ABC News Update

Latest headlines from ABC News
3:00 | 12/28/11

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Transcript for ABC News Update
It's now less than a week -- the all important Iowa caucus front runners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have moved from polite handshakes. To an all out war of words all this has yet another front runner emerging. ABC's Karen Travers has more. The Republican presidential race has turned into Hong Kong's -- our -- and less than a week until Iowa votes. Potential upset -- Ron Paul could win the caucus is -- -- -- seven year old Texas congressman makes no apologies for his libertarian views. Which many Republicans say placed him -- -- out of the mainstream of the party. So how big of a threat is Ron Paul in Iowa. Just listen to how his opponents -- piled on. -- on CNN could you vote for him. Paul is going on offense releasing a new ad today in Iowa -- New Hampshire consistent. -- Gingrich has taken his own punches and -- has a ton of package. An independent report well -- Romney's supporters has just pummeled Gingrich with native -- Spent three point -- million dollars that's almost twice the amount the Romney camp -- spent. He makes pledged to stay positive but under the constant barrage he started to get personal. -- -- -- -- -- If you want to run a negative campaign and you wanna attack people at least be man enough donut. Meanwhile Romney campaign and I'm not allowed to coordinate with the. Told -- My goodness if if we coordinate in any way whatsoever we go to the big house. Ron Paul surge may be the best thing to happen to Mitt Romney if it means that rank and file Republicans come around and throw him their support. Karen Travers ABC news Washington. With less than a leaking out till the Iowa caucus candidate Michelle Bachmann says the country needs a conservative Republican to defeat President Obama. And she has won in mind. The Minnesota lawmaker compared to 2012 election with. 1980 when she said Americans need it Ronald Reagan to defeat Jimmy Carter. She also referred to another powerful politician from the eighties -- just like. Britain needed a very strong woman and Margaret Thatcher. She went on to turn that country around and she was -- iron lady. The United States I think we need our own and I certainly we -- our -- Margaret Thatcher and that's what I. Bachmann made her iron lady comments during her 99 county bus tour. It just gotten much trickier for the Democrats to hang onto the US senate Nebraska senator Ben Nelson has announced he is retiring. Nelson is a Democrat in the state that it's growing increasingly conservative. There's a large line of Republicans who want to replace him but not one Democrat in the -- Republicans need to winds -- seats nationwide to take back the senate. Ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak is back in court. The 83 year -- trial we started today after a three month hiatus. Mubarak appeared in the defendant cage while lying on a hospital bed. He's facing charges related to the killing of more than 800 protesters during the country's uprising earlier this year Mubarak faces the death penalty if he's found guilty. His next court appearance is set for January 2. A new threat from -- -- over how the country will respond to sanctions. Iran's vice president is threatening to close off the Strait of Hormuz the waterway leading into the Persian gulf at the US imposes new sanctions on Iran or its nuclear program. That waterway is vital because nearly 40% of the world's oil travels through it. In Syria there are reports that 755. Prisoners detained over the last nine months during the uprising have been set free. Their release is one of the key terms of the Arab League peace plan to stop the bloodshed. The UN says more than 5000 people have been killed since March in the political violence across Syria. The northeast is drying out today after gathering getting battered by drenching downpours and gusty winds. Nearly two inches of rain came down near Philadelphia making -- and stream overflowed their -- Winds hit forty miles an hour and drivers had to make their way through flooded. The buildup to the Oscars is now under -- the official poster of the 84 Academy Awards it out. For the first time it features images of iconic movies a celebration of the movies that changed our lives. Here's ABC's Josh -- This is already building about the Oscar contenders. They -- the movies that make such a significant impact in our lives celebrating the stories in -- -- -- Single day in my life. And -- that the academy is launching its newest campaigns we want people to celebrate their memories with us and him that night. They are the heroes the icons like -- embracing scarlet in gone with the wind you should be -- -- Am -- someone who no -- they -- the smiles we get when Julie Andrews sings the -- musical hill. Witness son -- you lose you. And the godfather of all great lines. -- good enough we can't refuse they all had impact on an audience around the world. Because the very best part about going to the movies is just like that one guys you never know what you're gonna get. -- -- ABC's Josh Elliott the Academy Awards take place on February 26 you can watch them live on ABC.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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