charged prosecutors had created a “prejudicial, poisonous atmosphere” in the trial by posting anonymous comments on nola.com. Families of the victims called the reversal a bitter pill, and urged the Justice Department to intervene. The Justice Department, for its part, said it was “disappointed” with the court’s ruling.

    September 18, 2013 7:10 AM

  20. READY FOR IMMORTALITY? Google Wants to Expand Human Life Span Emmanuel Dunand, AFP / Getty Images

    20. Google Wants You to Live Longer

    If Google has anything to do with it, today might be the beginning of human immortality. CEO Larry Page on Wednesday announced Calico, a new venture that will focus on health care and wellness. He wrote that technology should be used to improve lives, and said people shouldn’t “be surprised if we invest in projects that seem strange or speculative compared with our existing Internet businesses.” The firm, a company separate from Google, will focus on possibilities to expand the human life span and is the topic of this week’s upcoming Time cover story.

    September 18, 2013 12:43 PM

  21. LIFE HAPPENS OVER COFFEE  Starbucks: Don’t Bring Guns, Please Mark Lennihan/AP

    21. Starbucks: Don’t Bring Guns, Please

    Although some retailers ban guns in their establishments Starbucks outlets usually follow local gun laws—but that might change soon. The lack of an outright ban led gun-rights advocates to hold a “Starbucks Appreciation Day” in August, including an ill-advised event at the Newtown, Connecticut, franchise. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said in an open letter to customers on Tuesday that “we do not want these events in our stores,” but he stopped short of an outright ban on guns in the 7,000 U.S. locations. Schultz said more people were bringing guns to Starbucks in the past few months, and “both sides of the issue were using Starbucks as a staging ground for their own political position.”

    September 18, 2013 7:15 AM

  22. CHARLIE ST. CLOUD Report: Zac Efron Completed Rehab Evan Agostini/AP

    22. Report: Zac Efron Completed Rehab

    Actor Zac Efron recently completed a five-month stint in rehab. According to a report on TMZ, he was being treated for much more serious drugs than widely believed. Efron was rumored to have been treated for alcohol addiction, but sources told TMZ that he was being treated for cocaine and that he also dabbled in molly, the pure form of Ecstasy that has recently been blamed for a number of deaths. Efron was seen recently walking the red carpet at the Toronto Film Festival.

    September 18, 2013 8:11 AM

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  24. TOUGH WORDS Obama to Congress: Act Now on Guns Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

    23. Obama to Congress: Act Now on Guns

    President Obama on Tuesday urged Congress to act immediately on gun control in the wake of the deadly shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington D.C. that killed 12 and wounded eight—although lawmakers said it’s unlikely they’ll be able to get the votes for any change. Obama told Telemundo that he is “concerned” there is a “ritual” where “we all embrace the families and obviously our thoughts and prayers are with those families right now … and yet we’re not willing to take some basic actions that we know would make a difference.” Meanwhile, Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey pointed to a failed measure to increase background checks, saying “the Senate spoke on this issue. And we came up five votes short.”

    September 18, 2013 6:52 AM

  25. BLACK SHEEP

    24. Veep’s Niece Caroline Biden Arrested

    Wait until The Onion gets a hold of this one. Vice President Joe Biden’s niece, Caroline, was arrested Tuesday for allegedly throwing punches at officers. Police were called to Biden’s New York City apartment after an argument between the 26-year-old art dealer and her roommate, who allegedly confronted her over unpaid rent. Biden allegedly “lunged” at a female police officer who was filling out a report, a witness said. She began “flailing her arms frantically” to resist being handcuffed, police said, but was later released with a desk appearance certificate. This is not Biden’s first scuffle with the law: she was arrested in 2009 after a dispute on an Amtrak train. Ouch, that one must have been difficult for her uncle, who rode Amtrak every day for 35 years in the Senate.

    September 18, 2013 8:04 AM

  26. WHERE’S ANGELINA? Brad Pitt Crashes Wedding Todd Williamson/AP

    25. Brad Pitt Crashes Wedding

    Tabloids, take note: Brad Pitt posed in photos with a bride who is not Angelina Jolie. While filming a movie in Britain, the actor was seen at the bar during the wedding of Daniel and Abi Lingwood—and they soon invited him to take photos with them. “He said sure, no problem, and said congratulations, I hope you have a nice day,” Abi Lingwood said. She said that when they returned to the reception, they told their friends, who went “wild,” causing Pitt and his people to move upstairs for their meeting.

    September 18, 2013 8:14 AM

  27. SECURITY Review Urged for Background Check Agency Mark Wilson/Getty

    26. Review Urged for Background Check Agency

    The federal agency that oversees background checks has been urged to improve its standards after having apparently given security clearance to Aaron Alexis, who killed 12 and wounded eight in a deadly rampage at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday. Rhode Island police warned Navy officials about Alexis’s behavior on business trip there in August, when he told police that he believed people were following him and “sending vibrations through his body.” Meanwhile, the top inspector at the federal Office of Personnel Management, which oversees background checks for roughly two million people a year in over 100 federal agencies, said in June that agency has an “alarmingly insufficient level of oversight.”

    September 18, 2013 6:59 AM

  28. NOT SO STEAMY Penthouse Files for Bankruptcy Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty

    27. Penthouse Files for Bankruptcy

    Is Penthouse just not as steamy in the age of the Internet? The California company that owns the sexy magazine as well as a number of online dating sites filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday. Penthouse is owned by FriendFinder Networks Inc., which was formed in 2007 when Penthouse Media Group bought Various Inc., and it went public in 2011 under its current name. Under bankruptcy protection, FriendFinder’s current common stock will be wiped out and it will no longer be traded on the open market. Last month, FriendFinder’s stock was delisted from Nasdaq because it failed to trade for more than $1. Yikes.

    September 18, 2013 8:08 AM