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  1. Nope Snowden: I'm Not Coming Home Barton Gellman/Getty

    1. Snowden: I'm Not Coming Home

    In a Q&A on his website, NSA leaker Edward Snowden answered Twitter-submitted questions about topics ranging from the threat on his life to returning to the United States. He said it's not possible for him to return when "there's no chance to have a fair trial," and bashed the current whistleblower protection laws. Snowden noted that some spying is warranted, but not mass surveillance. "I think a person should be able to dial a number, make a purchase, send an SMS, write an email, or visit a website without having to think about what it’s going to look like on their permanent record." He also negated a Reuters report, saying he never stole his coworkers' passwords.

    January 23, 2014 5:31 PM

  2. THAT’S AWKWARD Review: NSA Data Sweep Illegal Patrick Semansky/AP

    2. Review: NSA Data Sweep Illegal

    The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which was tasked with reviewing the NSA’s surveillance program, has declared the program illegal. "The ... bulk telephone records program lacks a viable legal foundation," the report said, and that it threatens civil liberties and has "only limited value." The Board also recommended that the government end the program.

    January 23, 2014 12:23 PM

  3. Whoops Gov. McDonnell Rejected Plea Deal Steve Helber/AP

    3. Gov. McDonnell Rejected Plea Deal

    Wrong call, gov. Former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell apparently turned down an offer by prosecutors to plead guilty to one felony bank fraud charge that would spare his wife, Maureen, charges, and avoid going to trial. Now, the couple is being charged with 14 counts, including conspiracy and fraud after allegedly accepting $165,000 in gifts and loans from a businessman in return for assisting his company. Attorneys for the McDonnells say they're innocent, and the governor has said he was unaware of the extent of gifts received.

    January 23, 2014 3:50 PM

  4. busted Obama-Hater Indicted for Donations Cindy Ord

    4. Obama-Hater Indicted for Donations

    Dinesh D'Souza, a conservative firebrand who directed 2016: Obama's America, was indicted Thursday for illegally contributing to the Senate campaign of Republican Wendy Long. Feds charge he reimbursed numerous people for contributing a total of $20,000 to Long, essentially giving her more than is allowed by a single donor.

    January 23, 2014 6:12 PM

  5. GOODFELLAS New Arrests in Lufthansa Heist Spencer Platt/Getty

    5. New Arrests in Lufthansa Heist

    New arrests have been made from the famed 1978 mob heist from a Lufthansa cargo building at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Several alleged members of organized crime have been taken into custody, for everything from armored truck heists, murder, extortion, and bookmaking. The Lufthansa robbery, which inspired a key plotline in Goodfellas, saw robbers steal about $5 million in cash and nearly $1 million in jewels—the largest robbery in U.S. history at the time. Only one person was ever convicted in the heist, a cargo agent who was described as the inside man. 

    January 23, 2014 11:14 AM

  6. surprise Rick Perry: Decriminalize Pot Justin Hayworth/AP

    6. Rick Perry: Decriminalize Pot

    Hold onto your hats, Texans, Gov. Rick Perry is making moves toward decriminalizing marijuana use. The one-time presidential candidate is not an advocate of legalizing the drug, but told an audience at the World Economic Forum that he supports alternative drug courts as rehabilitation, along with softer penalties for minors. Texas currently has 15,000 prisoners serving time just for drug possession.

    January 23, 2014 4:21 PM

  7. 'night from hell' 3 Dead in Nursing Home Fire Mathieu Belanger/Reuters

    7. 3 Dead in Nursing Home Fire

    A raging fire left at least three dead and 30 missing in a retirement center in a rural town in Quebec early Thursday morning. There are 52 units in the building, and 37 of its inhabitants were at least 85 years old. Only five of the residents were fully autonomous and many of those unaccounted use wheelchairs and walkers. The local firefighter chief called it "a night from hell."

    January 23, 2014 4:57 PM

  8. sibling rivalry North to South Korea: Friends? KCNA/Reuters

    8. North to South Korea: Friends?

    Great first step, guys. North Korea's National Defense Commission crafted a letter to South Korea vowing to "halt hostile military acts" and "create an atmosphere of reconciliation and unity." It's a turnaround for the KCNA, which has consistantly issued negative reports about its rival southern counterpart. North Korea also said they'd work to "realize the reunion of separated families and relatives."

    January 23, 2014 6:38 PM

  9. FAST AND DELIRIOUS Bieber Busted for DUI Miami-Dade Police Department

    9. Bieber Busted for DUI

    It's all fun and games until the cops arrive. According to the Miami Beach Police, pop icon Justin Bieber was arrested and taken into custody for drag racing under the influence. Officials say he "failed a sobriety test." Bieber was reportedly driving a yellow Lamborghini, and had two SUV's block traffic so the drag race could take place. Also present and arrested was R&B singer Kahlil. A judge set Bieber's bond at $2,500.

    January 23, 2014 7:24 AM

  10. TAKEDOWN ‘Revenge Porn King’ Arrested

    10. ‘Revenge Porn King’ Arrested

    It's a happy day for anyone who doesn't want naked pictures of themselves posted on the Internet. On Thursday, two men were arrested in Los Angeles for conspiring to hack into email accounts to steal nude photos and post them on, a revenge porn site. Hunter Moore, the so-called king of revenge porn and most hated man on the Internet, along with Charles Evens, whom he'd hired to hack photos, were indicted on 15 counts. They face up to five years in federal prison.

    January 23, 2014 2:42 PM

  11. MESSAGE FROM ABOVE Pope: Internet Is 'Gift From God' Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

    11. Pope: Internet Is 'Gift From God'

    Pope Francis must have discovered doge or Seamless because in a statement released Thursday, he called the Internet "something truly good, a gift from God." In honor of World Communications Day, the pontiff said media is generally helping "us to grow closer, to know one another better, and ultimately, to grow in unity." But @pontifiex doesn't sound happy about the Twitterfication of the world: "The speed with which information is communicated exceeds our capacity for reflection and judgement, and this does not make for more balanced and proper forms of self-expression." 

    January 23, 2014 11:27 AM

  12. not off the hook Holder: Snowden Clemency ‘Too Far’ The Guardian/Getty

    12. Holder: Snowden Clemency ‘Too Far’

    Edward Snowden is getting comfy in Moscow. According to Attorney General Eric Holder, the U.S. government "would engage in conversation" to find a resolution with the NSA leaker if he accepts responsibility for the breach. Granting clemency for his actions, Holder told MSNBC on Thursday, "would be going too far." Holder also declined to say whether he viewed Snowden as a whistleblower, instead calling him the "defendant."

    January 23, 2014 3:17 PM

  13. PUFF, PASS, RUN NFL: Pot for Concussions Andrew Burton/Getty

    13. NFL: Pot for Concussions

    Somehow a few bong rips don't seem adequate to deal with brain trauma, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday the league would consider allowing athletes to use medical marijuana to treat concussions. Twenty-two states and Washington D.C. allow the drug for medical purposes. "I'm not a medical expert...We will follow medicine and if they determine this could be a proper usage in any context, we will consider that," Goodell said.

    January 23, 2014 2:12 PM

  14. WEEKEND UPDATE Colin Jost to Replace Seth Meyers Frederick M. Brown/Getty

    14. Colin Jost to Replace Seth Meyers

    We hope Colin Jost has his "really?!" ready. The head writer at Saturday Night Live will take the reins of Weekend Update when current anchor Seth Meyers heads to Late Night on February 1. The decision, finalized by Lorne Michaels, marks the third head writer in a row—after Tina Fey and Meyers—to win the enviable seat. Hired straight out of Harvard at the age of 22, Jost is one of the youngest writers to land a full time position on SNL

    January 23, 2014 2:14 PM

  15. LIKE A HORROR FILM Ghost Rat Ship Threatens U.K. Krishnendu Halder/Reuters

    15. Ghost Rat Ship Threatens U.K.

    So much for rats being the first to leave a ship. The Lyubov Orlova cruise liner is about to make land on Britain's shore carrying nothing but disease-ridden rats who are presumably eating each other to stay alive. The ship has been drifting across the Atlantic for about a year since it was abandoned in a Canadian harbor after its owners failed to pay the crew. A salvage hunter says he'll poison the entire ship if he finds it. Meanwhile, the Irish coastguard warns: "We must stay vigilant." 

    January 23, 2014 11:45 AM

  16. ZIPPITY ZOP ZOP Bill Cosby, NBC Creating New Show Stephen Lovekin/Getty for The Jackie Robinson Foundation

    16. Bill Cosby, NBC Creating New Show

    Two months after saying he was interested in returning to television, legend Bill Cosby will be starring in a new family comedy on NBC. Cosby will team up with Tom Werner, the producer of The Cosby Show, which went off the air over 20 years ago. While they are still looking for writers to bring onto the show, it will reportedly focus on Cosby as the patriarch of a multi-generational family—similar to his roles on The Cosby Show and CBS’ Cosby. "I want to be able to deliver a wonderful show to [a] network," Cosby said, "because there is a viewership out there that wants to see comedy, and warmth, and love, and surprise, and cleverness, without going into the party attitude,” Cosby said.

    January 23, 2014 9:52 AM

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  18. YOU GO GIRL Netflix Threatens to Unleash Hell Justin Sullivan/Getty

    17. Netflix Threatens to Unleash Hell

    The FCC may now be toothless when it comes to enforcing net neutrality, so Netflix might be taking matters into its own hands. The popular video streaming service says if Internet providers impede video streams by users, it “would vigorously protest and encourage our members to demand the open Internet they are paying their ISP to deliver.” In the same letter, issued as part of its fourth-quarter 2013 earnings, Netflix lamented the recent court ruling on net neutrality, saying “In principle, a domestic ISP now can legally impede the video streams that members request from Netflix, degrading the experience we jointly provide.” While the company says it does not believe providers will be dumb enough to do so, it also warned that it will encourage more regulation, perhaps using the one-third of all Internet traffic in the U.S. that it receives.

    January 23, 2014 7:28 AM

  19. SPENDING SPREE Vince Young Goes Bankrupt Tom Mihalek/Reuters

    18. Vince Young Goes Bankrupt

    Apparently he took financial advice from Latrell Sprewell. Former Texas star quarterback and NFL flameout Vince Young has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Young was paid $34 million over six NFL seasons, but has not played a game since 2011, and has been cut by the last two teams to bring him on. His petition estimates assets between $500,001 and $1 million, with liabilities between $1,001,000 and $10 million. Young joins a long list of NFL players to have declared bankruptcy. According to a 2009 study, 78 percent of former NFL players file for bankruptcy or are under severe financial distress within two years of retirement.

    January 23, 2014 7:36 AM

  20. BOOYAH VA AG Rejects Gay Marriage Ban Jim Urquhart/Reuters

    19. VA AG Rejects Gay Marriage Ban

    Another one bites the dust. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring says the state will no longer defend its ban on same-sex marriage in federal lawsuits challenging it, as he has concluded the law is unconstitutional. The shift from the attorney general comes as two recent court rulings in Utah and Oklahoma have struck down gay-marriage bans. The previous attorney general, conservative Ken Cuccinelli, was seen as an activist on social issues like gay marriage. In 2006, the same-sex marriage ban in Virginia was approved 57 percent to 43 percent. But in July, a poll found that 50 percent of voters in the state now support gay marriage.

    January 23, 2014 7:19 AM

  21. ABOUT DAMN TIME Morocco Amends Rape-Marriage Law Youssef Boudlal/Reuters

    20. Morocco Amends Rape-Marriage Law

    In 2012, a 16-year-old girl poisoned herself after being forced to marry her rapist. Now, finally, Morocco’s Islamist-led government has amended the penal code allowing rapists of underage girls the ability to avoid prosecution by marrying their victims. In rural areas, a woman who has been raped was seen as unfit for marriage, so marrying the rapist was believed to address that problem. Rights groups estimate that one women in four in Morocco is the victim of violence.

    January 23, 2014 11:02 AM

  22. GONE Texas Executes Mexican Citizen Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty

    21. Texas Executes Mexican Citizen

    Edgar Tamayo Arias, 46, a Mexican citizen, was executed by the state of Texas on Wednesday night, despite objections from a former Texas governor, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and Mexico itself. Arias was convicted in the killing of a Houston police officer in 1994. Tamayo’s lawyers argued he had been deprived of his rights as a foreign citizen as he was not informed he had a right to diplomatic assistance.

    January 23, 2014 7:34 AM

  23. SORRY, MUSKRATS Captain & Tennille to Divorce Ethan Miller/Getty

    22. Captain & Tennille to Divorce

    First The Professor passes away, now Captain and Tennille are divorcing—boomers are having a tough week. The dynamic duo is calling it quits after 39 years of marriage. Toni Tennille, 73, filed for divorce from husband and musical partner Daryl Dragon, 71. They married the same year, 1975, that their two biggest hits, “Muskrat Love” and “Love Will Keep Us Together” were released.

    January 23, 2014 7:38 AM

  24. CAUGHT REDHANDED Chinese Elite Hide Money Offshore AFP/Getty

    23. Chinese Elite Hide Money Offshore

    More than a dozen of China’s wealthiest individuals have been named in a report detailing tax-haven clients. Even relatives of the country’s leader, Xi Jinping, are listed as hiding funds in offshore accounts, which is especially embarrassing since Xi has focused on cracking down on officials’ displays of wealth and corruption. Relatives of former Premier Wen Jibao reportedly have $2.7 billion hidden offshore. Unsurprisingly, the government is not (outwardly) taking the report seriously. A foreign ministry spokesman dismissed the report as “hardly convincing.”

    January 22, 2014 5:44 PM


    24. 24-Hour Deadline for Ukraine Prez

    The Ukrainian opposition is fed up with President Viktor Yanukovych. After last week’s anti-protest laws set off days of public demonstrations and violent clashes in Kiev, the opposition demanded that he dismiss the government and call elections within the next 24 hours. The government’s handling of the once-peaceful protests has only gotten more violent, with two reportedly killed at the hands of police. Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko called for the early elections as a means for ending the violent clashes. Said Klitschko. "You, Mr. President, have the opportunity to resolve this issue. Early elections will change the situation without bloodshed and we will do everything to achieve that."

    Dive into this stark photo of Ukraine's violent unrest.

    January 22, 2014 7:15 PM

  26. HORRIFIC TREND Indian Court Gang-Rapes Woman AFP/Getty

    25. Indian Court Gang-Rapes Woman

    As punishment for having an affair with a boy from another community, a 20-year-old tribal woman was allegedly raped by at least 10 members of a kangaroo court in a Birbhum village in India on Monday night. Thirteen have been accused, including the village headman, and have been arrested along with the boyfriend she cheated on. In an interview from the hospital, the girl told a reporter, “I had an affair with a man. We were dragged to a gathering where our community headman was present. They told me to pay 50,000 [rupees]. When I said I couldn’t, they brutalized me.” The girl was reportedly dragged from the arms of her lover to a shed Monday night and raped until Tuesday morning, leaving her bleeding from several injuries.

    January 23, 2014 7:23 AM

  27. BAD TIMING State Dept. Knew of Syria Photos Baraa Al-Halabi/AFP/Getty

    26. State Dept. Knew of Syria Photos

    While much of the world has been shocked by a trove of photographs purported to document torture and executions by the Syrian government, a new report suggests President Obama and the State Department knew about the documentation back in November. While the administration confirms that it believes the photos are genuine, and has since heightened its rhetoric about President Bashar al-Assad, the photos do not seem to have altered the administration's policies and actions toward the Syrian regime. Essentially, the documentation, which press secretary Jay Carney describes as suggesting “ widespread and apparently systematic violations of international human law,” will not push the U.S. to switch from pushing for political settlement rather than military action.

    January 23, 2014 7:16 AM

  28. WELL, DUH U.S. Sues Firm That OK’d Snowden Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

    27. U.S. Sues Firm That OK’d Snowden

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 665,000 times, well it must be the government. The Justice Department is accusing the United States Investigations Services, the same firm that vetted Edward Snowden, of reaping millions in profits by conducting and submitting at least 665,000 flawed background checks between 2008 and 2012. That number represents roughly 40 percent of total submissions. “USIS management devised and executed a scheme to deliberately circumvent contractually required quality reviews of completed background investigations in order to increase the company’s revenue and profits,” DOJ said in its filing.

    January 23, 2014 7:27 AM