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  1. YET AGAIN Storm Roughs Up Eastern U.S. Chris Keane/Reuters

    1. Storm Roughs Up Eastern U.S.

    A major winter storm has left devastation in its wake, shutting schools, grounding flights, and closing the federal government in Washington, D.C. as some areas are slated to get as much as 18 inches of snow. Roughly 5,771 domestic and international flights were canceled, as possibly historic levels of snow and ice hit everywhere from North and South Carolina to the DC region. At least 15 weather-related deaths have been reported in the South so far, and more than half a million people in Georgia and the Carolinas remain without power.

    February 13, 2014 2:42 PM

  2. Not So Fast

    2. Judge Tosses VA Gay Marriage Ban

    A federal judge ruled that Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, the state's attorney general announced late Thursday night. The ruling said that the law infringed upon rights guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment. "We have arrived upon another moment in history when We the People becomes more inclusive, and our freedom more perfect,” the judge wrote. The Marshall-Newton Amendment was passed by 57 percent of voters in 2006. The judge's ruling was immediately stayed pending appeal.

    February 13, 2014 10:35 PM

  3. CABLE DRAMA Comcast Snatches Up Time Warner Mike Blake/Reuters

    3. Comcast Snatches Up Time Warner

    Yes, so this is going to be greeeeat for consumers. Comcast Corp. has agreed to buy Time Warner Cable for roughly $45 billion. The deal, which is reportedly stock-for-stock, would combine the two largest cable providers in a market that is already perceived to be uncompetitive. Analysts expect Comcast’s move will give it more leverage when bargaining with content providers.

    February 13, 2014 6:54 AM

  4. who are you? Facebook Adds 50 Gender Options Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty

    4. Facebook Adds 50 Gender Options

    From two comes many. On Thursday, Facebook is rolling out 50 different terms users can chose to identify themselves as, along with three pronouns: him, her, or them. The options will include androgynous, intersex, bi-gender, transsexual, and gender fluid. The changes are coming to the 159 million American users. "There's going to be a lot of people for whom this is going to mean nothing, but for the few it does impact, it means the world," said Facebook software engineer Brielle Harrison, who is undergoing a gender transformation herself.

    February 13, 2014 1:48 PM

  5. RIGHT TO DIE Belgium Approves Child Euthanasia Laurent Dubrule/Reuters

    5. Belgium Approves Child Euthanasia

    Lawmakers in Belgium voted 86 to 44 for a law allowing children to have the same right as adults to choose their death on Thursday. The new law, which will now go to King Philippe for signing, would allow minors to pursue euthanasia, provided they are personally able to say they want to die, they completely comprehend their choice, and have "constant and unbearable physical or mental suffering that cannot be alleviated." A parent or guardian must also give consent after doctors and psychologists assess the choice.

    February 13, 2014 4:11 PM

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  7. arm your hard drives Ayatollah: Prepare for Cyberwar ATTA KENARE

    6. Iran Leader: Prepare for Cyberwar

    Does the Koran say anything about cyberwarfare? Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, urged university students to prepare for battle on the Internet. Calling them "cyberwar agents," he referred to two Islamic warriors, saying "such a war requires Amman-like insight and Malik Ashtar-like resistance. Get yourself ready for such war wholeheartedly." On Wednesday, the country's military chief of staff announced that Iran is ready for a "decisive battle against the U.S. and the Zionist regime."

    February 13, 2014 5:08 PM

  8. DANISH MONSTERS Jack Hanna Pools $100K for Giraffe Frederick M. Brown/Getty

    7. Jack Hanna Pools $100K for Giraffe

    Jack Hanna wants to save a giraffe from the murderous clutches of Danish zookeepers, and he's raised $100,000 to do it. The emeritus director of the Columbus Zoo rushed to collect money after hearing Jyllands Park zoo planed to kill another giraffe after killing and feeding a perfectally healthy one to lions last week. The Danish said they did it to prevent inbreeding. Hanna's got some competition though: the president of Chechnya has offered to adopt the same giraffe. 

    February 13, 2014 2:52 PM

  9. CRIME Son-in-Law Charged in Package Bomb Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

    8. Son-in-Law Charged in Package Bomb

    Investigators are blaming Richard Parker for the death of his parents-in-law, who were killed when a package exploded at their home. In addition to first-degree, Parker is being charged with felony possession of a weapon. A bomb package detonated at couple’s Tennessee home on Monday. 74-year-old Jon Setzer was killed immediately and his wife Marion, 72, died Wednesday evening at a local hospital. Parker’s bond is set at $1 million. 

    February 13, 2014 8:15 PM

  10. today, in nevada World's Largest Solar Plant Opens Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty

    9. World's Largest Solar Plant Opens

    The tortoises and coyotes that once roamed Nevada's Mojave Desert have been replaced by hundreds of thousands of solar-generating mirrors. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System opened on Thursday after $2.2 billion in funding and a potential to produce 400 megawatts of power for 140,000 homes, making it the world's largest solar power plant of its type. The plant's opening ushers in "a dawn of a new era in power generation in the United States," says Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association,

    February 13, 2014 2:44 PM

  11. tragedy on ice Russia's Plushenko Falls, Retires Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty

    10. Russia's Plushenko Falls, Retires

    Russia's star figure skater—not to mention expert ice dancer and stripper—withdrew from the Olympics and announced his retirement on Thursday after falling during a triple axel in his warmup and injuring his back. Yevgeny Plushenko has won four Olympic medals, including gold in team skating this past weekend. "I think it's God saying, 'Yevgeny, enough, enough with skating,'" the 31-year-old said. "Age, it's OK. But I have 12 surgeries. I'd like to be healthy."

    February 13, 2014 5:37 PM

  12. TINY VIOLIN Drake: 'The Press Is Evil' Jamie McCarthy/Getty

    11. Drake: 'The Press Is Evil'

    The rapper Drake is pissed. Apparently snippets of his interview with Rolling Stone have leaked in which he criticizes Kanye West's album Yeezus, which Drake says he never said. Drake is also apparently angry because Rolling Stone "took my cover from me last minute and ran the issue." Who did they replace him with? Oh, yeah, the recently deceased Philip Seymour Hoffman. In reference to the cover change, Drake tweeted, "I'm disgusted with that. RIP to Phillip Seymour Hoffman. All respect due. But the press is evil." He says he will now no longer do interviews for magazines, and just wants to "give my music to the people." Rolling Stone is standing by the accuracy of the quotes about the lyrics on Yeezus.

    February 13, 2014 12:23 PM

  13. BIT LATE Germany Pursues Nazi-Looted Art U.S. National Archives/Reuters

    12. Germany Pursues Nazi-Looted Art

    After another stash of paintings was disclosed by the son of an art dealer tied to Adolph Hitler, Germany will set up an independent center that will investigate museum collections for art stolen by the Nazis. The new disclosure included works by Monet, Renoir, and Manet, and will only continue the firestorm over Germany's lackluster effort to suss out looted art.

    February 13, 2014 10:27 AM

  14. GRANDSTAND

    13. Cruz Writes Anti-Gay Marriage Bill

    Ted Cruz shut down the government—now he wants to shut down the Obama administration's efforts on same-sex marriage. On Wednesday, the Texas senator introduced a bill that tries to bolster the ability of states to determine their own definition of marriage and "protects states from the federal government’s efforts to force any other definition upon them." The legislation, co-sponsored by Mike Lee (R-UT), doesn’t stand a chance in the Democratic-controlled Senate, but it should do nicely in the 2016 GOP primaries.

    February 13, 2014 1:42 PM

  15. blizzard wars Snow Fight: Roker vs. NYC Mayor Brendan McDermid/Reuters

    14. Snow Fight: Roker vs. NYC Mayor

    Snow makes Al Roker feisty. The Today show weatherman shot out a series of tweets bashing the decision not to close New York City schools as a blizzard descended upon the city early Thursday morning. "So now my daughter's NYC public school is being let out early. @NYCMayorsOffice @NYCSchools Is it worth putting kids' safety at risk?" he tweeted. Roker then went on to predict that de Blasio would be a one-term mayor. "I respect Al Roker a lot. It’s a different thing to run a city than to give the weather on TV," de Blasio replied when asked about the newsman's Twitter rant.

    February 13, 2014 2:06 PM

  16. AWKWARD Anti-Debt Group Goes Broke

    15. Anti-Debt Group Goes Broke

    What was that line about thinking about budgets like a middle-class family? The Cans Kick Back, a group affiliated with fiscal scolds Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson as well as the Fix the Debt campaign, is reportedly nearly broke. Documents left online in a Google Group revealed that the organization is operating at a loss, and that it has cash reserves of only $70,000, with commitments of $75,000 outstanding. Most of the group's money, roughly 40 percent last year, came from conservative hedge-fund billionaire Stan Druckenmiller. The Cans Kick Back defended itself in a statement, saying, "The Cans Kick Back is proud to be a voice for our generation on issues related to long-term debt, decreased investment, and reckless spending. We have no debt nor do we operate beyond our own financial means."

    February 13, 2014 12:19 PM

  17. LEMME BORROW THAT Snowden Used Coworker’s Password Jason Lee/Reuters

    16. Snowden Used Coworker’s Password

    According to a new memo from the National Security Agency, Edward Snowden greatly expanded his access to secret documents by capturing the password of a coworker when the individual logged on to Snowden’s computer terminal. And while it appears the employee was unaware of Snowden’s intent, the person has resigned after his security clearance was stripped. Two others, a member of the military and a contractor, have been “implicated” by Snowden’s actions and had their access revoked.

    February 13, 2014 7:13 AM

  18. BECAUSE SHE CAN Lil’ Kim Rocks Baby Bump Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    17. Lil’ Kim Rocks Baby Bump

    While fans (and non-fans) may remember Lil’ Kim best for her antics, particularly a certain nipple covering, she is now a gushing mother-to-be. “I’m so excited! I’m a few months along, I can’t wait to be a mom!” she told Us Weekly. But don’t expect her to soften things up. The 39-year-old rapper declared: “I’m still going to be hard-core, the baby has made me even more of a beast!” Lil’ Kim is keeping the baby’s father’s identity a secret.

    February 13, 2014 7:17 AM

  19. O BEAUTIFUL U.S. Sweeps Slopestyle Medals Mike Blake/Reuters

    18. U.S. Sweeps Slopestyle Medals

    In what is only the third time in the Winter Olympics that the U.S. has swept medals in an event, Joss Christensen led the way for gold, silver, and bronze in slopestyle skiing. Christensen, 22, who was the last skier to make the U.S. cut, was joined by teammates Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper, who took the silver and bronze, respectively. Christensen’s winning run included a move called the switch triple 1440, which involved hitting the jump while skiing backward.

    February 13, 2014 7:15 AM

  20. TRASH DUTY

    19. L.A. Owes $26M for Sleepy Drivers

    Los Angeles has been forced to shell out $26 million in a legal payout to more than 1,000 trash-truck drivers for cracking down on shut-eye during breaks. L.A. officials had instituted rules on naps to prevent something almost guaranteed to enrage taxpayers. The lawsuit argued that the drivers were forced to remain “on duty” while on break, but were uncompensated, and that the no-napping rule created a public safety hazard with fatigued drivers. With potential legal costs hitting $40 million, the city council moved ahead with the proposed $26 million agreement.

    February 13, 2014 7:04 AM

  21. OH GREAT Putin: Al-Sisi for President! RIA Novosti/Reuters

    20. Putin: Al-Sisi for President!

    During negotiations over a $2 billion arms deal, Russian President Vladimir Putin threw his support behind Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's candidacy for the presidency of Egypt. “I know that you, Mr. Defense Minister, have decided to run for president of Egypt,” Putin said. “It’s a very responsible decision... I wish you luck both from myself personally and from the Russian people.” The arms deal is widely seen as an attempt to replace slackening support from the U.S. after the removal of President Morsi.

    February 13, 2014 11:16 AM

  22. MINCING WORDS Davis Backs 20-Week Abortion Ban Win McNamee/Getty

    21. Davis Backs 20-Week Abortion Ban

    Wendy Davis may be dialing back her abortion politics in her campaign for the governorship of Texas. She told the Dallas Morning News she could have supported the 20-week abortion ban she filibustered against for 13 hours if it hadn’t placed restrictions on clinics and providers. “I would have and could have voted to allow that to go through, if I felt like we had tightly defined the ability for a woman and a doctor to be making this decision together and not have the legislature get too deep in the weeds of how we would describe when that was appropriate,” she said. While opponents are casting it as a “desperate” political pivot, Davis’ spokeswoman said, “It’s not new information. She has often talked about this in her speeches.”

    February 12, 2014 8:57 PM

  23. FINGER IN EYE Afghans Free Anti-U.S. Prisoners Massoud Hossaini/AP

    22. Afghans Free Anti-U.S. Prisoners

    What’s that saying about biting the hand that feeds you? The Afghan government has released 65 detainees that the U.S. military believes were directly involved in attacks on American and allied troops. The release comes after months of U.S. officials essentially pleading with Kabul not to go through with it, as those freed are likely to rejoin Taliban ranks. The move further clouds Washington’s relationship with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has yet to agree to U.S. troops staying past 2014. 

    February 13, 2014 6:51 AM

  24. NEXT FRONT NRA: Leave Toy Guns Alone! Molly Riley/Reuters

    23. NRA: Leave Toy Guns Alone!

    Motivated by the case of a Maryland boy who was suspended from school for forming his Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun, the Florida affiliate of the National Rifle Association is proposing a bill that would protect children’s constitutional right of “brandishing a partially consumed pastry or other food.” The proposal is focused on stopping the disciplining of children for using simulated weapons in schools,  be it imaginary guns, toy guns, or even pictures of guns. In what passes for sanity these days, Republican state Rep. Dennis Baxley, who introduced the bill, explained his actions. “Obviously, we don’t want firearms brought to school in a backpack. But we got into a lot of simulated behaviors and overreacted.”

    February 13, 2014 6:52 AM

  25. GOLD STAR Obamacare Hits Goal for First Time Mike Segar/Reuters

    24. Obamacare Hits Goal for First Time

    Better late than never. For the first time since its rocky start, Healthcare.gov has met its monthly goal for signups, hitting one million for the month of January. That puts the total at nearly 3.3 million people through Feb. 1. The White House has an unofficial goal of 7 million by the end of March, but it appears multiple states need to pick up the pace if the numbers are to be even close to that target. One of the best bits of news for the White House was the increase in the number of young adults signing up, as they now represent a quarter of the total. “It’s very, very encouraging news,” said embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

    February 13, 2014 6:57 AM