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Saying he is "completely puzzled by the notion that there was something immoral that went on here," the man at the top of the agency that regulates Freddie Mac has explained why he believes the taxpayer-owned mortgage company did nothing wrong when one of its arms, as NPR and ProPublica have reported, "placed multibillion-dollar bets against American homeowners being able to refinance to cheaper mortgages."

"We have our own threats to impose at the right time" and "I have no fear of saying that we will back and help any nation or group that wants to confront and fight against the Zionist regime (Israel)," Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said today after reports surfaced that Israel could soon mount air strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities.

Anyone watching the recent court proceedings in the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay couldn't have helped but notice that several of the lawyers sitting on the prosecution side of the courtroom were not in uniform. That's because two of the five lawyers prosecuting the alleged mastermind of the USS Cole attack aren't members of the military at all: They are lawyers from the Justice Department.

Facebook filed to go public this week, and many analysts expect that it will be valued between $75 billion and $100 billion on the day of its initial public offering. That would make Facebook more valuable than GM, Ford and even Goldman Sachs.

What's most remarkable is that the company has barely 3,000 employees, and many of them are about to become very, very rich.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's decisive win over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in Florida returned him to the front-runner's spot in the Republican presidential race. Romney emerged from that battle with his strengths, but also his weaknesses, on full display.

Sometimes hard-fought nominating contests produce a more formidable general-election candidate. That's what happened to Barack Obama in 2008. But Dan Schnur, a former Republican strategist, thinks it's too soon to tell if this Republican primary battle will have the same effect.

Many addicts inherit a brain that has trouble just saying no to drugs.

A study in Science finds that cocaine addicts have abnormalities in areas of the brain involved in self-control. And these abnormalities appear to predate any drug abuse.

The study, done by a team at the University of Cambridge in the U.K., looked at 50 pairs of siblings. One member of each pair was a cocaine addict. The other had no history of drug abuse.

On Feb. 5, fashion designer Jason Wu is launching a limited-edition line for Target. Wu became famous for designing Michelle Obama's inaugural gown. He's the latest high-end designer to partner with a mainstream retailer and offer his chic couture at cheap prices for the masses.

On a bitterly cold morning in Washington, D.C., last November, hundreds of fashionistas flooded the street in front of the low-priced fashion chain H&M. Italian luxury label Versace was launching a collection there, and customers were waiting for the doors to open.

David Axelrod, President Obama's political strategist, has what appears to be — from outside the president's re-election campaign, at least — a problem.

Back in early 2009, when the Obama presidency was still brand new, the president gave that NBC News interview in which he talked about his administration being a "one-term proposition" if the economy didn't snap back in time for his re-election.

With less than a second to go, the Los Angeles Kings' Drew Doughty managed slip the puck into the net leading to a dramatic 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Officials reviewed the goal and found that the puck crossed the goal line with four-tenths of a second on the clock. You can see the replay here:

What happens next now that Heather Peters has won her case? She's the California woman who took Honda to small claims court because her hybrid Civic wasn't getting as the 50 miles per gallon she'd been promised.

Just months after the killings of Osama bin Laden and radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, U.S. intelligence officials are trying to assess just how dangerous al-Qaida still is.

They seem to agree that core al-Qaida — the group that launched the Sept. 11 attacks and looked to bin Laden for guidance — is in trouble.

Now, the discussion is about a loose affiliation of groups that present a diffuse and entirely different threat.

Planned Parenthood says a flurry of new donations over the past couple of days has essentially made up the funding gap left by Susan G. Komen for the Cure's decision to discontinue funding for the organization.

The boom in cheap natural gas in this country is good news for the environment, because relatively clean gas is replacing dirty coal-fired power plants. But in the long run, cheap natural gas could slow the growth of even cleaner sources of energy, such as wind and solar power.

Natural gas has a bad rap in some parts of the country, because the process of fracking is not popular. But many people looking at cheap natural gas from the global perspective see it as a good thing.

President Obama has been criticized by some liberal critics for not doing enough to improve the lives of the nation's poorest citizens and for not even talking as much as those critics think he ought to about poverty.

Schools worried about concussions increasingly use computerized tests to tell if a student athlete has a brain injury. But new research says those tests aren't reliable enough to diagnose concussion, or to tell if it's safe to return to play.

The researchers looked at research on one computerized neuropsychologist test, called ImPACT, that is widely used by colleges and high schools. (Here's one NPR story on how high schools use ImPACT to assess concussions.)

Syria's protest generation is obsessed with images.

Thousands of videos have been posted on YouTube during the 10-month revolt against President Bashar Assad's regime, even as regime snipers take deadly aim at the photographers.

The smugglers who carry critical medical supplies to underground clinics in protest cities also smuggle in cameras hidden in baseball caps and pocket pens. The obsession comes from the conviction that documenting the brutality will stop it — this time.

In a sign that the economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and those announced by the European Union are squeezing Iran, the chief of Iran's judiciary warned that major currency speculators could face the death penalty.

The AP quotes Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani as saying that "depending on the importance of their crimes, some of the economic corrupted can face execution."

Well, here we are starting February, with the single most important day in sports upon us.

No, of course I don't mean a silly little thing like Super Bowl Sunday. But today, the first Wednesday of the second month, is by some sort of — what, pagan lunar calendar? –– officially decreed National Signing Day, when all over America, high school seniors can officially plight their troth to a college football program.

Even in the dead of winter, the Russian city of St. Petersburg, with its church spires, palaces and waterways, is one of the world's truly beautiful cities. It was here that the Russian revolution began, and it's here where Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev cut their teeth politically.

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