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A team of archeologists unveiled the largest and most valuable hoard of Anglo-Saxon treasure ever found, on Sept. 24, 2009. The 1,300-year-old treasure was discovered in July by unemployed welfare recipient Terry Herbert, an amateur with a metal detector who was treasure-hunting on a friend's private farmland.


At a press conference in Birmingham, U.K., archeologists display pieces of the Staffordshire Hoard. More than 1,500 pieces of gold and silver were uncovered in Staffordshire, England, and the hoard has been hailed as a perception-altering discovery from the Anglo-Saxon era of England's history.


Dr. Kevin Leahy of the Portable Antiquities Scheme poses with a piece of the Staffordshire Hoard. Leahy has been a part of many other excavation teams, including one that excavated the Cleatham cremation cemetery. "After all those urns, I think I deserve the Staffordshire find," he said.


The Birmingham University Archeology Unit and the Staffordshire County Council unearthed most of the hoard. All together, the hoard weighs in at five kilograms of gold and 1.3 kilograms of silver. Many pieces are decorated with precious stones.


The cheek-piece of a helmet, decorated with a frieze of running animals. Most of the pieces appear to date from the 7th century, although there is already some debate about the exact time.


A strip of gold with a Biblical inscription in Latin.


The exact spot where the hoard lay hidden for a millennium and a half has not yet been revealed. However, it was likely at the heart of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Mercia.


The Staffordshire Hoard is "absolutely the equivalent of finding a new Lindisfarne Gospels or Book of Kells," said Leslie Webster, former keeper of the Department of Prehistory and Europe in the British Museum.


Archeologist Ian Wykes said a find like this "reaffirms why you became an archaeologist in the first place."





Hordes of people wait in line to see the Staffordshire Hoard on Sept. 25, 2009, at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.


Sen. Paul Kirk (D-MA) was just sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden, to serve in the Senate until the Massachusetts special election in January.

Kirk is not running in that election, and is serving in a caretaker capacity in Ted Kennedy's Senate seat. He is himself a former Kennedy staffer and longtime family friend, and was recommended for the appointment by Kennedy's family.

This also follows a judge's rejection of a Massachusetts Republican Party lawsuit, which attempted to stop the appointment.

The Boston Globe reported that when Kirk arrived in Washington today, he first paid a visit to his late friend's grave, in Arlington National Cemetery.

A single-engine plane wandered into restricted airspace set up for the G-20 Summit today and was immediately met by two fighter jets.

The F-15s escorted the general aviation aircraft to the Wheeling/Ohio Airport. Officials said they are investigating the incident.

On Monday, fighter jets tried to intercept to a small plane that flew into restricted airspace over New Jersey related to President Obama's visit to New York City that day. That plane returned to Central Jersey Airport in Hillsborough before the F-15s reached it, and the pilot was met by aviation officials on the ground.

A new birther infomercial running on a CBS affiliate in Texas and elsewhere around the country tells viewers a "got a birth certificate?" bumper sticker can be theirs for the low price of $30.

The 28-minute program -- quite possibly the first ever birthermercial -- features community access production values, heavy use of foreboding strings soundtrack, and standard-issue Birther ideology.

For a $30 contribution, viewers also get a fax sent in their name to the 50 state attorneys general and Attorney General Eric Holder demanding that President Obama produce his real birth certificate.

Here's the TPMtv highlight reel of the infomercial:

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Here are the line-ups for the Sunday talk shows this weekend:

• ABC, This Week: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

• CBS, Face The Nation: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

• CNN, State Of The Union: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

• Fox News Sunday: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO); Virginia gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell (R); Anti-ACORN activist James O'Keefe.

• NBC, Meet The Press: Former President Bill Clinton; Gov. David Paterson (D-NY); Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA).

Najibullah Zazi planned to carry out an attack on the New York City subway on the anniversary of September 11, a federal prosecutor said today.

Zazi was "intent on being in New York on 9/11," U.S. prosecutor Tim Neff told a federal court in Denver.

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The Chicago Sun-Times reports today that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel asked then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich to appoint a Cook County commissioner to Emanuel's House seat. Blagojevich claims in a new book that Emanuel wanted to be able to run again in 2010 or 2012.

But House members, unlike senators, can never be appointed. Instead, they must be elected -- it's written into the Constitution.

So how could it be that Emanuel -- who served in the House for six years and was chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee -- didn't know that?

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The Massachusetts Republican Party has issued a statement in the wake of a judge's ruling against their effort to stop the appointment of Sen.-designate Paul Kirk -- and there is no mention of an appeal. So it looks like this thing is probably over, and Kirk will be sworn in this afternoon.

Key quote from the statement:

I urge the voters of Massachusetts to not allow the courts the final say in this matter. I believe the ultimate remedy to the untenable situation on Beacon Hill can be found in the voting booths.

It is up to the voters of Massachusetts to finally decide enough is enough and to refuse to re-elect the entrenched incumbents responsible for raising our taxes in the middle of a recession, turning a blind eye to public corruption, and manipulating the law to keep their grip on power.

Shortly before the statement went out, a spokesperson for the state GOP told us that there would be no further comment on their plans, beyond the statement itself. So it looks like they're very angrily waving the white flag.

Full statement after the jump.

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Kimberly Young of Oxford, Ohio, died Wednesday morning a few days short of her 23rd birthday. Hospital officials have said she appeared to have the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu.

But here's why Young's death is news beyond her southwest Ohio community: people who knew her are saying she resisted treatment that could have saved her life -- because she didn't have health insurance.

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Vice President Biden last night helped raise money for three freshman House Democrats from Virginia -- Gerry Connolly, Glenn Nye and Tom Perriello -- and very prominently noted that two of them are from swing seats that could be in real danger in 2010. From the Washington Post pool report:

VPOTUS noted that two of the three Democrats in attendance - U.S. Reps. Glenn Nye and Tom Perriello - would face difficult challenges in their more rural, southern Virginia districts.

"I don't have to tell you that you're in a very competitive state," he said. "You got some tough votes coming up." He noted that the third Virginia House Democrat - U.S. Rep. Gerry Connelly - had a "few liberals" in his left-leaning Northern Virginia district. He called the triumvirate "independent minded" and "damn competent," but united on several core Democratic Party themes, including energy policy and health care.

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