PanettaSecretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey testified at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Wednesday that the Obama administration would seek "international permission" before intervening military in Syria's civil war. Both men left open, however, the question of whether the approval of Congress would be either sought or required. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) pressed Panetta repeatedly on that question, but failed to get a definitive answer.

A federal judge struck down a Maryland law requiring individuals to prove that they have “good and substantial reason” for seeking a handgun carry permit from the state.

The President of the United States has the authority to order the targeted killing of Americans living abroad whom he suspects of posing an extraordinary threat to the security of the homeland. This was the opinion delivered by Attorney General Eric Holder in a speech Monday at Northwestern Law School in Chicago (photo at left).

Officially, the United States’ federal budget deficit for 2011 will be roughly $1.3 trillion, a staggering and almost incomprehensible amount of money. But this doesn’t even come close to the actual shortfall faced by the Treasury this year. “The $1.3 trillion budget deficit would be $4.2 trillion if the change in the current cost of Social Security and Medicare promises during fiscal 2011 were included,” according to a Washington Post op-ed by Bryan R. Lawrence, founder of New York-based investment partnership Oakcliff Capital.

On Wednesday U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon (left) ruled in favor of five tobacco companies protesting requirements by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to have them put on their cigarette packs graphic images of the consequences of smoking.