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  1. BRR Record Cold Temperatures Hit U.S. Darren McCollester/Getty

    1. Record Cold Temperatures Hit U.S.

    Get your hot chocolate out and reread Little House on the Prairie, you’re going to need the survival tips. In case the snow wasn’t enough of a hint, much of the U.S. faced record-breaking cold temperatures. Oh and that’s before the wind chill factor, which made the temperatures feel as low as -50 or -60. “If you’re under 40, you’ve not seen this stuff before,” meteorologist Ryan Maue told the Associated Press. The Northeast continued to dig out from Friday’s snow as temperatures fell to -9 in Connecticut. In Chicago, that brief respite of snow ended as several inches of snow are expected overnight. Snow is expected to fall as far south as Tennessee and Alabama, and even Atlanta is expected to fall below freezing on Tuesday, with a high in the mid-20s forecasted.

    January 5, 2014 9:13 AM

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  3. Hey, Old Friends Hillary Rents Out Her Email List Win McNamee/Getty

    2. Hillary Rents Out Her Email List

    Ready for Hillary? Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign loaned its email list to a super PAC supporting her for 2016. On Sunday, Ready for Hillary emailed the list offering free bumper stickers. Politico reports she met with a team of aides last summer "for a detailed presentation on preparing a 2016" campaign.

    January 5, 2014 7:39 PM

  4. QUAGMIRE Kerry: Troops Not Going to Iraq Ali al-Mashhadani/Reuters

    3. Kerry: Troops Not Going to Iraq

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that the U.S. will not send troops back to Iraq—and he is confident the Iraqi government and tribes could together fight al Qaeda. “This is a fight that belongs to the Iraqis,” Kerry told reporters while on a trip to Israel. “We will help them in their fight, but this fight, in the end, they will have to win and I am confident they can.” Iraq has been gripped by secretarial and ethnic fighting since the U.S. troops left in December 2011, and the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi have now fallen to al Qaeda. In a separate incident on Sunday, a Bagdad bombing killed at least 14 people and wounded at least 25 in the Shia district of Shaab.

    January 5, 2014 9:07 AM

  5. PEOPLE’S PONTIFF Pope: Accept Kids of Divorce, Gays Riccardo De Luca/AP

    5. Pope: Accept Kids of Divorce, Gays

    Things are really getting wild in the Vatican. Pope Francis is calling for a new approach in the way the Catholic Church deals with the children of “untraditional families,” such as divorce or same-sex unions. In a speech before the Catholic Union of Superiors General in November (the remarks were just published on Saturday), Francis said “we must be careful not to administer a vaccine of faith to them” due to the Church’s positions on homosexuality and divorce. Separately, Francis announced on Sunday his first trip as pontiff to the Holy Land. He will stop in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the West Bank in May.

    January 5, 2014 10:29 AM

  6. GOOD NEWS Tunisia Rejects Sharia Law FETHI BELAID / AFP

    6. Tunisia Rejects Sharia Law

    Despite having an Islamist majority, Tunisia’s governing body rejected Sharia law during a vote Saturday and instead opted for civil law in its brand-new constitution. Islam has been established as the state religion, but the constitution promises freedom of conscious. Mosques and other places of worship are still off-limits for political activity, with Wafa party member Azed Badi saying without it, “satanists and idolaters” could “organize public events … to spread their beliefs.”  Only 12 of the 146 proposed articles have been approved, leaving some concerned the assembly will not reach the January 14 deadline for the new constitution. The vote came 10 days ahead of the two-year anniversary of the coup that ousted dictator Zine El Abidine—and set in motion the Arab Spring.

    January 5, 2014 2:02 PM

  7. GRACIOUS Mitt: Harris-Perry Made ‘Mistake’ Alex Wong/Getty

    7. Mitt: Harris-Perry Made ‘Mistake’

    Nobody can’t say Mitt Romney doesn’t know how to take the high road. The 2012 presidential candidate said Sunday that he accepted MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry’s apology for jokes on her show about his adopted black grandson. “I recognize that people make mistakes,” Romney said on Fox News Sunday. “They’ve apologized for it. That’s all you can ask for.” Romney said he accepted that he is a “fair target” for jokes, but “children, that’s beyond the line.” Last week on Melissa Harris-Perry, a guest joked about a Romney family photo with Kieran, who was adopted by Ben Romney and his wife Andelynne earlier this year. “One of these things is not like the others,” guest panelist Pia Glenn said. Harris-Perry has since apologized both on Twitter and tearfully on her show.

    January 5, 2014 3:20 PM

  8. Crude States Confirm Fracking Pollution Mike Groll/AP

    8. States Confirm Fracking Pollution

    Hundreds of cases of water pollution from oil or gas drilling have been confirmed by several states, according to data obtained by the Associated Press. The pollution comes from both hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and conventional drilling methods to extract petroleum and natural gas. Pennsylvania alone confirmed 106 instances of pollution out of 5,000 new wells drilled since 2005. Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia also confirmed pollution in reports of varying detail.

    January 5, 2014 6:38 PM

  9. Now You Tell Us Lawyer: I Could've Stopped Torture Pool/Getty

    9. Lawyer: I Could've Stopped Torture

    One of the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques" was so gruesome that John Rizzo, the agency's former top lawyer, still can't discuss it today. And yet, he refused to put his foot down in 2002 before the agency began to torture suspected terrorists. In an article published Sunday, Rizzo wrote he believes he could have stopped the notorious methods, including waterboarding, from being used. Rizzo said despite George W. Bush's latter claims, the president was not briefed about EITs.

    January 5, 2014 10:01 PM

  10. ABOVE THE LAW Steven Seagal Mulls AZ Gov. Run Andreas Rentz/Getty

    10. Seagal Mulls Run for Arizona Gov.

    With Arnold Schwarzenegger out of office, there’s obviously an opening for an action star-turned politician in elected office. Enter Steven Seagal. The actor said earlier this week that he is considering running for governor of Arizona, following his collaboration with Sheriff Joe Arpaio for a reality television show. The show, filmed in Arizona in 2011, will start airing this month on the Reelz Network. Seagal said he wants to enhance border security, an issue he believes in even more strongly after his friendship with Arapio. “When somebody asks if Joe Arpaio’s a racist, I’m not going to say I don’t think so,” Seagal said. “I’m going to say I know he’s not a racist. He doesn’t care what nationality you are. He cares if you’re a criminal.”

    January 5, 2014 11:44 AM

  11. BITTER CONTEST 11 Dead in Bengal Election Clashes AFP/Getty

    11. 11 Dead in Bengal Election Clashes

    At least 11 people were killed Sunday in violence tied to Bangladesh’s bitter election, which the opposition has boycotted. Bangladesh’s elections usually have hours-long lines to vote, but many stayed home this time in fear. In fact, one polling station in Dhaka reported just 25 ballots out of 24,000 registered voters. Meanwhile, local media reported 100 polling places were torched overnight, and police fired on protesters who tried to take over in the northern Rangpur district and Nilphamari district. The government is assured a victory by default, although the opposition Bangladesh National Party has called the election a “scandalous farce” and has imposed a 48-hour strike.

    January 5, 2014 9:23 AM

  12. HERMIT KINGDOM Six to Join Rodman in North Korea David Guttenfelder/AP

    12. Six to Join Rodman in North Korea

    Have they not yet heard the (unproven and probably unlikely, but still terrifying) report that Kim Jong Un’s uncle was eaten alive by 120 wild dogs? Because how can you even think about going to North Korea after hearing that rumor? Dennis Rodman has reportedly recruited six former NBA players for his big North Korean “basketball diplomacy” thing, the Associated Press reported on Saturday. On the roster are Kenny Anderson, Cliff Robinson, Vin Baker, Doug Christie, Craig Hodges, and Charles D. Smith. The six players will face off against a “top North Korean Senior National Team” on January 8—Kim Jong Un’s birthday. Um, good luck guys?

    January 5, 2014 11:41 AM

  13. Disaster

    13. Plane Crashes in Aspen

    At least one person is dead in a plane crash at Aspen, Colorado's airport Sunday afternoon, according to the county sherrif's office. An FAA spokesperson said it is a Bombardier Challenger 600 business jet. Comedian Kevin Nealon said on Twitter he witnessed the crash and that the plane exploded "as it was landing." 

    January 5, 2014 3:24 PM

  14. BACK TO REALITY Obama, Daughters Leave Hawaii Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    14. Obama, Daughters Leave Hawaii

    Hawaii is just about the only place left in the country that’s not bitterly cold, so who wouldn’t want to stick around for a few extra days? President Obama and his daughters Malia and Sasha departed Hawaii Saturday for Washington, D.C. after a 15-day vacation, but First Lady Michelle Obama stayed behind as a birthday present from her husband. Obama, who is originally from Hawaii, spent Saturday with his family at their vacation home, and had dinner at a local restaurant. Earlier Saturday, the president and First Lady went for a 15-minute hike and Obama went golfing. Michelle Obama will be celebrating her 50th birthday with friends on the island.

    January 5, 2014 10:38 AM

  15. R.I.P. ‘Gone With the Wind’ Star Dies

    15. ‘Gone With the Wind’ Star Dies

    Alicia Rhett, who played India Wilkes in 1939’s Gone With the Wind and the oldest surviving cast member, died Friday. She was 98. The great-granddaughter of U.S. Sen. Robert Rhett, known as the “Father of the Secession,” As a theatre actress in Charleston, she was spotted by George Cukor, the original director of Gone With the Wind, and he considered her for the role of Melanie Hamilton. The role went to Olivia De Havilland instead, and Rhett took the smaller role as Hamilton’s spinster sister-in-law. It was Rhett’s only film role, she then went back to Charleston and worked as an artist. She never married. There are only three surviving cast members left of the film: De Havilland, 97, and supporter actors Mary Anderson, 93 (Maybelle Merriweather), and Mickey Kuhn, 81 (Beau Wilkes).

    January 5, 2014 11:47 AM

  16. STONER STATE NY to Relax Marijuana Laws Jason Redmond/Reuters

    16. NY to Relax Marijuana Laws

    Now that David Brooks has copped to smoking pot, New York State is going to lighten up a little on its marijuana policy. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will announce this week plans to allow medicinal marijuana, state officials said Saturday. Not quite Colorado yet, and it won’t be for a while—Cuomo’s plan is far more restrictive than that state, or even California, where medical marijuana is available for people with conditions as mild as backaches. In New York, just 20 hospitals will be allowed to prescribe marijuana to patients with cancer, glaucoma, and other diseases set by the New York Department of Health. And the new laws don’t come without hurdles: it’s still illegal to grow marijuana in New York, even for medicinal use. The medical marijuana will likely have to come from the federal government or law enforcement agencies.

    January 5, 2014 10:34 AM

  17. CLOSE CALL Plane Lands on NYC Highway New York City Fire Department/AP

    17. Plane Lands on NYC Highway

    There’s normally no room for New York City highways for cars, let alone for a plane (albeit a small one) to make a landing. But that’s exactly what happened Saturday afternoon when a small passenger plane made an emergency landing on the Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx, with no serious injuries to anyone on board or on the ground. The plane had been headed back to Connecticut after taking a tour of the Statue of Liberty when it apparently had engine trouble. A city Department of Transportation crew fixing potholes on the Major Deegan noticed the aircraft in distress and stopped traffic, clearing the space for the plane to land. The DOT crew helped those on board out of the aircraft, and they were taken to local hospitals for non-life-threatening injuries.

    January 5, 2014 9:22 AM