AP Top News at 8:47 a.m. EST

President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 24, 2011, on a presidential initiative to support military families.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 24, 2011, on a presidential initiative to support military families.

Addressing a demand for economic answers, President Barack Obama will try to convince the American people and a divided Congress that he has a vision for speeding up job creation, promoting spending on the core of his agenda but promising to rein in a growing, staggering debt. His State of the Union address will reflect reality: The economy trumps all. To a nationwide television audience Tuesday night, Obama will home in on jobs, the issue of most importance to the public and to his hopes for a second term.

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The 83rd annual Academy Award nominations for lead actor in a motion picture have been announced in Beverly Hills, Calif., by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The category's nominees announced Tuesday morning are: Colin Firth, "The King's Speech"; Jesse Eisenberg, "The Social Network"; James Franco, "127 Hours"; Javier Barden, "Biutiful"; and Jeff Bridges, "True Grit."

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon's president has formally appointed a Hezbollah-backed candidate as prime minister-designate and asked him to form a new government. Billionaire businessman and former premier Najib Mikati won a majority of parliament support in two days of voting that ended Tuesday.

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin vowed "retribution is inevitable" for the suicide bombing that killed 35 people at Russia's busiest airport, while President Dmitry Medvedev demanded full security checks at all transport hubs Tuesday and lashed out at the airport for lax security. Putin has built much of his reputation on harsh statements, and the Russian news agencies that reported his comments Tuesday did not say whether he specified what kind of retribution or against whom.

CHICAGO (AP) — Suddenly the campaign to replace retiring Mayor Richard M. Daley looks like an actual race. For months, three of the main candidates struggled for attention while former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel outpolled and outraised them, blanketed the airwaves with television ads and gained the endorsement of former President Bill Clinton, who came to town to campaign for Emanuel.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's top adviser on energy and climate matters is stepping down, two White House officials confirmed Monday. The departure of Carol Browner underscores that there will be no major White House push on climate change, given that such efforts have little chance of succeeding on Capitol Hill. Browner, a former Environmental Protection Agency administrator under President Bill Clinton, will be leaving the White House just as Republicans in Congress prepare to take on the Obama administration over global warming and the administration's response to the massive Gulf oil spill.

PHOENIX (AP) — The 22-year-old man accused in a deadly Arizona rampage that critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has made his first public statement regarding his role in the shooting: He's not guilty. Jared Loughner entered the plea Monday to federal charges of trying to assassinate Giffords and kill two of her aides. He also faces murder charges in the deaths of a federal judge and another Giffords aide killed in the Tucson shootings, and more charges were expected.

NEW YORK (AP) — Your sweetheart or your pet. Who would you choose to dump if one had to go? Most current pet owners said they would hold on to their spouse or significant other (84 percent), but a sizable 14 percent picked their pet, according to an AP-Petside.com poll.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Fox Sports chairman David Hill believes NASCAR races need to be shortened to fit into a three-hour broadcast window. Hill said Monday night the length of races — many stretch well into a fourth hour — is one of the problems that's contributed to NASCAR's sinking television ratings.

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Two points into the final game of his Australian Open quarterfinal against Roger Federer on Tuesday, Stanislas Wawrinka steadied himself to try returning a forehand smash. Wawrinka playfully waved his racket over his head in a mock attempt to return it. Forget it, the ball sailed past him and Federer won the point.