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Friday Flashback: Syria, Edgar Tamayo, Virginia gay marriage and more

Mexico Texas Execution

Tony Rivera/AP

In this Jan. 19, 2014 photo, a woman holds up a sign showing a photo of Texas death-row inmate Edgar Tamayo that reads in Spanish "The town of Miacatlan offers you our support, Edgar Tamayo Arias" during a protest demanding Tamayo's pardon in his hometown of Miacatlan, Mexico.

It's Friday! And that means it's time for another Friday Flashback, our look a the week in news. To help us with that we're joined this week by columnist James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times and Nancy Cook of National Journal.

The Syrian government and opposition representatives are at the United Nations in Geneva this week with the hope of ending the country's civil war. But, it looks like both sides are refusing to directly talk to one another.  

Texas angered Mexico this week when it executed 46-year-old Edgar Tamayo. He was a Mexican national found guilty of killing a Houston cop after a bar fight in 1994. Why was this was so controversial?

The attorney general of Virginia, Mark Herring, decided that the state's ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional and that he'll no longer defend it in federal lawsuits. Virginia is historically pretty republican -- how significant is this for the fight over gay marriage?

On to the economy, the World Economic Forum has been underway in Davos, Switzerland and we learned this week that the number of job openings and people leaving their jobs here in the U.S. reached a five-year high. It might not sound like it but this is actually good news.

In other economic news, a study this week found that — contrary to popular belief — income inequality has not gotten worse over the last 20 years. That could really affect the political debate we're having now and leading up to the mid-term elections. What does this really mean?

Looking ahead to next week, President Obama will deliver his State of the Union speech. The White House has been planning a big social media roll-out leading up to it. How will it compare to last year and what are you expecting to hear from it?

A new AP poll finds that less than a third of Americans consider Obama to be an above-average commander in chief, but nearly twice as many find him likable. 

Speaking of the president, this week he also launched a federal task force to combat sexual assault on college campuses. This has been a controversial issue we've covered a lot here on Take Two, but why is a federal task force is being called in?

The President also made some comments this week about marijuana. He still opposes legalizing it but he called it no more harmful than alcohol. We also heard from Texas governor republic Rick Perry who seemed to be staking out a surprisingly liberal positions on it, implying he wants to and has taken steps to decriminalize it. How big of a deal is this?

Pop star Justin Bieber was arrested this week in Miami and charged with drunken driving, resisting arrest and driving without a valid license. What would it take to get this guy deported?


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