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2:40 PM ET, February 15, 2013


 Top Items: 
Meteorite hits central Russia, more than 500 people hurt  —  (Reuters) - More than 500 people were injured when a meteorite shot across the sky and exploded over central Russia on Friday, sending fireballs crashing to Earth, shattering windows and damaging buildings.
Meteorite hits Russian Urals: Fireball explosion wreaks havoc, over 900 injured (PHOTOS, VIDEO)  —  Screenshot from YouTube user Gregor Grimm  —  (12.5Mb) embed video  —  Russia's Urals region has been rocked by a meteorite explosion in the stratosphere.
New York Times:
Meteor Fragments Are Said to Rain Down on Siberia; Hundreds of Injuries Reported  —  MOSCOW — Bright objects, apparently debris from a meteor, streaked through the sky in western Siberia early Friday, accompanied by a thunderous shock wave that damaged buildings across a vast territory.
Meteor strike injures hundreds in central Russia  —  The BBC's Daniel Sandford says people described a ball of fire in the sky  —  A meteor crashing in central Russia's Ural mountains has injured at least 500 people, as the shockwave blew out windows and rocked buildings.
Geoff Brumfiel / Nature:
Russian meteor largest in a century  —  Explosion rivalled nuclear blast, but rock was still too small for advance-warning networks to spot.  —  A meteor that exploded over Russia this morning was the largest recorded object to strike the Earth in more than a century, scientists say.
Daily Mail:
Moment meteorite exploded in the sky above Russian town as doctors treat 950 people injured …
Wall Street Journal:
Meteorite Hits Russia, Causing Panic
Discussion: The Hill
Cosmic Log /
‘Panic’ as streaking meteor injures hundreds in Russia
Why President Obama went all-in on Chuck Hagel  —  President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have fiercely defended the nomination of Chuck Hagel, despite advisers and Hill Democrats who questioned the move and predicted a firestorm, according to Democratic sources.
Ruth Marcus / Washington Post:
Ted Cruz, making quite an entrance
Discussion: Althouse
Jonathan Martin / Politico:   Lone Star rising
Ryan Grim / The Huffington Post:
Elizabeth Warren Embarrasses Hapless Bank Regulators At First Hearing (VIDEO)  —  Elizabeth Warren, Video, Financial Regulation, Senate Banking Committee, Elizabeth Warren Bank Regulators, Elizabeth Warren Banking Committee, Elizabeth Warren Occ, Elizabeth Warren Sec, Elizabeth Warren Wall Street, Politics News
Jesse Jackson Jr. to plead guilty to federal charges  —  Former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) will plead guilty to conspiring with his wife to illegally spend $750,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses, including a $43,000 Rolex watch, fur coats and memorabilia associated with Michael Jackson …
Discussion: National Review
Mike Ramsey / CBS Chicago:
Jesse Jackson Jr. Plea Deal Could Be Filed As Soon As Friday
Jennifer Jacobs / Des Moines Register:
BREAKING: Vilsack will not seek U.S. Senate seat in 2014  —  Tom Vilsack has ruled out running U.S. Senate in 2014, clearing the way for the early Democratic frontrunner, U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, to press forward and raise money for what's expected to be one of the most fiercely competitive races in the country.
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
House overrides Obama, votes to freeze federal pay for third year  —  The House voted Friday to freeze the pay of federal workers for the third year in a row over the objections of congressional Democrats and the Obama administration.  —  Members voted 261-154 in favor of the bill …
Jennifer Medina / New York Times:
Over a Decade, Maureen O'Connor Spent $1 Billion on Bets  —  LOS ANGELES — A former mayor of San Diego spent the last decade wagering more than a billion dollars at casinos across the country, eventually liquidating her savings, auctioning her belongings, selling off real estate …
Thomas Kaplan / New York Times:
Cuomo Spokeswoman Quits After Four Months  —  Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's new communications director is leaving her post after just four months to reunite with her former boss, Jeffrey Zucker, the new president of CNN Worldwide.  —  The aide, Allison Gollust, informed Mr. Cuomo of her resignation on Friday …
Lloyd Grove / The Daily Beast:
Rahm Emanuel May Be Toying With 2016 Presidential Run  —  Obama's former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel might make a go for 2016, two well-connected Democrats tell Lloyd Grove—as long as Hillary doesn't.  And the potty-mouthed Chicago mayor could win.  —  Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel …
NBC Politics:
Congressman says deleted tweets were to his recently discovered daughter  —  Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., tells NBC News that the 24-year-old woman he tweeted at during the State of the Union address was not a romantic interest, but in fact his daughter.  —  After “The Hill” reported that Cohen …
Jake Sherman / Politico:
Behind closed doors, House GOP tries to find its way  —  It's simple: House Republicans say that if they spend the next two years like they spent the last two, they'll become irrelevant.  —  So for the last few days, GOP leaders have met behind closed doors to both craft an agenda that confronts …
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Matthew Yglesias / Slate:
Bionic Eyes and “Health Care Costs”  —  Argus II glasses with embedded camera.  —  Second Sight publicity still for Argus II  —  I read an informative piece in the NY Times from Ezekiel Emannuel today delivering the “good news” that health care spending volumes are increasing at a slower pace …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Ezekiel J. Emanuel / Opinionator:
Health Care's Good News
Discussion: National Review
Chris Ariens / TVNewser:
Herman Cain Joins Fox News as Contributor  —  Fox News Channel has hired former Republican presidential candidate and Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain as a contributor.  Cain will provide political and business analysis and commentary across FNC's daytime and primetime programming, as well as on Fox Business Network.
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 More Items: 
David Weigel / Slate:
The Cuccinelli Manifesto  —  Virginia's attorney general …
Discussion: Ballot Box, Hot Air and The Maddow Blog
Geneva Sands / The Hill:
Rangel wants women to be drafted
Associated Press:
Weary passengers fan out for homes after finally getting off crippled cruise ship
Discussion: Althouse
Betsy Rothstein / FishbowlDC:
Valentine's Day Bloodbath: WaPo Lays Off Workers in Hush-Hush Manner
 Earlier Items: 
David Brooks / New York Times:
When Families Fail  —  Today millions of American children grow …
Discussion: Mother Jones and National Review
Paul Steinhauser / CNN:
First on CNN: New player in gun control ad wars
CBS News:
Oscar Pistorius weeps in court as he appears to face murder charge in shooting of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp