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  1. WON’T BACK DOWN NRA Stands Firm on Gun Laws William B. Plowman/NBC NewsWire, via Getty

    1. NRA Stands Firm on Gun Laws

    In case its stance wasn’t already clear, the National Rifle Association reaffirmed its opposition to any new gun laws drafted in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. “I know this town wants to argue about gun control,” Wayne LaPierre, the NRA vice president, said on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday. “I don’t think it will work.” LaPierre reiterated his suggestion that all U.S. schools should have armed guards. "If it's crazy to call for putting police in and securing our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy," he said, insisting that California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s push to reinstate the now-expired assault-weapons ban will do nothing to protect children. So far, Republican leaders have been hesitant to back the NRA's proposed plan. 

    December 23, 2012 3:00 PM

  2. PAYING TRIBUTE Obama Attends Sen. Inouye’s Memorial Marco Garcia/AP

    2. Obama Attends Sen. Inouye’s Memorial

    Hawaii’s late Senator Daniel Inouye was honored at a dignitary-filled memorial service Sunday. President Obama and Harry Reid attended the ceremony, which included a 19-gun cannon salute as the coffin arrived to be buried at Honolulu’s National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. "Daniel was the best senator among us all,” Reid said in a eulogy. “Whenever we needed a noble man to lean on, we turned to Sen. Dan Inouye. He was fearless.” Senator Inouye, a noted World War II veteran, passed away following respiratory complications a week ago. He was the second-longest serving senator in U.S. history.

    December 23, 2012 5:45 PM

  3. CONTROL Battle Lines Drawn on Gun Control Jason DeCrow/AP

    3. Battle Lines Drawn on Gun Control

    Congress is primed to face off on gun control laws in the wake of public pressure since the massacre in Newtown, Conn. On Sunday’s Meet the Press, Sen. Lindsey Graham said the focus should be on mental health and school security, rather than banning assault rifles. “I don’t suggest you take my right to buy an AR-15 away from me, because I don’t think that it will work,” he said. Later, Sen. Charles Schumer said trying to reduce gun violence without restricting the purchasing of them would be “like trying to prevent lung cancer without talking about cigarettes.” Last week, the White House drafted a list of proposed gun-law changes, and advocates say some of these could be put into play without Congress’s approval.

    December 23, 2012 8:40 PM

  4. LAWBREAKER/MAKER Senator Crapo Apologizes for DUI Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

    4. Senator Crapo Apologizes for DUI

    He was just so worried about the fiscal cliff. Mike Crapo, Idaho’s Republican senator, was arrested at 12:45 a.m. Sunday after running a red light—and was taken into custody for driving under the influence. Crapo was released on a $1,000 bond, and apologized in a statement late Sunday, saying, “I made a mistake for which I apologize to my family, my Idaho constituents, and any others who have put their trust in me. I accept total responsibility and will deal with whatever penalty comes my way in this matter.”

    December 23, 2012 9:55 PM


    5. Over 100 Killed by Syrian Warplanes

    More than 100 people, lined up for bread at a bakery in central Syria, were killed in an airstrike by Syrian warplanes, antigovernment activists say. An amateur video reportedly shows bodies splayed outside a collapsed building, and blood pouring into the street. One activist who had been in the area at the time said that hundreds of people lined up for bread upon hearing that, after days without flour, the bakery had just received a shipment from Turkey.

    December 23, 2012 6:30 PM

  6. HERO SEAL Team 4 Commander Dies In Afghanistan U.S. Navy, via AP

    6. SEAL Team 4 Commander Dies

    SEAL Team 4 Cmdr. Job W. Price died in Afghanistan on Saturday, according to Pentagon officials. The details of his death were unclear, but the Defense Department said in a statement that it wasn’t combat-related, and the incident is still under investigation. The 42-year-old Price, from Pottstown, Penn., was working on stability operations in the Uruzgan Province in Afghanistan. He’s the second SEAL Team member to die in Afghanistan this month. Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas D. Checque, from the famed SEAL Team 6, was killed in eastern Afghanistan during a rescue mission.

    December 23, 2012 3:57 PM

  7. ANTI-RAPE MOVEMENT Over 70 Injured in New Delhi Protest Daniel Berehulak/Getty

    7. Over 70 Injured in New Delhi Protest

    Neither tear gas nor water cannons could deter thousands of demonstrators from taking a stand in New Delhi, violating the Indian capital’s ban against protests for the second day in a row. The protesters are seeking justice for the 23-year-old woman who was gang-raped on a bus last week. According to a police spokesman, up to 35 protesters and 40 police personnel had been injured Saturday in just one of several anti-rape protests that have turned violent across India this past week.

    December 23, 2012 8:32 AM

  8. HOLIDAY SPIRIT Pope’s Christmas Message: Gay Marriage Is Wrong Eric Vandeville / Vatican Pool via Getty Images

    8. Pope’s Christmas Message: Gay Marriage Is Wrong

    Tis the season … to denounce gay marriage? Pope Benedict XVI used his annual Christmas message to tell his followers that gay marriage is a “manipulation of nature” that will destroy the “essence of the human creature.” Gay marriage, the pope said Friday, is a threat to world peace—just like everyone’s other favorite issues, abortion and euthanasia. LGBT activists protested Benedict’s statements in St. Peter’s Square. Roughly 59 percent of American Catholics are in favor of gay marriage, which may be why the pope felt he had to reaffirm the Church’s stance against it. Meanwhile, on Sunday in Illinois, more than 250 clergy members endorsed legislation that would allow same-sex couples to marry.

    December 23, 2012 5:55 PM

  9. OBIT

    9. Gay Activist Richard Adams Dies

    Early gay activist Richard Adams died Monday at age 65, following a brief illness. Married to his partner in 1975, Adams was one of the first public same-sex marriage proponents. He filed a lawsuit after his husband’s residency application was rejected—and included an anti-gay slur from U.S. immigration—which was the first federal lawsuit seeking recognition for married gay couples. In 1975 , Adams and his partner were one of the first gay couples to receive a marriage license from a county clerk in Boulder, Colo., along with five other same-sex couples. Also on Sunday, Pope Benedict denounced same-sex marriage as a “manipulation of nature” in his annual Christmas message.

    December 23, 2012 4:10 PM

  10. REALITY Bethenny Frankel, Husband Split Jeff Christensen / AP Photo

    10. Bethenny Frankel, Husband Split

    After two years of marriage, reality star Bethenny Frankel and her husband, Jason Hoppy, are splitting up. “This was an extremely difficult decision that as a woman and a mother, I have to accept as the best choice for our family,” Frankel said of their breakup. “We have love and respect for one another and will continue to amicably co-parent our daughter who is and will always remain our first priority. This is an immensely painful and heartbreaking time for us.” The couple’s courtship and marriage were documented in two reality series for Bravo.

    December 23, 2012 3:04 PM

  11. HISTORICAL REVENGE Tarantino Game for ‘Basterds’ Trilogy The Weinstein Company

    11. Tarantino Game for ‘Basterds’ Trilogy

    Quentin Tarantino sat down with The Root editor in chief Henry Louis Gates Jr. to discuss whether his upcoming film Django Unchained is actually the second installment in a historical revenge-fantasy trilogy starting with Inglorious Basterds. The gratuitous-gore-loving director revealed that the Brad Pitt–led renegade band of Nazi hunters was only a side story in his original vision for Inglorious Basterds, and that the larger plot, about black American troops revolting against their white soldiers and officers, was ultimately cut. That story—which Tarantino said is already half written—would likely be the third installment of the Inglorious Basterds series and would take place in 1944, after the invasion of Normandy. As for when we’ll see the next great historical revenge? We’ll have to stay tuned.

    December 23, 2012 9:51 AM

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  13. MAD LITIGIOUS Nas Sued by Kidnapping Victim Lisa Lake / Getty Images

    12. Nas Sued by Kidnapping Victim

    This is what happens when you’re a no-show, Nas. A concert promoter who says he was held captive for 50 days by Angolan promoters is suing the rapper for $10 million after Nas failed to show up for a New Year’s Eve concert—that he had already been paid for. Patrick Allocco says he was taken hostage December 2011 by the concert promoters and their “henchmen” who wanted Nas’s $300,000 advance fee back. Allocco is claiming he suffered physically, financially, and psychologically as a result of the kidnapping.

    December 22, 2012 10:00 PM

  14. TESTING THE WATERS North Korea Expands Missile Range South Korea Defense Ministry/AP

    13. North Korea Expands Missile Range

    We usually expect North Korea to be all talk when it comes to weapons technology, but South Korea warns that its reclusive neighbor’s latest rocket launch suggests Pyongyang may be capable of launching a warhead 6,200 miles—putting the United States’ West Coast within range. According to U.N. sanctions, North Korea is banned from any type of missile or nuclear-technology testing, so this month it simply sent a weather satellite into orbit. But critics aren’t buying it, suggesting that the satellite launch was just practice for doing the same with a nuclear warhead. South Korea retrieved parts of the rocket that fell into its waters and, after testing its materials, determined that North Korea had secured a range of over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles) for a warhead between 500 and 600 kilograms in size—that’s roughly 1,100 to 1,300 pounds.

    December 23, 2012 8:24 AM

  15. OPINION Study Suicide First, Then Murders Don Emmert/AFP, via Getty

    14. Study Suicide First, Then Murders

    The perpetrator of the Newton, Conn., school shooting was also one of his own victims. “Suicide is not as newsworthy as homicide,” writes Andrew Solomon in The New York Times. But, he insists, understanding why someone like Adam Lanza wanted to take his own life is the first step toward understanding why he would want to take the lives of so many others. Self-hatred is not uncommon among adolescents, he points out; still, most angry youths lash out at their parents and peers, they don’t kill them. Solomon concludes that mental-health screenings for children are imperative, as is constant care—as in dentistry—“to prevent decay.”

    December 23, 2012 9:03 AM

  16. CHANGE OF HEART Pakistani Official: Attack Taliban Aamir Qureshi/AFP/Getty

    15. Pakistani Official: Attack Taliban

    In an uncharacteristic move, a senior Pakistani official, Asfandyar Wali Khan, called for Pakistan to track down Taliban-militant sanctuaries. Khan is the first ally of President Asif Ali Zardari’s to express agreement with the United States’ demand that Pakistan take action against the Taliban’s militant sanctuaries. Khan’s comments came after a senior minister, one of his party colleagues, was killed in a suicide attack in Peshawar on Saturday. “We must go after their sanctuaries,” he said. “Whether anyone stands with us or not, we have to fight this mindset.”

    December 23, 2012 8:41 AM

  17. BASKETS AND BALLS Steve Nash Returns, Lakers Win Ezra Shaw/Getty

    16. Steve Nash Returns, Lakers Win

    He’s back. For those Lakers fans actually experiencing apocalypse-like symptoms—Los Angeles’s basketball team was supposed to be a superpower, but instead it’s struggling with a losing record—there is hope. Lakers point guard Steve Nash, known for his Canadian roots and formerly Katie Couric–style hair, returned to the team after missing 24 games with a fracture in his leg. Not only did Nash score 12 points and tally 9 assists (while Kobe Bryant also added 34), but he boosted the Lakers to an overtime win against Golden State. And he’s rocking a new haircut.

    December 23, 2012 8:55 AM

  18. ART-HOUSE BLOCKBUSTER Good Movies Make Money Claudette Barius / AP Photo

    17. Good Movies Make Money

    Good movies aren’t just for film nerds anymore. Historically the movies that take home golden statues and accumulate festival accolades rake in relatively little at the box office, but this year’s crop of Oscar bait is slated to be more blockbuster than indie house. Chalk it up to baby boomers spreading the word among moviegoing adults about films like Lincoln and Life of Pi, or the fact that film studios are taking the drama down a notch, so as to attract a wider audience. Or perhaps box-office successes are just getting better. Movies like End of Watch, Argo, and even Magic Mike have garnered both critical acclaim and high ticket sales. Regardless, this awards season, even mainstream moviegoers will be able to recognize the nominees.

    December 23, 2012 8:45 AM

  19. OUTSTANDING BALANCE Steve Jobs’s Yacht Impounded Ed Oudenaarden/AFP/Getty

    18. Steve Jobs’s Yacht Impounded

    It’s only fitting that Steve Jobs’s personally designed yacht would be described as “showing the elegance of intelligence.” Unfortunately, the Apple CEO passed away before his high-tech boat ever went to sea. Even more unfortunate for his family, the yacht’s designer, Philippe Starck, is now claiming that they owe him an outstanding €3 million for the project. He’s called the debt collectors and had the yacht impounded in the Port of Amsterdam. Jobs commissioned Starck, known for such designs as a spaceship-shaped aluminum lemon squeezer, to create his minimalist yacht named Venus. The two worked on it together for five years, and as Stark’s lawyer explained, “These guys trusted each other, so there wasn’t a very detailed contract.”

    December 23, 2012 8:49 AM

  20. YES MAN Will Chavez’s Successor Go Rogue? Francisco Batista/Miraflores Press Office, via AP

    19. Will Chavez’s Successor Go Rogue?

    Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro was chosen as Hugo Chavez’s successor for his “yes man,” qualities, known for following orders and being sure to deflect attention to the ailing, but still in charge, president. But some, like former Colombian foreign minister Maria Emma Mejia, see Maduro as more of “a moderate man, a pragmatic man,” than a yes man, and predict that he will take on a more soft-handed approach to leading Venezuela than his uncooperative predecessor. Though he’s worked alongside the bullish Chavez and his policies for many years, Mejia noted, “He is not dogmatic in a way that rejects other people’s positions.” Others wonder, still, whether Chavez’s legacy will even allow Maduro to forge his own path in Venezuelan history.

    December 23, 2012 8:29 AM

  21. CONTENTIOUS Brotherhood: 'Yes' to Constitution Daniel Berehulak/Getty

    20. Brotherhood: 'Yes' to Constitution

    Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood got the constitution it wanted, so it claims. After two controversial rounds of voting, the brotherhood unofficially declared a win, with 64 percent support, for the Islamic-backed constitution. The country’s election commission—which has reliably tallied accurate results for past elections—will announce the official outcome tomorrow. Opposition groups already dispute the Brotherhood's alleged win, calling for an investigation into claims of voter fraud. While Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and his party pushed the constitution under the guise of bringing unity and stability to Egypt, the legitimacy of the redesigned government framework may be weakened by a low voter turnout of 32 percent and claims of voting violations.

    December 23, 2012 8:19 AM