COUNTDOWN! The Biggest News Stories Of Summer 2013 (LIST)

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    Wake up sign at Trayvon Martin protest

    Summer’s coming to a close.

    And while we didn’t get a lot of hot weather, we sure as hell got a lot of hot stories.

    Whether they were sad, positive, shocking or scandalous, the news kept us thoroughly entertained and engaged throughout the summer. There was sex, there was race, there was death and there was life. But most of all, there was DRAMA.

    A lot has happened since June, but here is our list of the hottest (and most heartbreaking) stories of the season (in no particular order).

    122nd Annual Tournament Of Roses Parade Presented By Honda

    Paula Deen Became A Racist:

    So the butter queen herself ran into some trouble this summer when a former employee claimed that the Food Network star used the N-word. Paula admitted to using the offensive word, but only in her past and to describe a bad guy. But the allegations didn’t stop there. In the lawsuit against Deen, the employee said that while planning a wedding for her brother, she suggested they have a slavery theme. What came next wasn’t an easy pill to swallow for the hungry chef. Target, Food Network and QVC were among the companies that dropped her. Eventually the judge threw the case out and Deen and the employee settled out of court.

    George Zimmerman Found Not Guilty In Death Of Trayvon Martin

    George Zimmerman Was Acquitted:

    In the most anticipated trial of the year, George Zimmerman stood before a jury of six women who acquitted him on the second-degree murder charge stemming from the fatal shooting of an unarmed Trayvon Martin in 2012. But the five-week trial was by no means easy. We watched emotional testimony from Trayvon’s family and saw graphic photos of the slain teen. We heard the defense attorney’s arguments that Zimmerman was justified in the killing. And in the aftermath, we dealt with the jury’s decision (and Juror B-37′s profiling of Trayvon). For complete coverage of the trial, click here.

    Trayvon Martin rally

    The World Showed Up To Support Trayvon Martin:

    In the aftermath of Zimmerman’s acquittal, a disgruntled and disheartened nation stood up in the face of injustice and made sure Trayvon’s death was not in vain. Rallies and peaceful marches were organized from New York City to London…and the fight for fairness, equality, gun control and justice continued. To see the heartbreaking but heartwarming photos from the Trayvon rallies, click here.

    Aaron Hernandez Court Appearance

    Aaron Hernandez is Charged with Murder:

    One of the most shocking stories to come out of Summer 2013 was the arrest of former New Englan Patriot, Aaron Hernandez. The football star is accused of shooting and killing his friend and semi-football player, Odin Lloyd. Read all about the bizarre case, here.

    Obama, Former Presidents Commemorate 50th Anniversary Of MLK's March On Washington

    50th Anniversary of the March on Washington:

    In what can be called the full circle moment of the century, President Barack Obama stood where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had 50 years prior and called for the same equal and just America that freedom marchers dreamed about in 1963. The March on Washington turned out nearly 100,000 marchers and was chock-full of speeches and words of wisdom from former presidents, our current president, and civil rights icons who had marched alongside MLK the day he delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech.

    cory Monteith, lea michele, 12th Annual Chrysalis Butterfly Ball

    Cory Monteith‘s Death:

    Just moments after the world was left reeling from the Zimmerman verdict, news that Glee star Cory Monteith was found dead hit us like a ton of bricks. Later it was revealed that the star, who was candid about his addictions with drugs, had overdosed on a mixture of toxicity, including heroin and alcohol.

    Lee Thompson Young facebook photo

    Lee Thompson Young and Gia Allemand Commit Suicide:

    Just days apart the former Bachelor star and Disney’s The Famous Jett Jackson took their own lives away. Read about their struggles above.

    Embattled Mayoral Candidate Anthony Weiner Campaigns In Staten Island

    Anthony Weiner’s Sexting Scandal:

    Late this summer it was revealed that already disgraced congressman (and current NYC mayoral candidate) Anthony Weiner (AKA CARLOS DANGER) was up to no good…again. Turns out he was sexting a 23-year-old political activist (turned porn star) named Sydney Leathers…and she was not afraid to be vocal about their scandalous sext affair. His wife (and aide to Hillary Clinton), Huma Abedin, vowed to stick by his side again, but if the text messages are any indication, she was not happy when she found out. To hear the graphic (but hilarious) sext messages, click here. And to see his, er, uh…wiener…click here. But only if you’re into that type of thing.

    Stop and frisk violated rights

    Stop and Frisk Deemed Unconstitutional:

    In one of the wins for justice this summer, a New York judge deemed the controversial stop-and-frisk policy used by the NYPD to “curb violence” unconstitutional. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a huge advocate of the racially profiling policy, appealed the ruling, but was denied. The judge maintained that police officers have for years been systematically stopping innocent people in the street without any objective reason to suspect them of wrongdoing. Needless to say, Bloomberg is still pissed.

    paris-jackson-heeft-een-nieuwe-look-161_1.jpg

    Paris Jackson Attempts Suicide:

    The daughter of the late Michael Jackson was rushed to the hospital after attempting to commit suicide in June. She reportedly tried to overdose by swallowing 20 Motrin pills and she sliced her arm with a kitchen knife. Sources said that Paris was struggling with depression for a while, but after spending a month at UCLA Medical Center, the 15-year-old is on the road to recovery. We wish her well.

    Obama new dog

    The Obamas Get a New Dog:

    Puppies…White House…Obamas…Duh! See more pictures of Sunny and Bo, here.

    Ariel Castro Courtroom

    Ariel Castro Faces His Victims:

    The horrific story of Michelle Knight, Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry came to an end this summer when their captor, Ariel Castro, was sentenced to life without parole, plus 1,000 years. He held the women captive for over a decade in his Ohio home, verbally abusing, sexually assaulting and beating them. But during his bizarre speech to the judge on the day of his sentencing, Castro tried to make it seem like the four (excluding his daughter with Berry) lived in perfect harmony. He even suggested that they wanted it to happen (no kidding). See it here.

    Royal family portrait, Kate Middleton, Prince William and baby Prince George

    Royal Baby Mania:

    Yep, he’s here and he’s a package of perfect. And while we didn’t know what gender the bundle of joy was before he was born on July 23, we’re just glad he’s healthy. And who is he? Well, that would be George Alexander Louis. Check out some more pictures of the royal heir.

    North West

    That Other Baby Mania:

    North “Nori” West. ‘Nuff said. The kute baby was the perfect edition to the summer, but when dad Kanye West revealed her in August on the Kris Jenner show (just as our summer days were coming to an end), we couldn’t contain our excitement. Try not to squeal.

    Tell us some of your favorite stories that came out of Summer 2013…

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