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  1. DEADLY COLD Snowstorm Death Toll Hits 16 John Minchillo/AP

    1. Snowstorm Death Toll Hits 16

    The powerful storm that swept across the Northeast U.S. Thursday and Friday, bringing feet of snow and sub-zero temperatures, is now responsible for 16 deaths. The heaviest snowfall hit northern suburbs of Chicago and Boston, which received as much as 23 inches. Temperatures in Fort Wayne, Indiana, fell to ten degrees below zero, making it one of the many places that saw record lows. Several people died in what law enforcement officials called “weather-related incidents,” including hypothermia. Schools have been closed and flights delayed in most of the affected areas.

    January 4, 2014 11:16 AM

  2. BACK TO WORK Obama: Renew Jobless Benefits Now SAUL LOEB/Getty

    2. Obama: Renew Jobless Benefits Now

    President Obama has some New Year's resolution advice for Republicans: renew the emergency benefits for long-term unemployed that expired in December. Ahead of his return from vacation in Hawaii, the president said jobless benefits should be the “first order of business” and said the GOP would be “cruel” to withhold them from Americans left destitute by long-term unemployment. The benefits were provided by a 47-week emergency package that expired last month when Congress refused to include an extension in their budget. Obama said he would sign a three-month extension.

    January 4, 2014 11:21 AM

  3. deja vu Al Qaeda Forces Capture Fallujah Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

    3. Al Qaeda Forces Capture Fallujah

    What's the opposite of progress? On Friday, al Qaeda forces took the western Iraqi city of Fallujah and declared it an Islamic state as violence and confusion has reigned in the area over the past few days. The United States viewed Fallujah as one of the most crucial areas during the Iraq War and since the withdrawal two years ago, government forces have struggled to maintain calm. “We don’t want to hurt you. We don’t want to take any of your possessions,” a masked militant told a crowd at Friday prayers. “We want you to reopen the schools and institutions and return to your normal lives.”

    January 3, 2014 7:08 PM

  4. DEAL Machinists Sign Boeing Contract Ted S. Warren/AP

    4. Machinists Sign Boeing Contract

    The Machinists union signed an eight-year contract with Boeing, offering concessions in exchange for the aviation giant’s decision to assemble its new 777X plane in the Seattle area. Boeing and Washington governor Jay Inslee applauded the deal, with the latter saying Washington had “secured its future as the aerospace capital of the world.” Local union officials had urged workers to oppose the deal, which allows the highly profitable Boeing to freeze employee’s pensions and change their savings plans. But they were overruled by national union leaders, and the deal was approved by a narrow 51 percent vote. Shocked opponents blamed political pressure, and workers’ fear for their jobs in the wake of Boeing’s threats to move production elsewhere.

    January 4, 2014 11:52 AM

  5. rock legend Phil Everly Dies at 74 ABC Photo Archives/Getty

    5. Phil Everly Dies at 74

    Phil Everly, one half of the rock duo the Everly Brothers, died on Friday at age 74. According to his wife, Patti, it was due to complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a result of a life-long smoking habit. "We are absolutely heartbroken," she said. The Everly Brothers topped the charts with three dozen hits in the 1960s, and later become one of the first 10 performers inducted when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was founded. Phil's brother, Don, survives him.

    January 3, 2014 9:42 PM

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  7. well, which is it? Court OKs NSA Phone Collection Patrick Semansky/AP

    6. Court OKs NSA Phone Collection

    Are the courts playing he said, she said with the National Security Agency? On Friday, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court reauthorized the NSA's phone surveillance program that allows them to collect metadata on Americans's daily calls for three more months. Meanwhile, the program was deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge last month, and the government appealed the decision to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals earlier today. In another case last month, a federal judge ruled the collection was legal.

    January 3, 2014 7:30 PM

  8. ANOTHER ONE DOWN Al Qaeda-Linked Commander Dies © Mohamed Azakir / Reuters

    7. Al Qaeda-Linked Commander Dies

    Majid bin Muhammad al-Majid, a Saudi citizen and the leader of the al Qaeda-affiliated Abdullah Azzam Brigades, died in jail in Lebanon on Saturday, according to Iran’s state-run Fars news agency. Al-Majid’s group had claimed responsibility for the Nov. 19 suicide bombing of the Iranian embassy in Beirut, which killed 22 people and injured 140. He was wanted by both Iran, who wanted revenge, and his native Saudi Arabia, which wanted to protect him. Al-Majid’s arrest in December is said to have escalated tensions between the rival nations. 

    January 4, 2014 11:38 AM

  9. AMERICAN IDOL Clay Aiken for Congress? Astrid Stawiarz/Getty

    8. Clay Aiken for Congress?

    What will Simon have to say? Perhaps testing whether America still loves him, former American Idol crooner Clay Aiken is "actively considering" running for Congress. Aiken would be pursuing the 2nd District seat in North Carolina, which is  occupied by GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers, who narrowly won it from a Democrat in the 2010 midterms. Aiken, an advocate for LGBT issues, has reportedly been making calls to sound out support in the district.

    January 3, 2014 10:42 AM

  10. surprise! CA Main Claims $324M Jackpot Jeff Chiu/AP

    9. CA Man Claims $324M Jackpot

    For two weeks, the identity of the second winner of a Mega Million lottery jackpot was a mystery—because the man didn't realize he had won. Steve Tran, a California resident, was on vacation when the announcement was first made, and he didn't remember he had purchased a ticket until Monday, when he woke up in the middle of the night to check. Tran, a delivery truck driver, says the discovery prompted this voicemail to his boss: "I'm really sorry boss. I hit the jackpot. I don't think I'm going to come in today, tomorrow, or ever."

    January 3, 2014 7:21 PM

  11. AWFUL Walker Suffered Horrific Injuries Eamonn McCormack

    10. Paul Walker Suffered Horrific Injuries

    Paul Walker’s autopsy report reveals that the actor’s car was traveling over 100 mph when it struck a tree, killing Walker and his driver, Roger Rodas, on Nov. 30. The pair suffered a combination of horrific injuries both from trauma and burns, though the report says they died almost immediately. The Fast & Furious star's entire body was charred through the skin, and his organs were too damaged for donation; both he and Rodas suffered numerous fractures and impact trauma. Both had lethal levels of carbon monoxide in their bloodstreams, and neither had any traces of drugs or alcohol.

    January 4, 2014 12:09 PM