After seven quiet seasons, "Rules of Engagement" finally reached its series finale on CBS. In doing so, it also achieved a rather impressive feat. The series finale was also the long-running pinch-hitter's 100th episode. In the end, as expected, things wrapped up neatly for the principal characters.
Jeff and Audrey got their daughter, thanks to their surrogate. And finally, Adam and Jennifer got married. Even Russell and Timmy got a happy ending -- or was it? Thanks to Russell, Timmy was about to be deported, so Russell proposed to him and the two got married.
But "Rules" wasn't done yet. As Jeff and Audrey were bonding over the new addition to their family, Audrey had one more piece of news. "You know I’ve been feeling kinda sick lately, so I decided to get checked up," she said. "Jeff, I’m pregnant.”
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'The Goodwin Games' Premiere: Beau Bridges Forces Kids To Play Elaborate Game For Inheritance (VIDEO)
"The Goodwin Games" features Beau Bridges as a father who wasn't much of a father to his kids. When he knew he was dying, he devised a complex game that would hopefully bring them together. More specifically, perhaps, it would award one of them his $23 million fortune.
The new Fox comedy premiere introduced the three siblings who would be reluctantly playing the game. First up was a customized version of Trivial Pursuit. All the questions were about the siblings. They revealed that they'd never been able to finish a game, and that proved the case again. As always, it ended in a huge fight.
After thinking they'd lost everything, the brothers were ready to go home. But daughter Chloe picked up on the morse code their father used in his final video to continue the game. And they agreed to play, and finish, the game. Doing so triggered the next step in the titular "Games."
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Judith Hill had to tap into emotions that were still raw with her performance on "The Voice." Her coach, Adam Levine selected Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel," which hit close to home. Hill was a back-up singer, and featured performer, with the King of Pop.
Hill told Levine that she worried that people might think she was taking advantage of her connection to her former mentor, but Levine told her that this was her paying tribute to a man who meant so much to her personally.
While it was still an emotional moment, Hill was able to channel those feelings into her performance, gaining rave reviews from the judges. Even Carson Daly had words of encouragement for her after she sang.
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ABC's "666 Park Avenue" and "Zero Hour" were some of the first shows to be canceled this season, but for fans who want to know how the stories end, ABC has scheduled both series to be burned off on Saturday evenings this summer.
As previously announced, "Zero Hour" will return at 8 p.m. ET on June 15 with a double-bill, before "666 Park Avenue" returns in the 9 p.m. slot on June 22, according to Deadline.
The Anthony Edwards drama was canceled after only three episodes back in March, after earning the dubious distinction of being the least-watched premiere for a scripted series on ABC ever -- debuting with 6.3 million viewers and a 1.3 rating in the key 18-49 demographic.
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May 20 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Monday said the Obama administration was suspending investments in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, a government employee pension fund, to help the nation keep paying its bills now that a temporary suspension of the cap on the government's debt has expired.
In a letter to leaders of Congress, Lew said the department also would redeem a portion of the investments held by the fund. The suspension goes through Aug. 2 and the Treasury Department expects the move will free up $19 billion in headroom under the debt limit, a separate fact sheet said.
Investments in another fund, the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund, will also be suspended, but both funds must be made whole once the debt limit is increased, Lew's letter to Congress said. It said that federal retirees and employees would be unaffected by the move.
The steps were part of extraordinary actions Treasury said last Friday it was willing to take to help avoid a default. Lew said then that the measures taken together would free up about $260 billion and allow the government to avoid defaulting on any of its obligations until at least early September.
Many private analysts have said the Treasury was not likely to run out of options until sometime in October, while the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has said the government might not exhaust its emergency measures until November.
Following are other measures the Treasury has either employed, is prepared to employ or has ruled out using to free up borrowing capacity and conserve cash after the temporary suspension expired on May 19.
SUSPEND STATE, LOCAL GOVERNMENT SECURITIES
The Treasury on Friday suspended sales of State and Local Government Series securities - known as "slugs" - which are special low-interest Treasury securities offered to state and local governments to temporarily invest proceeds from municipal bond sales. Slugs, which count against the debt limit, have been suspended several times over the last 20 years to avoid hitting the debt ceiling. Taking this action allows Treasury to issue less debt. The bonds account for about $4 billion to $17 billion of the government's debt issuance per month.
GOVERNMENT SECURITIES INVESTMENT FUND
The Treasury said it may suspend reinvestments in another federal employee pension fund known as the G-Fund. Normally this money market-like retirement fund reinvests its entire balance daily into special-issue Treasury securities that count against the debt limit. Halting reinvestments would instantly claw back some borrowing capacity but the Treasury must replenish the fund with any lost earnings once a debt limit impasse ends. Federal retirees and employees would be unaffected by this action.
EXCHANGE STABILIZATION FUND
The Treasury said it could dip into this seldom-used fund earmarked to stabilize currency rates and access the dollar balance to avoid debt issuance. Created during the Great Depression to contribute to exchange rate stability, the fund was used in March 2011 when Group of Seven nations intervened to halt a surge in the yen after Japan was struck by an earthquake. It was also employed as a backstop to guarantee money market mutual funds during the financial crisis from September 2008 to September 2009. The Treasury would not have to restore lost interest earnings to the fund.
ISSUE MORE CASH MANAGEMENT BILLS
One option the Treasury did not mention is the possibility of cutting issuance of longer-term government debt in favor of heavier reliance on short-term cash management bills to gain more day-to-day control over debt outstanding. Cash management bills are typically issued for days, compared to normal Treasury bill maturities of four weeks to one year. However, this is unlikely to buy much time and officials are wary of making any major shifts in the Treasury's debt issuance calendar, which could upset markets.
SUSPEND SAVINGS BONDS
Treasury secretaries in the past have halted sales of U.S. savings bonds to the public during debt limit impasses, but the Treasury said that this would be of little or no benefit as it would not free up borrowing authority and would only prevent small amounts of new debt from being issued.
SWAP FEDERAL FINANCING BANK DEBT
The Federal Financing Bank can issue up to $15 billion in debt on behalf of other government agencies that is not subject to the debt limit. So the Treasury could exchange FFB debt for other debt to reduce the total amount subject to the limit. However, the Treasury said it was not electing to use this measure as it was of little use. (Compiled by Reuters Washington economics team; Editing by Andrew Hay, James Dalgleish and Eric Beech)
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* Pentagon control could open program to more congressional oversight
* Strikes in Yemen to be run by armed forces
* CIA to keep drone operations in Pakistan for now
By Tabassum Zakaria and Mark Hosenball
WASHINGTON, May 20 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's administration has decided to give the Pentagon control of some drone operations against terrorism suspects overseas that are currently run by the CIA, several U.S. government sources said on Monday.
Obama has pledged more transparency on controversial counterterrorism programs, and giving the Pentagon the responsibility for part of the drone program could open it to greater congressional oversight.
Obama will make a speech on Thursday at the National Defense University in Washington that will include discussion of the government's use of drones as a counterterrorism tool. It is unclear whether he will announce the drone program shift in that speech or separately.
Four U.S. government sources told Reuters that the decision had been made to shift the CIA's drone operations to the Pentagon, and some of them said it would occur in stages.
Drone strikes in Yemen, where the U.S. military already conducts operations with Yemeni forces, would be run by the armed forces, officials said.
But for the time-being U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan would continue to be conducted by the CIA to keep the program covert and maintain deniability for both the United States and Pakistan, several sources said.
Ultimately, however, the administration's goal would be to transfer the Pakistan drone operations to the military, one U.S. official said on condition of anonymity.
The internal debate within the administration about whether to switch control of drone strikes to the military has been going on for months. Obama is under heightened pressure to show that his administration is transparent, after a series of scandals about civil liberties and allegations of government overreach broke last week.
A White House National Security Council spokeswoman and a CIA spokeswoman each declined comment.
DECISION AFTER MONTHS OF DEBATE
One of the reasons to make the shift is that it would help the CIA to return to more traditional spying operations and intelligence analysis, rather than paramilitary operations involving killing terrorism targets, officials have said.
The U.S. military is not engaged in ground combat in Pakistan, where the population in tribal areas has been angered by drone strikes and governments do not want to acknowledge that they allow U.S. unmanned aircraft to operate.
But in Yemen, the same sensitivities do not exist because the U.S. military is working with Yemeni forces in counterterrorism operations and so drone strikes in Yemen will shift to the Pentagon, two sources said.
There have been 355 drone strikes in Pakistan and 66 in Yemen, according to a widely cited drone attack database run by the New America Foundation think tank. (Database: http://natsec.newamerica.net/)
The United States has also carried out drone strikes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and East Africa, some of them operated by the military.
The use of armed drones jumped in 2008 when President George W. Bush authorized the use of "signature" strikes, allowing the targeting of terrorism suspects based on behavior and other characteristics without knowing the targets' identities.
Rosa Brooks, a New America Foundation fellow and Georgetown University law professor, said the problem with the targeted killing program was "an assertion by the executive branch that it has this essentially unconstrained and unreviewable power to kill people."
Brooks, who previously served at the Pentagon, said she hoped that Obama would publicly release the legal justifications and analysis for the targeted killings overseas, including of U.S. citizens.
"I would also like to see the president say that we will acknowledge all strikes, that we will publicly report on identities of who was targeted, at least after the fact," she said. (Editing by Alistair Bell and Lisa Shumaker)
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WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster in Oklahoma as the state recovers from a massive tornado that ripped through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, killing dozens and flattening entire neighborhoods.
Obama has ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. Individuals and business owners affected by the disaster may apply for federal grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs.
The president promised federal assistance in a phone conversation earlier Monday with Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (FAL'-ihn). The Federal Emergency Management Agency has sent a special team to Oklahoma's emergency operations center to help out and dispatch resources.
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan is changing his team's name to the Hornets, said a person familiar with the situation.
The person said Jordan will detail the timetable for the change to be completed at a press conference the Bobcats have scheduled for Tuesday. The person spoke to The Associated Press Monday on condition of anonymity because the name change has not been publicly announced.
NBA deputy commissioner and COO Adam Silver previously said it would take "about 18 months" for the Bobcats to change their name. That means Charlotte could once again become the Hornets by the 2014-15 season.
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I have nothing against the folks who created Tumblr and managed to get Yahoo to bid a whopping $1.1 billion this week to buy the company. More power to them, I thought as I attended the event they helped sponsor Monday night for winners of this year's Webby Awards, one of which--best political site--went to Truthdig, the online news magazine I proudly edit.
But as I mingled with my fellow honorees, there was a pang of concern that I would like to think is not driven by jealousy. Sites like ours, even when they are hooked to established news organizations, are starved for funding to pay for the journalism they provide. Others do spectacularly well, less because of the eyeballs they attract than for the personal information their readers freely give up that is desired by potential advertisers.
That is the appeal of Tumblr, a 6-year-old social blogging service that has yet to earn much money because it has shunned advertising, thereby gaining the trust of its users who willingly share massive amounts of private data. Tumblr's CEO told the Los Angeles Times in 2010 that he was "pretty opposed to advertising," but Yahoo undoubtedly has other plans.
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More details emerged Monday suggesting that the Treasury Department was involved in the IRS mulling over a public admission of its activities targeting conservative groups.
The Washington Post reports that according to a Treasury Department official, there was communication between both federal government wings on three occasions to discuss how a disclosure should be handled. Deference to the IRS was chosen by the Treasury in each case, the Post noted.
J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, said Friday that senior Treasury officials were first made aware in June 2012 of complaints from Tea Party groups. The results of George's investigation were known by the Treasury in March 2013, upon standard receipt of a draft of his report, the AP reported.
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An increasing number of New Yorkers are likely to die from heat-related causes as global warming causes more extreme heat events, according to a new study released Sunday.
The study found that heat-related mortality may rise 20 percent by the 2020s, and in some worst-case scenarios, it could increase by 90 percent or more by the 2080s, and the net temperature-related mortality, which includes the drop in deaths related to cold weather, could jump by a third compared to current levels.
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When Leslie Hagelberg went outside of her West Tulsa, Okla., home on Sunday evening to check the weather, she noticed what appeared to be insulation and pieces of paper falling from the sky.
But it wasn't until she found a photograph near her mailbox that it dawned on her what was happening: debris and belongings from the tornado that had struck in Shawnee -- 90 miles away -- had made their way to her yard.
Hagelberg logged into Facebook and found that many of her neighbors had reported finding items, so she decided to start a Facebook group to reunite victims of the tornado with their missing belongings.
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NEW YORK -- The trial of the New York City Police Department's controversial stop-and-frisk practice ended on Monday as lawyers defending the city were peppered with sharp questions from the federal judge hearing the case.
But whether U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin will declare stop-and-frisk unconstitutional -- and whether she will impose changes on NYPD procedures -- were questions that lingered over the closing arguments in her Manhattan courtroom. Civil rights attorneys led by the non-profit Center for Constitutional Rights are suing the city on behalf of black and Latino residents.
The lawsuit, filed in January 2008, draws to a close in the waning months of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's three terms in office. It centers on one of his defining legacies: the massive expansion of reported stop-and-frisk searches, which last year resulted in 533,042 stops, 87 percent of them on blacks and Latinos.
WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Eric Holder did not recuse himself from the 2010 subpoena of emails from a Fox News reporter's personal account, a Justice Department official said Monday evening.
DOJ regulations require the attorney general to approve charges against a journalist or the subpoena of journalist phone records, but that regulation does not appear to apply to subpoenaing journalist emails. The DOJ official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said no charges against Rosen were anticipated. Language used by an FBI agent requesting a subpoena made Rosen's reporting activities out to be part of a criminal conspiracy.
“To our knowledge, the Department of Justice has never prosecuted a reporter," the Justice Department official told The Huffington Post. "No reporter has ever been charged by the Department of Justice simply for publishing information obtained through an illegal leak of classified information by a government official. At this time, we do not anticipate bringing any additional charges in this matter.”
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By R.J. Young
MOORE, Okla., May 20 (Reuters) - A massive tornado tore through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore on Monday, killing at least 51 people with winds of up to 200 miles per hour (320 kph) that flattened entire tracts of homes, two schools and a hospital, leaving a wake of tangled wreckage.
Rescue workers raced against the setting sun to find survivors in Oklahoma as the dangerous storm system threatened as many as 10 U.S. states with more twisters.
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DETROIT -- Gustav Nyquist and Drew Miller scored 31 seconds apart midway through the second period and Pavel Datsyuk restored a two-goal lead in the third to help the Detroit Red Wings beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 Monday night to take a 2-1 lead in the second round series.
Patrick Kane scored 4:35 into the third period to pull Chicago within one. The Blackhawks celebrated as if they tied the game about a minute later, but Andrew Shaw's goal was waved off because he was in the crease.
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Add one of Virginia's most prominent Republicans to the list of names miffed by GOP lieutenant governor candidate E.W. Jackson's past.
Politico reports that current Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling (R) spoke out against Jackson's history of questionable remarks on Monday, calling them "simply indefensible."
After Jackson was nominated on Saturday to run alongside Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, a line of controversial comments from his past were reinvigorated. The lines under scrutiny ranged from comparing Planned Parenthood to the Ku Klux Klan, to charging that President Barack Obama has a "Muslim perspective" on the world.
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