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  1. SOTU Obama: I Will Go It Alone Getty, Pool

    1. Obama: I Will Go It Alone

    With a heavy focus on economic growth, education, and health care, President Obama delivered his State of the Union address on Tuesday night. He pointed to a number of people pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, and suggested he, too, will take matters into his own hands if Congress remains reluctant to act soon on climate change and job-creating bills. He announced he'd sign an executive order that will raise the minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10 an hour. Obama also pledged to "reform our surveillance programs," and, with the help of Congress, finally close Guantanamo Bay.

    President Obama promises to "reform surveillance" and close Guantanamo Bay.

    January 28, 2014 10:18 PM

  2. WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE? Pete Seeger Dies at 94 Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    2. Pete Seeger Dies at 94

    Folk legend Pete Seeger died of natural causes on Monday night at the age of 94. Seeger wrote and adapted classic songs, including “If I Had a Hammer,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” and the Byrds’ “Turn! Turn! Turn!” The folk singer was a major influence on Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Bruce Springsteen. Seeger was also a vocal political and social activist: he is the only singer in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame who was convicted with contempt of Congress after he refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1955. An ardent communist in his younger years, Seeger maintained his belief in its ideals but broke with the party and later apologized for not condemning Stalin and the Soviet Union earlier. “Songs won’t save the planet,” Seeger said “But, then, neither will books or speeches…Songs are sneaky things. They can slip across borders. Proliferate in prisons.”

    January 28, 2014 6:31 AM

  3. HISTORIC College Athletes Vote to Unionize Matthew Holst/Getty

    3. College Athletes Vote to Unionize

    In a stunning move that could change the nature of college athletics, football players at Northwestern University filed a petition to unionize Tuesday morning. The players are seeking collective bargaining rights with the National Labor Relations Board. Ramogia Huma, president of the National College Players Association, submitted paperwork including signed union cards to the NLRB. Huma said he was approached by Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter last spring, asking for help to give players representation. If approved by the NLRB, the College Athletes Players Association would not receive union dues from players.

    January 28, 2014 11:00 AM

  4. NEXT BATTLEGROUND Indiana Advances Gay-Marriage Ban Stephen Lam/Reuters

    4. Indiana Advances Gay-Marriage Ban

    The Indiana House of Representatives voted Tuesday to send a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage to its state senate. If approved, Hoosiers would vote on the measure in 2016. Indiana law already bans same-sex marriage, but supporters want that to be enshrined in the state's constitution. In a very small victory for gay-rights activists, several Republicans bucked party leadership to remove language that would have also banned civil unions.

    January 28, 2014 3:25 PM

  5. SEEING GREEN Congress Lets Hemp Bloom Rick Wilking/Reuters

    5. Congress Lets Hemp Bloom

    Weed, it's not just for smoking! Congress agreed on a new farm bill Monday that contains an amendment allowing colleges, universities, and state agriculture departments to grow hemp for research purposes. Marijuana's non-intoxicating cousin can be used to make everything from rope clothes to cooking oil. "By including language easing restrictions on industrial hemp in states where it is legal, Congress sends an important message that we are ready to examine hemp in a more appropriate way," said co-sponsor Rep. Earl Blumenthal of Oregon. 

    January 28, 2014 3:06 PM

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  7. proud College Football Player Comes Out ‏@ConnerMertens

    6. College Football Player Comes Out

    For the first time, college football has an openly gay player. Conner Mertens, a rising kicker at Williamette University in Oregon, came out to his team and publicly as bisexual, making him the first to do so while still active on the team. "I hate the stereotypes that go along with liking the same sex. You don't have to follow the stereotype to be this way," Mertens said. "I made the decision that if I could help anyone else avoid feeling the way I felt, I would."

    January 28, 2014 7:38 PM

  8. FREAK OUT Black Death Could Strike Again CDC/Getty

    7. Black Death Could Strike Again

    Terrifying news of the day alert. Using tiny fragments of DNA from two German victims killed by the Justinian plague about 1,500 years ago, scientists were able to reconstruct the genome of the oldest known bacteria. Through their work, they realized not only the Justinian Plague but the Black Death, which killed about 50 million Europeans in four years, were both caused by a strain of the pathogen Yersinia pestis. And the lucky human race in 2014 is still pretty vulnerable to these catastrophic outbreaks, warn experts. “What this shows is that the plague jumped into humans on several different occasions and has gone on a rampage,” said Tom Gilbert, a professor at the Natural History Museum of Denmark. “That shows the jump is not that difficult to make and wasn’t a wild fluke,” Gilbert said.

    January 28, 2014 7:34 AM

  9. ULTIMATE HIGH High Homeless Man Wins $1.9 Mill Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    8. High Homeless Man Wins $1.9 Mill

    D.A.R.E. is not going to like this story. A homeless man’s lawsuit shows that sometimes abusing drugs actually pays off. In 2006, Robert Obey stumbled onto the tracks at the 33rd Street Station when he was high on methadone and street drugs. He suffered from mental illness, and he had been caught jumping the rails a month earlier. His left foot was severed when the train hit him, and a jury has awarded him $1.9 million in damages. The Metropolitan Transit Authority says it will appeal.

    January 28, 2014 11:15 AM

  10. DON'T STOP Fleetwood Mac Reunion in the Works Jon Levy/AFP/Getty

    9. Fleetwood Mac Reunion in the Works

    One of the most tumultuous bands in Rock and Roll history is finding a way to reunite. After nearly three decades, Fleetwood Mac is ready to start recording new music again. After performing in Hawaii, Mick Fleetwood confirmed that Christine McVie will be rejoining the band, after she was absent on the group’s last album from 2003. When asked about a possible album last year, member Lindsey Buckingham said it depended on Stevie Nicks. "Stevie needs to come to the table with some material," he said. "She has to want to do it ... [And] she's probably thinking, 'If I have to write five new songs, do I want to give them to Fleetwood Mac?'" Looks like maybe she does.

    January 28, 2014 12:49 PM

  11. SMALL STEPS Disney Channel Debuts Gay Moms Disney

    10. Disney Channel Debuts Gay Moms

    The Disney Channel introduced its first gay characters, who made their appearance in an episode of the show Good Luck Charlie. In the episode called "Down a Tree," the show's main character, Charlie, has a playdate with a friend who has two moms. When TV Guide first reported the storyline last year, Disney said that the episode had been written "under the consultancy of child development experts and community advisors." The actress Desi Lydic, who played one of the moms in the same-sex relationship, tweeted, "I'm so proud to be a part of that episode! Go Disney! #equality."

    January 28, 2014 3:19 PM

  12. DOLLARS AND SENSE Obama to Raise Gov't Minimum Wage Eric Thayer/Reuters

    11. Obama to Raise Gov't Minimum Wage

    In tonight’s State of the Union Address, President Obama will announce that he will use his executive powers to increase the minimum wage for workers on new government contracts. He will also call on Congress to pass legislation to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. “Hardworking Americans—including janitors and construction workers—working on new federal contracts will benefit from the Executive Order,” the White House said in a statement. Congress hasn’t increased the minimum wage in seven years.

    January 28, 2014 7:16 AM

  13. SINKING Record-Low Unemployment in States Mike Segar/Reuters

    12. Record-Low Unemployment in States

    The bread line is shortening. It's been 4.5 years since the recession officially ended, but in December unemployment numbers hit the lowest point since the recovery began in 29 states. A few states—Missouri, South Carolina, and Florida—even returned to levels of unemployment unseen since 2008. Despite the promising news, concerns about long-term unemployment and artificial numbers due to workers abandoning the job hunt remain.

    January 28, 2014 1:46 PM

  14. CALLING IT QUITS Ukrainian Government Resigns Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

    13. Ukrainian Government Resigns

    It’s been another tumultuous day for the Ukrainian government. Just hours after Prime Minister Mykola Azarov submitted his resignation, President Viktor Yanukovych announced that the entire Cabinet will also resign. Other significant changes are also underway, as violent protests seem to be giving way to political resolutions. During a special session, the national parliament voted overwhelming to repeal anti-protest laws and may provide amnesty for the more than 200 protestors who have been arrested since November.

    January 28, 2014 10:48 AM

  15. STAND BY YOUR MAN Palin Defends McCain Darren Hauck/Getty

    14. Palin Defends McCain

    She may not be the ally that he--or anybody--wants, but John McCain can still count on his former running mate, Sarah Palin, for support when times get tough. Although they have butted heads on recent political issues, she sharply criticized the Arizona Republican Party’s resolution denouncing McCain as a liberal. “It’s perplexing to see Senator McCain’s good efforts to uncover the Obama agenda being ignored and perhaps even hindered now by those wanting to censure the Arizona Senator,” she wrote in a Facebook post. In the same post she said, “Despite our differences on some other issues, there is no questioning Senator McCain’s dedication to national security in spite of the White House’s agenda.”

    January 28, 2014 7:19 AM

  16. HARD TIME Sentenced to Read Malcolm Gladwell FBI

    15. Sentenced to Read Malcolm Gladwell

    You do the crime, you do the time. Canadian environmentalist Rebecca Rubin was sentenced to five years in prison for contributing to 20 fires across the western part of the U.S. that caused $40 million in damage. U.S. But in addition to the prison time, District Court Judge Ann Aiken said during sentencing on Monday that Rubin must read Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath, so she can learn non-violent means of protesting the man. It is unclear which part of Rubin’s sentence will be more painful.

    January 28, 2014 12:18 PM

  17. COME AGAIN? Baucus: I’m No Expert on China Alex Wong/Getty

    16. Baucus: I’m No Expert on China

    Well, at least we all know Sen. Max Baucus isn’t a liar. During the senate confirmation hearings for the Chinese ambassadorship, Baucus responded to a question about his level of experience by saying “I’m no real expert on China.” Despite his apparent lack of knowledge, Baucus is optimistic about the country. “It’s my strong belief that Chinese people are just as proud as we Americans.” Good luck, Sen. Baucus.

    January 28, 2014 1:33 PM

  18. NO BIG DEAL Man Fights Shark, Stitches Own Leg Andrea Comas/Reuters

    17. Man Fights Shark, Stitches Own Leg

    The Kiwis are just stronger than the rest of us. James Grant, a 24-year-old New Zealand doctor, was spearfishing with friends when he felt a tug on his leg. He assumed a friend was playing a trick, but in fact, a shark had gotten ahold of him. "[I thought] bugger, now I have to try and get this thing off my leg," he said. He stabbed the shark with his spear, made it to shore, and then sutured his own wound. Afterwards, he and his friends went to Colac bay Tavern to celebrate. “It would have been great if I had killed it because there was a fishing competition on at the Colac Bay Tavern,” grant said.

    January 28, 2014 12:02 PM

  19. MASKED AVENGERS Mexico Legalizes Vigilantism Jorge Lopez/Reuters

    18. Mexico Legalizes Vigilantism

    Mexico has some new sheriffs in town. The government has decided to incorporate armed, civilian “self defense” groups into the country’s mostly unused and antiquated Rural Defense Corps to grant them the authority to pursue (whoever they deem) criminals. The announcement from the government came as security forces from these “self defense” groups, which count themselves as 20,000 men strong, captured one of the four top leaders of the Knights Templar drug cartel. President Enrique Pena Nieto was compelled to give government approval to these vigilante groups after they began doing a better job than his own police forces combatting the Knights Templar’s terrifying hold of western regions of the country.

    January 28, 2014 7:39 AM

  20. HEAD SHOT MLB Pitchers Get Padded Hats Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    19. MLB Pitchers Get Padded Hats

    With the concussion crisis gripping professional sports, Major League Baseball approved a protective cap for pitchers Tuesday. The isoBLOX hat features protective plates sewn into the front and sides, adding at least six ounces to the hat, which will be custom fitted to each hurler's noggin. The hat reportedly protects against 90 mph line drives to the front and 85 mph shots to the side. While wearing them will be voluntary, you can see why pitchers may want the extra protection: Brandon McCarthy suffered a brain contusion and skull fracture after being hit in 2012. 

    January 28, 2014 11:55 AM

  21. STANDING UP Uganda Prez Refuses Anti-Gay Bill Edward Echwalu/Reuters

    20. Uganda Prez Refuses Anti-Gay Bill

    In a small victory for gay rights in Africa, the president of Uganda says he will not sign a new anti-gay bill, “Unless I have got confirmation from scientists that this condition is not genetic, but a behavior that is acquired.” Yoweri Museveni first refused to sign the bill, which would impose lifetime prison sentences on homosexuals, earlier this month. Still, Museveni is far from an ally of the gay community. He said he would support a bill with life sentences for those who “promote, abate, recruit and support homosexuality” and that gay people are “abnormal.”


    January 28, 2014 11:42 AM

  22. SWAN SONG iPod On Its Death Bed Beck Diefenbach/Reuters

    21. iPod On Its Death Bed

    Apple may be ready to hit the next song. Once a cash cow for the company, the iPod suffered a 52 percent decline in sales during the holiday season when compared to the previous year and sales have been decreasing regularly since 2009. Just 6 million of them sold last quarter compared to 51 million iPhones and 26 million iPads. The candy-colored trademark MP3 players just aren’t holding their own, and Apple seems to know it, declining to release a new version last year. Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted, “All of us have known for some time that the iPod is a declining business.”

    January 28, 2014 7:37 AM