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Pope Francis gestures at the end of his weekly general audience on Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican on October 22, 2014 (AFP Photo/Filippo Monteforte)

Pope to issue 2015 edict on climate change guaranteed to anger deniers

In 2015, the pope will issue a lengthy message on climate change to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, give an address to the UN general assembly, and call for a summit of the world’s main religions.
Harlingen Police Department  Sergeant Michael Brooks demonstrates gun lock (KRGV

Texas teen shoots father in the face in Christmas present dispute

A Texas father is recovering, but will lose one of his eyes, after being shot in the face by one of his sons after the man got into a dispute with another son over his Christmas present.
Chris Kyle, subject of upcoming Clint Eastwood film, 'American Sniper' (Facebook)

Murder trial and lawsuits cloud holiday release of ‘American Sniper’ movie

The real-life story behind Hollywood’s “American Sniper,” rolled out this holiday season, has been a dark tale of lawsuits and a pending murder trial for the man accused of gunning down the movie’s hero.
Members of the Mendocino High School girls basketball team (Ft. Bragg Advocate - Facebook)

California high school bans ‘I Can’t Breathe’ T-shirts during basketball tournament

A northern California high school has ordered student athletes to not wear “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts for their warmups at an inter-school basketball tournament after the school was disinvited by the host school’s athletic director.
Bianca Rodriguez and Ed Cahill (Facebook.com)

Indiana man killed by his pit bull on Christmas Day

Eddie Cahill of Portage, Indiana was found dead of multiple bite wounds when his wife Bianca Rodriguez returned home on Thursday after spending part of Christmas Day with relatives.
Hattie McDaniel as "Mammy" in "Gone With the Wind" (TCM)

Racism versus realism: The difficult questions around ‘Gone With the Wind’ and the antebellum South

Seventy-five years after its release, Gone With The Wind is recognized as a Hollywood masterpiece. But when news first spread that Margaret Mitchell’s Civil War romance was to become a movie, David O. Selznick was accused of glorifying Southern racism.
Law enforcement officers turn their backs on a video monitor as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during the funeral of slain New York Police Department (NYPD) officer Rafael Ramos near Christ Tabernacle Church in the Queens borough of New York December 27, 2014. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

Hundreds of NYPD officers turn backs on de Blasio during funeral address

Hundreds of New York City police officers turned their backs on Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio as he gave his remarks at the funeral for slain police officer Rafael Ramos on Saturday.
Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman smiles during the World Business Forum in New York (AFP)

Paul Krugman offers 4 reasons to be cheerful at the end of 2014

Despite all the miserable messages about a world spinning out of control and a government completely not up to the task of confronting tough problems, "a number of major government policies worked just fine."