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Police: Webster gunman wanted to ‘kill as many people as possible’

The man who ambushed and killed two firefighters in Webster, New York on Monday left a note saying he wanted to “burn down his neighborhood and kill as many people as possible,” police said on Tuesday. Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering also said the gunman, 62-year-old William Spengler, was armed…

Watch: Police press conference on fatal attack on firefighters

Police are scheduled to hold a press conference on Tuesday regarding the shooting attack that left two firefighters dead and two injured in Webster, New York while responding to a house fire on Monday. Also found dead at the scene was the suspected gunman, William Spengler, who authorities also believe…

Holiday viewing: Discovery uncovers the early roots of Christmas

The commercial impulses behind Christmas celebrations may date back all the way to the very beginning of the holiday, according to this 2009 Discovery Channel report. While the exact origins of the Christian take on the occasion aren’t known, said Joseph Walsh, who chairs the Classics department at Loyola College,…

Holiday viewing: ‘The Memphis Belle’ follows the famous U.S. bomber

Even for a film designed to be a morale-booster, William Wyler’s 1944 documentary The Memphis Belle won unusually high praise after its’ release; the New York Times published a glowing review of the film, calling it “a story that every American should know.” The documentary follows the crew — officially…

Holiday viewing: ‘Plan 9 From Outer Space’

In his opening monologue for Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space, the psychic Criswell declares, “We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives.” In a bizarre way, the movie has proved him right, as…

Tokyo aquarium arranges penguin substitutes for Santa’s elves

An aquarium in Tokyo, Japan has “given Rudolph and the elves a day off” by dressing up a group of penguins in colorful Christmas elf costumes. Aquarium caretaker Shingo Sato said, “We hope to combine the normal joy of seeing animals with Christmas, and by doing so, hope visitors will…

Arson blamed in burning of Brooklyn ‘Occupy Sandy’ church

A two-alarm fire has severely damaged an Episcopal church in Brooklyn, NY that has been serving as a storage and distribution hub for the Occupy Sandy relief effort, just two days ahead of Christmas. According to CBS News New York, fire department officials say that the blaze was intentionally set.…

Threats to family force female squash player to leave Pakistan

A young woman from south Waziristan, in Pakistan, developed a passion and skill for squash — but living in a highly conservative culture that forbade women from sports ultimately forced her to leave the country, reported Al Jazeera English. Maria Toorpakai Wazir played against the boys growing up and even…

New Delhi on lockdown after violent gang-rape riots

India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called for calm on Monday after a weekend of riots left large swaths of New Delhi on police lockdown and all public transportation at a standstill. According to the Wall Street Journal, men and women filled the streets on Saturday and Sunday calling for harsher…

Good Samaritan repairs Sandy-stricken home of disabled 11-year-old

The Troy family of Long Beach, N.Y., is hoping to move back into their home by the end of the year and potentially even by Christmas — a feat considering that a few weeks ago, that seemed impossible, reported the AP. Their home was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy and…

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