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  1. CTRL + ALT + DELETE House Sets Up Government Shutdown J. Scott Applewhite/AP

    1. House Sets Up Government Shutdown

    The federal government advanced closer to a shutdown on Saturday when House Republicans announced a vote to delay Obamacare by one year. In a statement, leaders of the coalition said, "We will do our job and send this bill over, and then it's up to the Senate to pass it and stop a government shutdown." Not so fast: the Senate is prepared to do no such thing, as majority leader Harry Reid has already said no bill will be passed that defunds the Affordable Care Act. And the White House said in a statement Saturday night that the House "acted irresponsibly" and that Obama would veto any such bill that ended up on his desk.

    September 28, 2013 6:46 PM

  2. THEY LOVE CHARTS NSA Spies on Social Networks Robyn Beck/Getty

    2. NSA Spies on Social Networks

    It never ends. All that data the NSA is collecting on Americans? They’re using it to create intricate graphs mapping out our connections, according to new documents revealed by NSA leaker Edward Snowden. The super secret agency can use the massive amounts of metadata they collect to create a picture of an individual and his social networks, with a shocking level of specificity including, the Times notes, friends, locations, religious or political affiliations, and private details like extramarital affairs. Though the NSA was previously only allowed to spy on foreigners, a 2010 policy change now allows them to conduct “large-scale graph analysis on very large sets of communications metadata without having to check foreignness,” according to the document.

    September 28, 2013 4:20 PM

  3. Rouhani's Return Iranian President Returns to Protests Ebrahim Noroozi/AP

    3. Iranian President Returns to Protests

    While many on the American side were excited about the possibilities opened by President Obama's historic phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, many Iranians were decidedly less so. When Rouhani returned to Tehran after the diplomatic conversation after the U.N. General Assembly in New York, his car was beset by crowds—not all of them friendly. About 100 protestors met him at the airport, shouting, "Death to America." One protestor threw a shoe at the presidential car, which in Islamic countries is considered a much graver insult than you'd think. It's not the only complication Rouhani ran into after the phone call: several tweets were taken down on Friday after details of the conversation appeared to be divulged from an account in Rouhani's name.

    September 28, 2013 10:15 AM

  4. crisis in washington Troops Won't Get Paid During Shutdown Rahmat Gul/AP

    4. Troops Won't Get Paid During Shutdown

    This could put a very quick end to the congressional impasse over an impending government shutdown. The Pentagon announced on Friday that 1.4 million U.S. troops will be kept on the job but won't be paid if the government closes. Nearly half of the Defense Department's civilian workforce will be placed on unpaid leave if Congress fails to pass a new budget by the fiscal close Monday. It would also delay death benefit payments to family members of any casualties that occur during the shutdown. A proposed budget bill has cleared the Senate, but awaits a vote in the House.

    September 27, 2013 8:41 PM

  5. CRACKDOWN Greek Neo-Fascist Politicians Arrested Angeliki Panagiotou/AP

    5. Greek Neo-Fascist Politicians Arrested

    Nikos Michaloliakos, the leader of Greece’s neo-fascist Golden Dawn party, was arrested along with 4 other members of Parliament and 10 party officials by counterterrorism police and charged with forming a criminal organization. The arrests come two weeks after the murder of an anti-fascist musician by a man claiming to be associated with the ultra right-wing party. The crackdown is part of a broader effort to rid the country of extremism as Golden Dawn has grown in popularity in areas struck hardest by economic hardship and unemployment. Its members have reportedly threatened and beaten local immigrants, and perform the Nazi salute at meetings.

    September 28, 2013 2:43 PM

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  7. it's a go U.N. Votes to Eliminate Syrian Weapons Tsafrir Abayov/AP

    6. U.N. Votes to Eliminate Syrian Weapons

    On Friday, the U.N Security Council unanimously passed a resolution to secure and destroy Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons after weeks of negotiations. "Today's historic resolution is the first hopeful news on Syria in a long time," said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The council will be convening an international peace conference in Geneva in November. The mission to destroy an estimated 1,000-ton chemical arsenal is expected to begin next week and will last until mid-2014. The resolution threatens consequences against Syria if the government doesn't comply, but they will be laid out and voted upon separately if needed.

    September 27, 2013 8:53 PM

  8. Seeing Stars

    7. Meteor Reported Over Midwest

    Is it the end of the world as we know it? Just two days after a meteor was reported over Chicago and across the Midwest, another was sighted. Around 11:30 p.m. Friday night, a streaking light appeared in the sky, reported to news stations by residents of Ohio, Indiana and other states across the region, as well as by people farther east and even in parts of Canada. Videos and tweets exploded from people seeing what is reportedly a second meteor. And if something that cool sounds like wishful thinking, take it up with the American Meteor Society: it's currently investigating over 300 reports.

    September 28, 2013 10:31 AM

  9. Rescued 92 Captive Children Freed in China Alexander F. Yuan/AP

    8. 92 Captive Children Freed in China

    92 abducted children have been rescued in China, the BBC reported Saturday. The massive operation, which was undertaken by police in 11 provinces, also netted 301 suspected members of a vast child trafficking network. The suspects are currently being held. Although the operation was indisputably a success, it's just a drop in the bucket of China's child-trafficking problem: last year alone, authorities freed over 24,000 abducted women and children across the country.

    September 28, 2013 10:35 AM

  10. Play Ball! Cuba Lets Athletes Go International Ramon Espinosa/AP

    9. Cuba Lets Athletes Go International

    Cuba's restrictions may end not with a bang, but with a...home run? The island announced Friday that it will allow athletes to sign contracts with foreign sports teams, following a general easing of immigration and travel restrictions for citizens of the notoriously closed-off nation. But don't expect an influx of Cuban citizens on American baseball teams anytime soon: trade restrictions still prohibit bringing in large amounts of American money, limiting it to a few thousand dollars per year. And players with foreign contracts will still have commitments on the island, playing in Cuba's baseball league from November through April.

    September 28, 2013 11:28 AM

  11. Play Ball!  Google Misses Deadline to Revise Privacy Policy AFP

    10. Google Misses Deadline to Revise Privacy Policy

    This is why you need to put everything in your calendar. French authorities on Friday reported that Google missed the deadline to revise its privacy policies to clarify what it does with users' data. The French data protection agency, CNIL, warned in June that it would impose $200,000 in fines if the tech giant did not revise its policy by September. Google contested the threat, saying that its policy "respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services."

    September 28, 2013 11:36 AM

  12. Take 2 Second Earthquake Hits Pakistan Shakil Adil/AP

    11. Second Earthquake Hits Pakistan

    Pakistan just can't catch a break. Just days after an earthquake struck the southwest region of the country, killing 359 people and leaving tens of thousands homeless, another quake hit—in the same area, killing another 15. Saturday's disaster, which was focused around the Awaran district (where the first quake on Tuesday also centered), was reported at 6.8 magnitude by the U.S. Geological Survey and 7.2 by Pakistan's Meteorological Department. 

    September 28, 2013 10:21 AM

  13. Hard Bet Gambling Champ Arrested for Cheating AFP/Getty

    12. Gambling Champ Arrested for Cheating

    You win some, you lose some. Anargyros Karabourniotis, a gambler famous for turning $50 into $40 million in the early nineties, was arrested Friday on suspicion of cheating at blackjack in a San Diego casino. Karabourniotis reportedly marked cards in the deck to win an $8,000 jackpot. The alleged cheating occurred in July but was caught later by examining surveillance tapes. Karabourniotis is being held without bail in Las Vegas, with an extradition hearing set for Monday. Said the San Diego district attorney, "The defendant's luck ran out."

    September 28, 2013 11:31 AM

  14. first time since '79 Obama, Rouhani Speak on Phone Charles Dharapak/AP

    13. Obama, Rouhani Speak on Phone

    For the first time since 1979, the presidents of America and Iran have been in direct contact. At a press conference Friday, President Obama revealed that he had spoken on the phone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani about shutting down Iran's nuclear program. "Success is not guaranteed," Obama stressed, saying Rouhani indicated Iran will never develop nuclear weapons and the two will continue discussions. On the domestic side of things, Obama also spoke about the impending government shutdown, saying Republicans are engaging in "political grandstanding," and the GOP efforts have been an attempt to exact revenge against Obama's Affordable Care Act, which goes into effect on Tuesday. "Any Republican congressmen watching right now, I'd encourage you to think about who you're hurting," he said, listing the social and economic effects of a total shutdown.

    September 27, 2013 3:33 PM

  15. Not a good look, Ted Cruz: I Wouldn't Give Up My Paycheck

    14. Cruz: I Wouldn't Give Up My Paycheck

    After a 21-hour speech where he pledged to stop the upcoming Affordable Care Act or close the government trying, Senator Ted Cruz admitted during a Skype call to an Austin conference that he had not really considered what effect a shutdown would have on his own salary. After being pressed further, he conceded that he "had no intention" of giving up his paycheck if the federal government shuts down. Meanwhile, the Pentagon announced Friday night that 1.4 million U.S. troops will be kept on the job but not paid if a shutdown occurs.

    September 27, 2013 10:32 PM