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  1. One Year After Newtown Colorado School Shooter Killed KDVR/AP

    1. Colorado School Shooter Killed

    Police outside Denver responded to a shooting at Arapahoe High School on Friday. One student was injured and the suspect is now deceased, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The gunman has been identified as Karl Pierson, 18, a student at the high school who asked for a teacher by name. The teacher, Tracy Murphy, a librarian and debate team coach, then exited the building, hoping to lure Pierson outside. Police have not elaborated on a possible motive other than to say that Pierson had a "confrontation or disagreement" with Murphy. One student, a 15-year-old girl, has been transported to a hospital with a gunshot wound and was listed in serious condition as of Friday night. 

    December 13, 2013 3:08 PM

  2. SECOND CHANCE? NSA Weighs Amnesty for Snowden AP

    2. NSA Weighs Amnesty for Snowden

    Top National Security Agency official Rick Ledgett told 60 Minutes in an interview that will air on Sunday that the U.S. government is considering offering Edward Snowden amnesty if he agrees to return all of the documents he obtained from the NSA. While Ledgett said that “it’s worth having a conversation about” Snowden’s possible amnesty, he also clarified that not everyone in the NSA agrees. Still, Ars Technica points out that even if Snowden met Ledgett’s high bar for assuring the secure return of all the data, journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras are also known to have copies of the documents, making it nearly impossible for such a deal to work.

    December 13, 2013 5:09 PM


    3. Kansas Airport Bomb Plot Foiled

    Federal officials say they’ve arrested a man allegedly planning to detonate a car bomb at the Wichita airport. At a press conference in Wichita this afternoon, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said the suspect, a 58-year-old white male named Terry L. Loewen, who works at the airport, had been under constant FBI surveillance and had met frequently with undercover officers posing as fellow radicals. An official familiar with the case told NBC News that the suspect had become radicalized by reading extremist Islamic material online. Grissom said Loewen had been planning for months to use his airport access card to bring a vehicle loaded with explosives onto the tarmac and detonate the bomb, killing himself in the process. Grissom clarified that Loewen was misled by the FBI to believe that the car he drove to the airport Thursday was filled with explosives but it wasn’t, and at no point was anyone at the airport in danger.

    December 13, 2013 2:04 PM

  4. Heartbreaking Read Trayvon Martin's Parents Plan Book Pool photo by Jacob Langston

    4. Trayvon Martin's Parents Plan Book

    Trayvon Martin's parents met with publishers this week to shop a book about their son's killing in Florida in 2012, according to two executives who participated in the meetings. Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, who are represented by the Dallas-based literary agent Jan Miller, said they plan to give a full portrait of their son and their grief over the shooting that shocked and divided America. They told the publishers they had never fully told their side of the story, and the meetings suggested faith would be a central theme of the book.

    December 13, 2013 1:01 PM

  5. PURGED Kim Jong Un’s Uncle Executed © China Daily China Daily Inform/Reuters

    5. Kim Jong Un’s Uncle Executed

    North Korea’s state news agency announced Thursday that “traitor” Jang Song Thaek was executed for the crime of trying to overthrow the state. Jang was Kim Jong Un’s uncle and has stood by the young leader’s side since he took power two years ago. Jang was publically ousted from the Workers’ Party of Korea last weekend. Officials accused him of "womanizing," which North Korea observers speculated might have something to do with a personal feud between Jang and Kim Jong Un.

    December 13, 2013 8:00 AM

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  7. REAL TALK Christie: GOP Picks Bad Candidates Kena Betancur/Getty

    6. Christie: GOP Picks Bad Candidates

    Does Chris Christie have a certain someone in mind to fix the GOP? The Republican says the problem is with candidates, not the party itself .“There are some people running around the country right now saying that our party has a problem with its brand, that we’re not relating to folks,” the New Jersey Governor said during a speech at a private event in Vermont this week. “It’s not our party’s problem, it’s our candidates’ problem.” Video footage of the event--which did not allow media access--was obtained by New Jersey’s local WPTZ NewsChannel 5. “There’s no stronghold that any party has over any state that outstanding candidates that are willing to work hard and open their hearts to the public can’t get looser,” Christie said. “But it matters who you nominate, and it matters then how hard you work for that person once you give them the honor of being your nominee.”

    December 13, 2013 1:29 PM

  8. OUTTA HERE Iran Quits Nuclear Talks Ebrahim Noroozi/AP

    7. Iran Quits Nuclear Talks

    Iran has pulled out of nuclear talks with Western powers over the U.S. expansion of its blacklist against companies evading sanctions, which Tehran said was against the spirit of the deal the nations struck a few weeks ago in Geneva. The U.S. agreed not to impose any new sanctions on Iran in exchange for Iran slowing the progress of its nuclear program. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she expects the talks to resume soon, while Iranian chief negotiator Abbas Araqchi said his country was considering the “appropriate response.” Iran pulled out of the current talks on their fourth day after the U.S. added a dozen companies to its blacklist.

    December 13, 2013 8:58 AM

  9. Dark Secrets CIA Torture Report OK'd for Public Dennis Brack/Bloomberg

    8. CIA Torture Report OK'd for Public

    A Senate report detailing the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of “enhanced interrogation” during the Bush administration is set to go public. The agency and the White House agreed Thursday to release portions of the Senate’s three-year, $40 million investigation into torture. "The committee will vote shortly to adopt and release the executive summary, findings, and conclusions, which will reflect the CIA's comments as appropriate," Sen. Dianne Feinstein said. A year ago, Republicans unanimously voted against releasing the report, saying it contains significant inaccuracies.

    December 13, 2013 12:21 PM

  10. WARNING SIGNS Mandela Signer Faced Murder Charge Itumeleng English/AP

    9. Mandela Signer Faced Murder Charge

    It just keeps getting worse. Not only does Thamsanqa Jantjie, the fake sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, apparently suffer from schizophrenia and have a history of botched translations at previous events, he also has a reportedly sordid criminal history. According to reports, Jantjie has faced charges of murder, property damage, burglary, theft, and even rape. It's unclear whether he's actually ever served jailtime. The South African government has apologized for choosing Jantjie to interpret at the ceremony, and has said it was aware of the murder charge reports—a frightening revelation given that 91 heads of state, including President Obama, were at the event. 

    December 13, 2013 8:30 AM

  11. THE END Khloe Kardashian Files for Divorce Evan Agostini/AP

    10. Khloe Kardashian Files for Divorce

    There's only so much a Kardashian can take. Khloe Kardashian filed court documents on Friday to divorce her husband of four years, NBA player Lamar Odom, and to remove "Odom" from her name. Odom was in and out of rehab this year for drug abuse and rumors of infidelities have plagued the couple in recent months. Kardashian, who cited "irreconcilable differences" in the court documents, is not asking for spousal support and has asked for any bid by Odom for support to be rejected as well. The couple had a prenuptial agreement that kept all of their property separate.

    December 13, 2013 5:09 PM

  12. DISRUPTION Beyoncé Releases Surprise Album Rob Hoffman/Invision for Parkwood Entertainment/AP

    11. Beyoncé Releases Surprise Album

    Beyoncé shocked fans early Friday by announcing a new album, and then releasing it online just hours later. The self-titled “visual album” features 14 tracks and 17 videos, and features collaborations with Jay Z, Pharrell Williams, Sia, and Frank Ocean. It is available exclusively on iTunes until the CD/DVDs are manufactured, which will happen in time for the holidays. “I didn’t want anybody to give the message of when my album is coming out,” Beyoncé said in her statement. The album and videos have been in production for a year and a half, and the fact that Beyoncé was able to keep it a secret stunned music business insiders.

    December 13, 2013 8:10 AM

  13. MOOLAH Mega Millions Jackpot Hits $425M Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

    12. Mega Millions Jackpot Hits $425M

    The Mega Millions jackpot has reached $425 million, the second-largest in the game's history, lottery officials said. The largest jackpot in Mega Millions history was $656 million and came in March 2012. Powerball jackpots have typically been much larger since that game increased its ticket price, but Mega Millions wins began climbing when the game lowered the odds of winning, thus increasingly the likelihood of a jackpot rolling over to the next drawing. The drawing for the current pot happens Friday.

    December 13, 2013 12:50 PM

  14. CHURCH AND STATE Court: CA Cross Must Come Down Sandy Huffaker/Getty

    13. Court: CA Cross Must Come Down

    A federal judge ruled Thursday that a controversial monument atop Mount Soledad near San Diego is unconstitutional and ordered it removed within 90 days, though that almost certainly won’t happen. The judge stayed his ruling until all appeals are exhausted, and the case is likely to return to the Supreme Court, which refused to intervene until there was a final judgement from a lower court. The monument, which features a large cross and about 3,000 plaques honoring military veterans, sits on federal land. A Jewish veterans group filed suit against the one-sided religious symbolism in 2006.

    December 13, 2013 8:09 AM

  15. NAVAL HARASSMENT Chinese Vessel Skids By U.S. Ship Reuters

    14. Chinese Vessel Skids By U.S. Ship

    China’s high seas bullying continues as an American missile warship, moving lawfully through the South China Sea, was confronted by a Chinese warship, narrowly avoiding a collision. “This incident underscores the need to ensure the highest standards of professional seamanship, including communications between vessels, to mitigate the risk of an unintended incident or mishap,” a Navy official said. The Pentagon has been concerned about such potential run-ins ever since China declared ownership over a disputed air defense zone in the East China Sea this month.

    December 13, 2013 12:17 PM

  16. All Collateral

    15. 15 Civilians Killed by U.S. Drone

    A U.S. drone bombed a wedding-bound convoy in Yemen today, killing 15 civilians and injuring five others, according to Yemeni officials. The bomb “missed its target,” an official said. Al Qaeda’s presence in Yemen has led the U.S. to increase its campaign of targeted air strikes, though Washington doesn’t comment on the practice. Just four days earlier, a U.S. drone killed three people in eastern Yemen. 

    December 12, 2013 2:19 PM

  17. cover story blown CIA Paid Missing American in Iran Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

    16. CIA Paid Missing American in Iran

    It turns out that Robert Levinson, an American man who went missing in Iran almost seven years ago, was working for the CIA as part of an unapproved intelligence-gathering mission that broke the agency's most basic rules. Though the U.S. has said that Levinson was a private citizen who went missing during a business trip to Kish Island, an Associated Press investigation found that a team of CIA analysts ("with no authority to run spy operations") paid Levinson to gather intelligence around the world. According to the AP, three veteran analysts have been forced out of the agency and seven more disciplined over the matter. Levinson's family last received proof-of-life photos and a video from his captors in late 2010 and early 2011. 

    December 13, 2013 6:30 AM

  18. compromise House Passes Two-Year Budget Deal Bloomberg/Getty

    17. House Passes Two-Year Budget Deal

    And vacation on! The House passed a two-year bipartisan budget plan on Thursday night, the House's last action of 2013. The Senate is poised to pass the deal next week, while votes on a new Farm Bill will be held in early January. The passing of the budget seems to signal a shift for House Republicans away from the uncompromising attitude that has driven multiple standoffs, threats of default and, oh yeah, the shutdown. If the Senate approves the bill, members of the House and Senate appropriations committees would convene during the holiday to prepare funding bills for individual government agencies, which will likely be combined into one big omnibus bill. In order for the government to stay open, that bill must pass before January 15, when the current temporary spending bill expires. 

    December 12, 2013 6:26 PM

  19. SYRIA UN: Chemical Weapons Used 5 Times Local Committee of Arbeen/AP

    18. UN: Chemical Weapons Used 5 Times

    The U.N.’s highly-anticipated report on chemical weapons in Syria was released late Thursday, and it’s just as grisly as expected. Investigators examined seven incidents and concluded that chemical weapons either were or were very likely used in five of them, including the massacre on August 21 that left 1,300 people dead. The weapons were confirmed by testing urine and blood samples from hospital patients, which showed traces of sarin. The report does not specify whether the attacks were carried out by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime or by the opposition.

    December 13, 2013 7:04 AM

  20. NEW RULES? White House Panel: Rein in NSA Alex Wong/Getty

    19. White House Panel: Rein in NSA

    A committee appointed to advise President Obama on NSA’s controversial spying programs is about to release its final report, which will recommend broad new privacy protections. Among other suggestions, the report argues that the U.S. publicly announce how it plans to ensure the privacy of foreigners whose phone and Internet records are collected by the NSA. It also recommends that senior White House officials review the list of foreign leaders whose communications are under surveillance. “We’re not leaving it to Jim Clapper anymore,” one official said.

    December 13, 2013 7:19 AM

  21. NOT SO FAST Australia Court: No Gay Marriage Mark Graham/AFP/Getty

    20. Australia Court: No Gay Marriage

    Australia’s supreme court on Thursday struck down a law that had allowed gay marriages to begin in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), meaning that dozens of couples will have their marriage annulled weeks after their wedding. The High Court ruled that the landmark law conflicted with 2004 amendments to Australia’s Marriage Act that defined marriage as between a man and woman and, in the court’s words, is “a comprehensive and exhaustive statement of the law of marriage.” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott opposes same-sex marriage, and his party has blocked a number of bills that would legalize it.

    December 13, 2013 8:08 AM

  22. KEEP IT DOWN DOT Considers In-Flight Call Ban Matt Slocum/AP

    21. DOT Considers In-Flight Call Ban

    Now that there is no longer any technical reason for people not to use their cell phones on planes, the Federal Communications Commission is considering lifting the ban on in-flight calls that’s been in place since the 1990s. At the same time, the U.S. Department of Transportation may enact a ban of its own. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said at a House hearing Thursday that ending the ban “is the responsible thing to do,” arguing, “when the rationale for the rule doesn’t exist, the rule shouldn’t exist.” On the other hand, lawmakers and frequent fliers have expressed concern over how allowing passengers to chat on their phones might negatively impact the flying experience. A bill proposed to prohibit cell phone conversations would, however, allow the use of Kindles, iPads and other such Internet-connected electronic devices.

    December 12, 2013 3:45 PM