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Jared Loughner pleaded not guilty Jan. 24 to charges of attempted assassination and attempted murder of federal employees. Loughner, 22, is accused of killing six and wounding 13 others, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords, in a Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson, Ariz. More federal charges are expected.


On Jan. 26 the upper house of Russia's parliament approved the New Start nuclear arms-control treaty, fulfilling the last requirement for ratification. The pact with the U.S. requires both countries to reduce nuclear arsenals and immediately renew mutual inspections. It is the first nuclear arms agreement between the former Cold War rivals in two decades.


Talk-show host Oprah Winfrey revealed Jan. 24 that she had learned of a previously unknown half sister who had been given up for adoption in 1963. The "shocking family secret" was a ratings bonanza for The Oprah Winfrey Show, currently in its final season. The two were united after Winfrey's half sister Patricia happened to see their mother in a TV interview.