9:57am

Thu January 19, 2012
Middle East

U.S. To Israel: Give Iranian Sanctions A Chance

Originally published on Sat January 21, 2012 9:22 am

The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey (left), is in Israel to talk about the growing tension with Iran. Here, Dempsey speaks with Israel's top military officer, Lt. Gen. Benjamin Gantz, during a meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday.
Virginia Mayo AP

The nation's top military officer, Gen. Martin Dempsey, is in Israel where he's expected to send a clear message: Don't attack Iran, and let the tougher sanctions take hold.

Dempsey's trip to Israel was scheduled weeks ago, but it comes at a particularly sensitive time. Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, the key route for oil shipments, and has stepped up its naval activities.

An Iranian nuclear scientist was recently killed by a drive-by assassin, and Iran is blaming Israel.

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9:55am

Thu January 19, 2012
Politics

Q&A: Why Such A Low Tax Rate For Romney?

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 9:16 pm

iStockphoto.com

Mitt Romney's tax returns and the tax rate he paid on his income have been hot issues in the recent Republican primaries.

"What's the effective rate that I've been paying? It's probably closer to the 15 percent rate than anything because my last 10 years, my income comes overwhelmingly from investments," the GOP front-runner recently told reporters.

So why does a multimillionaire pay just 15 percent on his income? After all, the top income tax rate is 35 percent and many middle-class people pay over 20 percent.

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8:54am

Thu January 19, 2012
Election 2012

GOP Presidential Race: Perry's Status, Iowa Results

There are reports Thursday that Texas Gov. Rick Perry will leave the GOP presidential race, and Iowa officials announced final results of the state's Republican presidential nominating caucuses held earlier this month.

8:42am

Thu January 19, 2012
Med. Device Manufacturers to be Highlighted

Tennessee Trade Mission to China, South Korea

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A state trade mission to China and South Korea in April will focus on Tennessee's medical device manufacturers and other health care companies.

The state announced yesterday that Commissioner Bill Hagerty of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development will lead the April trip.

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8:17am

Thu January 19, 2012
The Two-Way

Rick Perry Quits GOP Presidential Race, Endorses Gingrich

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 1:18 pm

Texas Gov. Rick Perry salutes after announcing that he is suspending his campaign as a Republican presidential candidate.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images
(This post was retopped with the latest news at 11:18 a.m. ET.)

Saying that "there is no viable path forward for me," Texas Gov. Rick Perry just confirmed that he is leaving the 2012 race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Then, he went on to endorse the bid of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich — just two days before South Carolina Republicans go to the polls in a primary that could either cement former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's lead in the race for the GOP nomination or give new life to someone else's; perhaps Gingrich's.

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7:54am

Thu January 19, 2012
It's All Politics

Iowa 'Split Decision' Ominous Sign For Romney As Gingrich Gains Ground

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 1:29 pm

Mitt Romney greets supporters at a rally at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., on Wednesday.
KEVIN DIETSCH UPI /Landov

(This post was retopped with the latest news at 11:04 a.m.)

With the South Carolina primary just two days away, Mitt Romney woke up to some troubling news on Thursday: The Iowa Republican Party revisited his Jan. 3 victory in the caucuses.

Party officials announced that a final certification of the votes actually put Rick Santorum ahead by 34 votes. Because some of the results from eight precincts are missing, the Iowa GOP declared the outcome a split decision.

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7:40am

Thu January 19, 2012
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Drop, Inflation At 3 Percent, Housing Starts Cool

A trio of economic indicators were just released:

-- First-time claims for jobless benefits plunged by 50,000 last week from the week before, to 352,000, the Employment and Training Administration says. You have to go back to Spring 2008 to find a lower number. Reuters says the news signals "continued improvement in the labor market."

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7:28am

Thu January 19, 2012

6:55am

Thu January 19, 2012
The Two-Way

Search Resumes At Stricken Italian Cruise Ship

Searchers climbing on to the Costa Concordia earlier today (Jan. 19, 2012).
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

"Rescue efforts have resumed aboard the wrecked Italian cruise ship, Costa Concordia, off the coast of Tuscany," the BBC reports. "Operations were suspended on Wednesday as the vessel shifted its position. More than 20 people are still missing."

The ship, with about 4,200 passengers and crew aboard, ran into rocks on Friday and listed over to its starboard side. Eleven people are confirmed dead.

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6:53am

Thu January 19, 2012
Suspect Jailed Till March Trial

Ring Trafficks 260,000 Pills into East Tenn.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal judge in Knoxville has ordered a man suspected in a $6.5 million prescription painkiller operation jailed until his trial in March.

The ruling came at a Tuesday detention hearing for Eric Christopher Hefner. 

According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, Drug Enforcement Administration agent Bethel Poston testified during the hearing that -by conservative estimate - Hefner brought 260,000 pills into East Tennessee in a single year.

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