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  1. BRIDGEGATE Ex-Official Says Christie Knew Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    1. Ex-Official Says Christie Knew

    Chris Christie's office says the New Jersey Gov. had "absolutely no prior knowledge of the lane closures before they happened." The latest insistence that Christie was clueless to the closures comes in response to claims from David Wildstein, a former Port Authority official and Christie's high school friend, who says the Governor knew about the George Washington Bridge closings when they happened. In a written statement released by Wildstein’s lawyer, he says that it was “the Christie administration’s order” to close the lanes and that “evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference,” earlier this month

    January 31, 2014 4:00 PM

  2. PRICEY SCANDAL Menendez Set up Legal Defense Fund Chip Somodevilla/Getty

    2. Menendez Set up Legal Defense Fund

    Sen. Robert Menendez has set up a legal defense fund to help him cover the cost of the investigations being carried out against him by the Justice Department and Senate ethics committee.  He’s also paid a Washington law firm $250,000 and $11,250 to Miami donor Dr. Salomon Melgen for flights on his private plane, according to documents released Friday. Speculation about the New Jersey senator's ethics was sparked by a number of flights aboard Melgen’s private plane—which were initially not reported or paid for—and favors done on behalf of Melgen involving federal officials. “Over the past year, we’ve incurred significant expenses to respond to the smear campaign that was launched by right-wing operatives,” said spokeswoman Trisha Enright regarding the recently disclosed payments.

    January 31, 2014 8:49 PM

  3. GOOD ONE White Powder Sent to Jersey Hotels John Moore/Getty

    3. White Powder Sent to Jersey Hotels

    What looked like a pre-Super Bowl terror scare turns out to be an unfunny prank. Five New Jersey hotels near the site of this weekend’s big game reported receiving letters containing suspicious white substances Friday. Another was reportedly addressed to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and mailed to his Manhattan office. FBI and local law enforcement are investigating the packages, but preliminary testing has revealed that the substance was just cornstarch.

    January 31, 2014 2:33 PM

  4. AWEIGH! Admiral Tapped for Big Brother U.S. Navy/Reuters

    4. Admiral Tapped for Big Brother

    President Obama is expected to nominate cybersecurity chief Vice Admiral Michael Rogers to be the next director of the National Security Agency. The potential nomination of Rogers comes as the NSA continues to grapple with fallout from the Edward Snowden leaks and works toward implementing the reforms President Obama recently outlined. Rogers will face a tough confirmation battle, as many expect senators to use the nomination process to batter the administration on surveillance. Rogers would succeed Gen. Keith Alexander, who has run the agency since 2005.

    January 31, 2014 7:07 AM

  5. ALL IS NOT LOST Man Survives ‘16 Months’ At Sea YouTube

    5. Man Survives ‘16 Months’ At Sea

    In a remarkable story straight out of Castaway, a shipwrecked sailor and his 24-foot boat washed ashore a remote island in the Pacific this week, telling locals he’d been lost at sea for 16 months. The Spanish-speaking Jose Ivan claims he survived on fish, birds and turtles while floating for more than 8,000 miles off the coast of Mexico, having set sail for El Salvador in September 2012 with a companion who didn’t survive the journey. Details of his survival story are sketchy, though locals say Ivan certainly looked in rough shape when he was found, emaciated and wearing nothing but tattered underpants.

    January 31, 2014 5:38 PM

  6. NEW CHAPTER Bloomberg Named UN Climate Envoy Brendan McDermid/Reuters

    6. Bloomberg Named UN Climate Envoy

    Michael Bloomberg’s reign as New York City mayor may be over, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to go back to the quiet life of an average billionaire. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has selected Bloomberg to serve as the U.N.’s special envoy for cities and climate change. In his new role, the media mogul will advise the secretary-general when consulting with city leaders “to raise political will and mobilize action among cities as part of his longer-term strategy to advance efforts on climate change,” U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said Friday during the announcement.

    January 31, 2014 1:38 PM

  7. GEW Is Norovirus the Next Superbug? Lisi Niesner/Reuters/Newscom

    7. Is Norovirus the Next Superbug?

    It’s “stomach flu” season—and norovirus is back with a vengeance. Passengers aboard the Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas returned home early this week after more than 600 people came down with the highly contagious gastrointestinal virus. Cases of norovirus have increased in recent years, leading researchers to suspect the bug may be outsmarting our immune systems. Hand sanitizer and soap are no match for this resilient little pathogen, which can survive up to months in the air and on surfaces, and remains contagious in humans more than a week after they start suffering symptoms.

    January 31, 2014 3:24 PM

  8. JUSTICE Lawsuits Bankrupt Montana Diocese Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters

    8. Lawsuits Bankrupt Montana Diocese

    The Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena, Montana, will file for bankruptcy protection, in anticipation of the settlement of hundreds of claims that clergy sexually abused 362 people over decades and covered it up. While the details are still being finalized, a bankruptcy court would supervise the disbursement of the $15 million to identified victims as well as those who come forward later.

    January 31, 2014 11:50 AM

  9. PRIORITIES Aussies Dump Mud in Barrier Reef Ho New/Reuters

    9. Aussies Dump Mud in Barrier Reef

    New Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has approved a plan to dump three million cubic meters of dredged mud into the Great Barrier Reef in order to build the world’s largest coal port. The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system and the largest natural feature that can be seen from space. Abbott’s government has been criticized for a series of environmental decisions, including one to roll back the expansion of Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed forest reserve.

    January 31, 2014 11:52 AM

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  11. WE HOPE NOT! Will Lawsuit End National Review?

    10. Will Lawsuit End National Review?

    After 59 years of print, a litigious climate scientist could be responsible for National Review’s demise. The Week reports that Michael Mann is has been relentlessly pursuing the magazine and one of its writers for defamation after National Review refused to apologize for one blog post that accused Mann of fraud. The magazine has so far been unsuccessful in its attempts to have the case dismissed, meaning that its chances of either losing in court or being forced to pay an expensive settlement are growing by the day. Even if the case is dismissed, legal fees incurred in the meantime could be enough to sink the publication.

    January 31, 2014 8:21 PM

  12. EH? Canada Spies on Airport Travelers Aaron Harris/Reuters

    11. Canada Spies on Airport Travelers

    Now there’s a reason to hate airport WiFi more than ever.  A new document from NSA leaker Edward Snowden shows Canada’s electronic spy agency using the free Internet service at a major airport to track the devices of passengers. Speaking out about the incident, one expert said the Communicationa Security Establishment Canada's (CSEC), actions were almost surely illegal. "I can't see any circumstance in which this would not be unlawful, under current Canadian law, under our Charter, under CSEC's mandates," he siad.

    January 31, 2014 1:03 PM


    12. Food Stamp Cuts Starve Walmart

    Turns out food stamp cuts weren’t just welfare for poor, starving people. On Friday, Walmart said that cuts going into effect on November 1 in food stamps hurt its bottom line in the fourth quarter of 2013. The expiration of food stamps increased during the recession saved the government $5 billion, but cut down on the amount families were able to spend at big retailers like Walmart. There may be more challenges ahead for the company, as a new farm bill deal reached this week will seek to cut $8 billion more.

    January 31, 2014 9:27 AM

  14. FINAL STRAW Yahoo! Mail Accounts Hacked Robert Galbraith/Reuters

    13. Yahoo! Mail Accounts Hacked

    Late Thursday night, Yahoo! acknowledged that hackers using third-party malicious software were able to log in to multiple Yahoo! Mail accounts, and that the affected accounts must now create new passwords. Yahoo! said that it believes the hackers were using credentials obtained during the hacking of another company to access Yahoo! accounts, as people often use the same password on multiple accounts. Yahoo! declined, however, to say exactly how many accounts were compromised.

    January 31, 2014 10:38 AM

  15. SICK Mom Pimps Daughter for Super Bowl Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

    14. Mom Pimps Daughter for Super Bowl

    In the first candidate for mom of the year, Yolanda Ostoloza, 39, of Hollywood, Florida, admitted Thursday to bringing her 15-year-old daughter to New York to pimp her out to Super Bowl fans. Detectives caught the pair by pretending to be johns looking for sex online, and agreed to meet the girl at a Hilton in Midtown to pay $200 for an undisclosed sex act. “We came up here to work and make money with a pimp,” she reportedly told cops. “I knew it was for escorting and prostitution.” Even worse, she told them, “I thought my daughter was just going to do the fetish stuff.”

    January 31, 2014 7:23 AM

  16. GO AWAY Zimmerman Agrees to Boxing Match Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty

    15. Zimmerman Agrees to Boxing Match

    Step on up, folks. George Zimmerman has agreed to a celebrity boxing match for promoter Damon Feldman on March 1. Zimmerman says he is willing to fight anybody, including—he felt necessary to specify—black people. One other celebrity has already taken the bait. Rapper The Game, who is 6’5”, 240 lbs, and has a tattoo of Trayvon Martin on his leg, says "I will beat the f**k out of him,” and that "I would definitely take pleasure in it.  It's legal, and I want to show him you can solve your disputes without a weapon."

    January 31, 2014 12:55 PM

  17. QUEEN College Adds Course on Beyoncé Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    16. College Adds Course on Beyoncé

    Welcome to college, Queen Bey! The Department of Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University is adding a course to its curriculum titled "Politicizing Beyonce." The class, taught by doctoral student Kevin Allred, will be using the singer's career to look at issues of race, gender, and sexual politics in the U.S. The class will compare Beyonce's videos and music with readings from black feminists. With the new class, Beyonce can now join her husband Jay Z, as Georgetown already has a class titled "The Sociology of Hip-Hop: The Urban Theodicy of Jay-Z."

    January 31, 2014 7:25 AM

  18. wait, what? GOP Backs Immigrant Legalization Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    17. GOP Backs Immigrant Legalization

    At the House Republican retreat on Thursday, leaders announced a six-principle plan for immigration reform that would create a "zero tolerance" border security policy, allow eventual citizenship for "DREAMers," and possibly grant legal status to undocumented immigrants. The draft says immigrants who, among other things, "pass rigorous background checks, pay significant fines and back taxes, develop proficiency in English and American civics," could obtain legal status (though it's unclear how). DREAMers, meanwhile, are given a clear path to citizenship if they're eligible. On Thursday, the House rejected the immigration bill passed by the Senate last year. This new proposal is unlikely to see the floor until June.

    January 30, 2014 5:58 PM

  19. RIP Amazon to Inflate Prime Prices Rick Wilking/Reuters

    18. Amazon to Inflate Prime Prices

    In its, thus far, storied history, one thing critics have long pointed out is that despite the hype, Amazon almost never turns a profit. Now, after disappointing fourth quarter earnings, Amazon is finally considering raising prices by as much as 50 percent on its $79 Prime shipping program. “Shipping costs have gone up a lot, fuel costs have gone up a lot,” said Amazon's chief financial officer. If the price ends up being raised, many investors and skeptics will be keeping a close eye on how loyal customers who are used to cheap on-time shipping, will react.

    January 31, 2014 7:22 AM

  20. GRISLY Ukraine Activist: 'I Was Tortured' Gleb Garanich/Reuters

    19. Ukraine Activist: 'I Was Tortured'

    One of the leading organizers of the street protests in Kiev who vanished for eight days says he was abducted, tortured, and then left to die in the cold. Police confirm the activist, Dmytro Bulatov, was bruised and had an ear injury. Bulatov says he was hung up by his wrists, repeatedly beaten, crucified, and had his ear cut off. He says his kidnappers are unknown, but they had Russian accents.

    What does the rest of the world think of the turmoil in Ukraine?

    January 31, 2014 7:15 AM

  21. retried Knox Found Guilty of Murder Peter Kramer/NBC, via AP

    20. Knox Found Guilty of Murder

    On Thursday afternoon, an Italian court found Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito guilty of the murder of Knox's British roommate, Meredith Kercher, in 2007. She was sentenced to 28 years and 6 months, while Sollecito was given 25 years in jail. Knox did not attend the retrial, which was ordered by Italy's Supreme Court in March, and it's unlikely that the U.S. will extradite her to Italy. After an initial guilty verdict, Knox spent four years in prison in Italy, but the sentence was overturned in 2011 for "lack of evidence."

    January 30, 2014 3:57 PM

  22. jig's up Human Trafficking Rings Busted Mario Tama/Getty

    21. Human Trafficking Rings Busted

    After 10 years of operation, two Houston employment agencies that allegedly supplied restaurants in seven states with undocumented immigrants were shut down by federal authorities on Thursday. The agencies recruited hundreds of immigrants from Mexico and Central America living in the U.S. to Chinese restaurants across the country. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 32 people, most of whom are legal immigrants from China, and nine of whom face conspiracy charges.

    January 30, 2014 7:58 PM

  23. FINALLY Ukraine Prez Repeals Protest Law David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters

    22. Ukraine Prez Repeals Protest Law

    Despite taking a sick leave yesterday, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych repealed a law banning antigovernment protests on Friday. He also signed a law giving amnesty to protesters who have been detained under the now-repealed law, however opposition groups are already criticizing it since it's conditional on protesters leaving occupied government buildings. Yanukovych faces pressure on all fronts, as Moscow wants him to crack down on protesters, while those in the street are calling for quick elections that would probably unseat him.

    What does the rest of the world think of the unrest in Ukraine?

    January 31, 2014 11:33 AM


    23. Thieves Hit Special Needs School

    In the middle of a Martin Luther King Day parade, burglars broke into a special needs school in Liberty City, Florida, stealing the school's 15-passenger van, computers, DJ equipment, and destroying books. The private school, which does not charge tuition and educates 80 students a year on $200,000, has had to turn to its own principal to buy new computers until insurance money comes in. One of the students told reporters, “They destroyed our books. I just don’t understand why they would do that. We need books to learn.”

    January 31, 2014 7:10 AM

  25. FINALLY! NYC to Settle Stop & Frisk Suits Andrew Burton/Getty

    24. NYC to Settle Stop & Frisk Suits

    After campaigning aggressively against random police stops of minorities, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday his administration will settle lawsuits involving stop and frisk. “We’re here today to turn the page on one of the most divisive problems in our city,” de Blasio said. De Blasio's predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, argued the policy played a role in the lowest crime levels in years. 

    January 31, 2014 7:05 AM