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The AC360 Weekly Buzz: State of the Union, Gabby Giffords, Egypt, Romney, Gingrich, Oscars
January 25th, 2012
09:10 PM ET

The AC360 Weekly Buzz: State of the Union, Gabby Giffords, Egypt, Romney, Gingrich, Oscars

 What everyone’s talking about:

Tuesday night, President Obama delivered his State of the Union speech to Congress in the House chamber focusing on his trademark policies – tax increases for the wealthy, Wall Street reform, health care reform, government stimulus spending – along with topics that could please the Republicans such as corporate tax breaks and expanded oil and gas development. He also emphasized the current disunity of Congress and declared: “What's at stake aren't Democratic values or Republican values, but American values, and we have to reclaim them."

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords resigned in an emotional ceremony on Capitol Hill Wednesday. The former congresswoman, who Rep. Nancy Pelosi called the “brightest star Congress has ever seen,” announced her resignation on Sunday in a video message. She plans to focus on her recovery from last year’s shooting in Tucson, Arizona that left six people dead. Her presence at Tuesday’s State of the Union address was particularly touching. Arizona GOP Rep. Jeff Flake rose with Giffords at key moments throughout the speech to help her stand up, even though they may disagree politically. To understand the medical hurdles in Giffords’ remarkable recovery, Anderson spoke to Dr. Sanjay Gupta earlier this week.

Thousands of Egyptians flooded Cairo’s Tahrir Square Wednesday waving flags and chanting slogans exactly one year since protesters took to the streets in an 18-day uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak. And earlier this week the democratically-elected Egyptian parliament met Monday for the first time since Mubarak stepped down. It’s the country’s first parliament to be dominated by Islamists, who were previously banned from running for office during President Mubarak’s rule.

The Oscar nominations were announced Tuesday. ‘Hugo’ and ‘The Artist’ lead the list with 11 and 10 nominations, respectively, including best picture. Which movies and actors are you rooting for?

And an Ohio news station’s innovative storytelling lands it (and its puppets) on our RidicuList!

Today’s Scoop:

With the Florida Republican presidential debate and primary around the corner, we’re looking into the financial history of the two frontrunners, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Anderson is Keeping Them Honest.

And we’ll be talking politics with Bill Maher, host of HBO’s “Real Time” – join us at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET tonight for a conversation you won’t want to miss!

American special forces made a daring overnight rescue, via helicopter, in Somalia, saving two kidnapped aid workers – one American and one Dane. A U.S. official told CNN that among the rescuers were Navy SEALs from the same unit that killed Osama bin Laden. More insight into the rescue mission tonight on AC360.

A look ahead:

Tune in to tomorrow when CNN, the Republican Party of Florida and the Hispanic Leadership Network host the Republican presidential debate in Jacksonville, Florida at 8 p.m. ET. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer will moderate the two-hour debate; be sure to stick around for Anderson’s post-debate wrap-up live from Florida.

Buzz-winning story:

Historians are calling recently uncovered JFK audio tapes a gold mine. The former U.S. president, looking ahead at his calendar, calls a particular Monday “tough” due to his tight schedule. That Monday turned out to be the day of his funeral. It’s a chilling look at an historic moment, and the every day life of President Kennedy.

Follow Deena Sami on Twitter.

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