Bhutto Assassinated: Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was killed Thursday in an attack on a political rally near the capital, Islamabad. Witnesses say that Bhutto was fired upon before a blast, apparently caused by a suicide attacker, rocked the rally, fatally injuring her and killing at least a dozen more people. (Read more here: NYT, WaPo, WSJ, AP)
Neck and Neck and Neck: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and former Democratic Senator John Edwards are dialing up their campaigns eights days ahead of the Democratic contest in Iowa. In the final stretch, polls show all three are within arms length, with Clinton and Obama slightly ahead of Edwards in the most wide open race in half a century, The Washington Post reports. Safely removed from the forced gentility of the holidays, attack ads are flying and stump speeches are issuing from every corner of the state.
Housing Swoon: A gauge of U.S. home prices shows they are continuing to dive, underscoring the severity of a housing slump that could threaten consumer spending, according to the The Wall Street Journal. S&P/Case-Shiller home-price indexes, released yesterday by credit-rating firm Standard & Poor's, reflect a 6.7 percent dip in home prices from a year earlier in 10 major metropolitan areas.
Benefitting Whom: Employers can reduce or eliminate health benefits for retirees when they turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Wednesday. The new policy establishes two classes of retirees, with those under 65 receiving more comprehensive benefits and those older than 65 more limited benefits or none at all, The New York Times reports. The new policy creates exemptions from age-discrimination laws for employers that roll back benefits.