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Mea culpaFirst, U.S. Rep Trey Radel was busted for buying cocaine. Last night, he apologized, promised to donatehis salary to charity, and went on a leave of absence. His “wake-up call” has helped him dodge some big metal bars.  He was looking at donning an orange jumpsuit for 180 days, a $1,000 fine, or both.  Instead, he’s on a one-year probation. The Republican from Florida says he’ll enter an inpatient drug treatment program. Are you taking notes, Rob Ford? 


Pulled off a plane in North Korea: It was a trip of a lifetime for Merrill Newman.  But the war veteran’s visit to North Korea did not end well. The 85-year-old was buckled up and ready for takeoff when he was escorted off a flight in the capital of Pyongyang.  The incident happened a few minutes before departure. He’s been incommunicado since that day late last month, and his family’s worried about him. North Korea, no surprise there, has not publicly acknowledged whether it detained him, let alone why.


Deal or no deal?: The fate of American troops in Afghanistan is in the hands of thousands of tribal elders. In a giant tent in Kabul, they’re discussing what role American forces will play after next year. Among the sticking points: should U.S. soldiers get immunity from prosecution in Afghan soil if they commit a crime.

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