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  1. CHARGED Busted Dealer Had Hoffman’s Number Keith Bedford/Reuters

    1. Busted Dealer Had Hoffman’s Number

    Among the four people arrested by the New York Police Department today on drug charges was a man with Philip Seymour Hoffman's number saved in his phone. Robert Vineberg, 57, who was arrested on felony and misdemeanor drug charges, reportedly had the Oscar-winning actor's contact information. A confidential informant said Hoffman may have purchased his heroin at the Mott Street building out of which Vineberg and others operated, which led to the search.

    February 5, 2014 5:33 PM


    2. Affluenza Teen Won’t Do Time

    The Texas teen whose case became nationally infamous after a defense expert said he had “affluenza” is exempt from serving any time in prison. Judge Jean Boyd again decided to give no jail time, instead mandating ten years of probation and to go to a rehabilitation facility paid for by his parents. They had previously offered to pay for a $450,000 facility in Newport Beach, Calif. Four people died and two were severely injured when Ethan Couch was driving under the influence. At the time of the crash, his blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit and there was valium in his system.

    February 5, 2014 7:51 PM

  3. Death Row In Rare Move, TX Executes Woman Texas Department of Criminal Justice/AP

    3. In Rare Move, TX Executes Woman

    At 6:26 CT, Texas executed 59-year-old Suzanna Basso, who was convicted of torturing and killing a mentally impaired man that she enticed with the prospect of marriage in order to collect insurance and Social Security benefits. Since capital punishment was allowed to resume in 1976, 14 women have been executed, while nearly 1,400 men have been put to death over the same period. Texas, which has the most death penalty sentences, has executed 505 men and 4 women.

    February 5, 2014 7:32 AM


    4. Journo Gets 12 Years in Prison

    Saudi Arabia isn’t known for freedom of the press, but this latest sentence is still shocking, Journalist Wajdi al-Ghazzawi was sentenced to 12 years in prison for “disobeying the ruler on a television program” when he accused the kingdom of contributing to terrorism. He was also charged with “inciting sedition” and is not allowed to leave the country for 20 years.

    February 5, 2014 7:40 PM

  5. tweet tweet Twitter User Growth Stalls Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    5. Twitter User Growth Stalls

    In its first earnings report since going public in November, Twitter earned 2 cents per share on the $242.7 million in revenues last quarter, even as analysts expected it to lose 3 cents and make $217 million in revenue. However, Twitter's user growth has slowed, with the number of active users rising only slightly, from 232 million to 241 million. The stock declined 10 percent on its announcement, suggesting investors’ disappointment with slowed user growth.

    February 5, 2014 4:35 PM

  6. HEALTH NUTS CVS Quits Tobacco Justin Sullivan/Getty

    6. CVS Quits Tobacco

    In a move that will cost the company $2 billion in sales a year, CVS/Caremark will no longer sell cigarettes and other tobacco products beginning in October. The country’s largest drugstore chain has overall sales of $123 billion, and has been transitioning towards becoming more of a health care provider, rather than a general retail outlet. “We have about 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners helping patients manage chronic problems like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease, all of which are linked to smoking. We came to the decision that cigarettes and providing health care just don’t go together in the same setting,” said CEO Larry J. Merlo.

    February 5, 2014 8:04 AM

  7. NEW BATTLE Curt Schilling: I Have Cancer Hunter Martin/Getty

    7. Curt Schilling: I Have Cancer

    Retired major leaguer Curt Schilling announced Wednesday in a joint statement with ESPN that he is currently battling cancer. Schilling, 47, did not state what type or what his prognosis was, only that he has "recently been diagnosed.” As an ace pitcher, Schilling was part of the Boston Red Sox’s 2004 and 2007 World series-winning teams. He has been working at ESPN as a baseball analyst. His own wife. Shonda, fought malignant melanoma in the early 2000s. He said in his statement, "I'll embrace this fight just like the rest of them, with resolute faith and head on."

    February 5, 2014 8:01 PM

  8. TAKING SIDES Farrow's Brother Defends Allen Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty

    8. Farrow's Brother Defends Allen

    After Dylan Farrow's February 1 letter to the New York Times set the Internet on fire with its sexual molestation allegations against her father Woody Allen, her brother Moses Farrow is coming to Allen's defense. Moses, now 36, tells People, "Of course Woody did not molest my sister," going on to say, "My mother drummed it into me to hate my father for tearing apart the family and sexually molesting my sister. And I hated him for her for years. I see now that this was a vengeful way to pay him back for falling in love with Soon-Yi." Moses is estranged from his siblings and Farrow, while still close to Allen and Soon-Yi. He also questioned the events Dylan recounts in her open letter.

    February 5, 2014 1:19 PM

  9. TAKE BACK CBO Reverses GOP Obamacare Claim Yuri Gripas/Reuters

    9. CBO Reverses GOP Obamacare Claim

    In a major turnaround, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said today that the recent CBO report on the Affordable Care Act found that it will reduce the unemployment rate. On Tuesday, Republicans crowed that the report, which found that the equivalent of 2.5 million workers would choose to reduce work hours, meant that Obamacare was killing that number of jobs. Now, however, Director Douglas Elmendorf says that Obamacare's impact on labor demand "spurs employment and would reduce unemployment over the next few years."

    February 5, 2014 1:10 PM

  10. ONLY STRONGER Pussy Riot: We Can’t be Silenced

    10. Pussy Riot: We Can’t be Silenced

    Pussy Riot isn’t afraid of prison or Putin. Two of its members spent up to 21 months incarcerated and as the band begins a tour of New York, they are speaking out about how jail has only emboldened their efforts to change Russia. "What happened was that the support and care shown internationally made us free,” Maria Alyokhina, 25, said. The group is still politically active, encouraging protests ofthe Sochi Olympics and contemplating running for political office in the future. “In these two years, the situation in Russia has gotten so much worse.” Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 24. “And if we couldn’t keep quiet about it then, then we certainly won’t keep quiet about it now.”

    February 5, 2014 3:29 PM

  11. WELCOME TO MIAMI Beckham to Bring Own Team to Miami Andrew Innerarity/Reuters

    11. Beckham to Bring Own Team to Miami

    David Beckham does more than just look ridiculously good in underwear on television. The soccer legend announced today that he will bring an expansion franchise to Miami that will start playing in 2016 or 2017. Beckham retired from the LA Galaxy, but he had an option in his contract to purchase his own team below-market for $25 million. "I wanted to create a team that we could start from scratch," Beckham said. "I know this city is ready for football—soccer—this time around." Beckham will have to charm some investors for a stadium, but he's already gearing up. His group—Miami Beckham United—has already hired a Tallahassee lobbyist to seek sales-tax rebates.

    February 5, 2014 2:44 PM

  12. CLASS WARRIOR Billionaire: ‘The 1% Work Harder’ Brendan McDermid/Reuters

    12. Billionaire: ‘The 1% Work Harder’

    Billionaire investor Sam Zell said Wednesday on Bloomberg TV that Tom Perkins was basically right when he compared the super rich to Jews under Nazi Germany, though "persecution" isn't the right word. "The 1 percent are being pummeled because it's politically convenient to do so," Zell said. "The 1 percent work harder." The lack of class warfare and envy of the rich have separated America from the rest of the world, Zell said. 

    February 5, 2014 12:41 PM

  13. RUSSIAN SHOOTOUT Volgograd Bombing Suspect Killed Sergei Karpov/Reuters

    13. Volgograd Bombing Suspect Killed

    The man who was suspected to be behind two bomb attacks in the Russian city of Volgograde was killed in a police operation in Dagestan. The suspect, along with other suspected accomplices died in a shootout at a house. One person in the house did surrender. Two alleged accomplices in the Volgograd bombings were arrested last week. The attacks in Volgograd in December left 34 people dead and injured roughly 100.

    February 5, 2014 8:46 AM

  14. AGAIN?! Nuke Cheating Scandal Hits Navy U.S. Navy/Reuters

    14. Nuke Cheating Scandal Hits Navy

    In the second cheating scandal for the military’s nuclear force this year, the Navy is now investigating allegations that roughly one-fifth of trainees at a school for naval nuclear power reactor operators cheated. The Navy says the sailors cheated on written tests needed to be certified as instructors at a nuclear propulsion school. The other cheating scandal, this one involving the Air Force, actually involved almost 100 officers who were responsible for land-based nuclear missiles used for short-notice launch. Many inside the military blamed an unrealistic testing regimen that penalized scores under 100% for the widespread cheating.

    February 5, 2014 12:46 PM

  15. GREEK TO ME Schumer, Moscow Spar Over Yogurt Rommel Demano/Getty

    15. Schumer, Moscow Spar Over Yogurt

    Some may say the U.S. government is hedging on Russia’s LGBT abuses, but at least the country is taking a stand on yogurt. The Russian government is reportedly blocking a shipment of Chobani Greek yogurt to American Olympians. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York--the state in which Chobani is produced--is brimming, “There is simply no time to waste in getting our Olympic athletes a nutritious and delicious food,” Schumer said in a letter to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. “The Russian authorities should get past ‘nyet.'”

    February 5, 2014 4:03 PM

  16. DR. FEELGOOD Feds Bust Docs for 5M Oxy Pills Joe Amon/The Denver Post, via Getty

    16. Feds Bust Docs for 5M Oxy Pills

    The Manhattan U.S. Attorney has charged 24 people for the illegal distribution of Oxycodone pills in a massive ring that operated through medical clinics in the Bronx known as “Astramed.” Doctors, clinic workers, and drug traffickers oversaw the distribution of 5 million Oxycodon pills over three years. They wrote unnecessary prescriptions for “patients,” who then filed them at pharmacies and resold them on the steets. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, “The world of prescription drug trafficking is looking more and more like the world of old-school trafficking in narcotics like heroin, cocaine and crack."

    February 5, 2014 2:24 PM

  17. GOING IN CIRCLES U.S. Freezes Drones Over Pakistan AFP/Getty

    17. U.S. Freezes Drones Over Pakistan

    The U.S. has agreed to an informal halt on the use of its drone program in Pakistan and says it will reserve drone-launched missile strikes only for Al Qaeda operational leaders. The pause began in late December. The agreement follows a November strike that killed Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud days before scheduled peace talks between Pakistan and the Taliban, which the latter ultimately canceled. Pakistan accused the U.S. of straining its diplomatic attempts, which led to the U.S. agreeing to this informal pause. However, a U.S. official did stress that this “doesn’t impact our list for core Al Qaeda,”

    February 5, 2014 9:48 PM

  18. CONFESSION TIME UN Rips Vatican Over Sex Abuse Stefano Rellandini/Reuters

    18. UN Rips Vatican Over Sex Abuse

    The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child released a report on child abuse in the Catholic Church, criticizing the Vatican for creating a system that allowed priests to sexually abuse thousands of children. The report argues that by refusing to release data on abuse, the Vatican is concealing the crimes of the clergy and failing to fully acknowledge the offences. the UN also called for an immediate removal of all clergy who are known or suspected child abusers. The report singled out in particular the Church’s policy of “offenders’ mobility” that transfers abusive priests from parish to parish, and put “children in many countries at high risk of sexual abuse, as dozens of child sexual offenders are reported to be still in contact with children.”

    February 5, 2014 7:35 AM

  19. MILES HIGH Bieber Hotboxed Private Jet Jag Gundu/Getty

    19. Bieber Hotboxed Private Jet

    This plane flies high. According to an official report, the private jet that Justin Bieber, his father, and entourage, flew from Canada to New Jersey last week was so filled with marijuana smoke that the pilots had to wear oxygen masks. The passengers, reported the flight attendant, were "extremely abusive verbally," and she was forced to take refuge in the cockpit. When the jet landed, the DEA and Customs and Border Protection were met with marijuana smoke in the cabin. While Bieber admitted to smoking weed and drinking, no "contraband" was found.

    February 5, 2014 11:29 AM

  20. AIN‘T THE RITZ Sochi Hotels a Horror Story Julian Finney/Getty

    20. Sochi Hotels a Horror Story

    The Winter Olympics in Sochi may be the most expensive in history, but apparently some of the hotels were forgotten. Shaun Walker, The Guardian’s Moscow bureau chief, wrote that upon checking in he was told, “Your room is still under construction. They are literally finishing, the keys are literally coming now.” Chicago Tribune reporter Stacy St. Clair tweeted, “My hotel has no water. If restored, the front desk says, ‘do not use on your face because it contains something very dangerous.’” Meanwhile, according to other reporters, shower curtains have become a valuable commodity, as one photographer was told, “You will not get a shower curtain.”

    February 5, 2014 8:10 AM

  21. BAD INFLUENCE 4 Questioned Over Hoffman Keith Bedford/Reuters

    21. 4 Questioned Over Hoffman

    Four suspects with more than 300 bags of heroin were arrested Tuesday and are now being questioned by New York police to see if they sold drugs to Philip Seymour Hoffman. Suspects, Robert Vineberg, 57, Thomas Kushman, 48, Max Rosenblum, and Juliana Luchkiw, both 22, were busted in Manhattan's East Village. Police are still trying to determine whether Hoffman purchased drugs on the night of his death. He reportedly withdrew $1,200 from an ATM near his home the night before his death.

    February 5, 2014 8:01 AM

  22. faking it Flea: Our Guitars Were Unplugged Timothy A. Clary, AFP / Getty Images

    22. Flea: Our Guitars Were Unplugged

    No need to speculate any longer. Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea wrote an open letter explaining that the band's instruments weren't connected to amps during the Super Bowl halftime show. "When we were asked by the NFL and Bruno to play our song 'Give It Away' at the Super Bowl, it was made clear to us that the vocals would be live, but the bass, drums and guitar would be pre-recorded," he wrote. Flea added that the Red Hot Chili Peppers are normally opposed to "any sort of miming," but agreed to do it and decided not to pretend they were plugged in. "It was like making a music video in front of a gazillion people," he wrote.

    February 5, 2014 10:52 AM

  23. OH NO SHE DIDN‘T Murdoch Ex Likes Tony Blair's Butt Fred Prouser/Reuters

    23. Murdoch Ex Likes Tony Blair's Butt

    Wendi Deng Murdoch, previously famous for protecting Rupert from an assailant’s pie, will now likely be best known for a cooing love note she allegedly wrote about former Prime Minister Tony Blair. Written to herself, the note reportedly said, “Oh, shit, oh, shit. Whatever why I’m so so missing Tony. Because he is so so charming and his clothes are so good. He has such good body and he has really really good legs Butt… And he is slim tall and good skin. Pierce blue eyes which I love. Love his eyes. Also I love his power on the stage… and what else and what else and what else… ” According to Vanity Fair, Deng was caught in her affairs by Rupert’s trusty staff, who began keeping tabs on her, especially when she began to relentlessly pursue Blair. Murdoch and Deng released a joint statement in response to the report, saying, “Given the complicated dynamics of our family, we made the decision early on in this process not to engage in public allegations or respond to negative claims.”

    February 5, 2014 7:04 AM

  24. GET OUTTA TOWN T-Mac Wants to Be a Pro Pitcher Bill Waugh/Reuters

    24. T-Mac Wants to Be a Pro Pitcher

    Is it Michael Jordan redux? Former NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady is trying a comeback, but this time as a pitcher. On Tuesday, McGrady tweeted, “Been working out at Constellation Field w Sugar Land Skeeters. Working on my pitch. Childhood Dream coming true.” To make the Atlantic League team, he has also sought out the help of legendary pitcher Roger Clemens. However, Clemens seems to think that dream is still far from reality, telling a reporter, “He’s not anywhere close to pitch for the Sugar Land Skeeters. The bullpen I watched him throw he was throwing 83 maybe 85 mph. He’s still trying to locate it.” Ouch.

    February 5, 2014 7:02 AM

  25. TOP O' THE MORNING U.K. Court Summons Top Mormon George Frey/Reuters

    25. U.K. Court Summons Top Mormon

    In a move that has surprised legal experts, the leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been called before a magistrate in England. Church president Thomas S. Monson is being sought to answer charges by an ex-Mormon bishop, Tom Philips, that key parts of the LDS faith are false and have been used to get financial contributions. Legal experts says there is zero chance the British government would seek to extradite Monson. “The Church occasionally receives documents like this that seek to draw attention to an individual’s personal grievances or to embarrass Church leaders. These bizarre allegations fit into that category,” said Eric Hawkins, a church spokesman.

    February 5, 2014 7:00 AM

  26. LONG CON

    26. Woman on the Lam 37 Years Arrested

    Judy Lynn Hayman escaped from prison 37 years ago after pleading guilty to a larceny charge, and on Tuesday she was caught in San Diego after years of using aliases. Now 60 years old, Hayman has a 32-year-old son who was “quite surprised” that his mother turned out to be a fugitive. Hayman had government documents on her person that matched her latest alias, Jamie Lewis. Oddly, this is the second escapee from a Michigan prison that has turned up in San Diego in the past six years.

    February 5, 2014 7:24 AM

  27. SAY WHAT? Philippine Prez: China Like Hitler Jay Directo/AFP/Getty

    27. Philippine Prez: China Like Hitler

    President of the Philippines, Benigno S. Aquino III, warned the world on a policy of appeasement towards China during the tense debate over its claims to seas in between the two countries. Comparing Western inaction now to the failure to aid Czechoslovakia in 1938, Aquino said, “If we say yes to something we believe is wrong now, what guarantee is there that the wrong will not be further exacerbated down the line? At what point do you say, ‘Enough is enough’? Well, the world has to say it—remember that the Sudetenland was given in an attempt to appease Hitler to prevent World War II.” Multiple Asian leaders are alarmed by recent assertiveness on the part of China in terms of a military buildup and increased territorial claims.

    February 5, 2014 7:08 AM

  28. battlefield daycare U.S.-Backed Rebels Use Kid Troops AFP/Getty

    28. U.S.-Backed Rebels Use Kid Troops

    Syrian opposition groups backed by the west are recruiting and using children in support and combat positions, according to a Tuesday report from the United Nations. It also found that the violations against children were concentrated to Syrian government troops in the war's early stages, but later, as opposition bulked up, they committed a growing number of child abuses. "Of particular concern were cases of recruitment or attempted recruitment of children within refugee populations in neighboring countries," Ban Ki-moon wrote in the report. "The majority of incidents were related to recruitment by Free Syrian Army-affiliated groups or Syrian Kurdish armed groups."

    February 4, 2014 5:19 PM

  29. almost law President Obama to Sign Farm Bill Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    29. President Obama to Sign Farm Bill

    It's only taken two years. President Obama is expected to sign the new farm bill into law on Friday at Michigan State University. The bill, which the Senate passed on Tuesday 68 to 32, is a $956 billion piece of legislation to reauthorize hundreds of agriculture, conservation, nutritional, and dairy programs. It is set to reduce spending on farm subsidies and nutrition over the next 10 years by $16.6 billion. Cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which provides food stamps, are the most controversial, and will reduce benefits for 1.7 million people. President Obama is expected to sign the bill when it gets to his desk.

    February 4, 2014 5:34 PM

  30. ROYAL FLUSH Crime to Insult Bahrain King Yasser Al-Zayyat/AFP/Getty

    30. Crime to Insult Bahrain King

    Sensitive much? A new law has been approved by the king of Bahrain that allows a jail sentence of up to seven years and a fine of up to $26,500 for anybody who insults him, the flag, or the national emblem publicly. King Hamad’s new measure highlights the shaky ground for the Sunni Muslim-ruled state, which has faced Shi'ite Muslim demonstrators calling for more democracy since 2011. Bahrain is a U.S. ally, and provides a base for the Navy’s Fifth Fleet.

    February 5, 2014 9:38 AM

  31. CAPTAIN OBVIOUS U.S. Fears Sochi Security Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    31. U.S. Fears Sochi Security

    Only a couple of days before the Winter Olympics kick off, Matthew Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center said there are multiple reasons to worry about security in Sochi. “There are a number of specific threats of varying degrees of credibility that we’re tracking,” he said. The biggest threat is from Imarat Kavkaz, a prominent terrorist group in Russia, with attempted attacks likely to come outside of the game venues but in the Sochi region.

    February 5, 2014 7:19 AM

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