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  1. give peace a chance South Sudan Ceasefire Unlikely Ben Curtis/AP

    1. South Sudan Ceasefire Unlikely

    The “White Army,” a South Sudanese tribal militia consisting of 25,000 young men, marched toward the contested territory of Bor on Saturday, making the hoped-for ceasefire unlikely. An estimated 1,000 people have been killed during South Sudan’s almost two week-long crisis after forces allied with former Vice President Riek Machar clashed with the government, which accuses Machar of leading an attempted coup on December 15. East African leaders announced a “cessation of hostilities” on Friday but Machar says that any cease-fire must be negotiated by both sides.

    December 28, 2013 1:47 PM

  2. be prepared Boy Scouts to Accept Gay Members Karen Bleier, AFP / Getty Images

    2. Boy Scouts to Accept Gay Members

    Always be prepared for change. The Boy Scouts of America will begin accepting openly gay members beginning January 1, marking a historic change that BSA leaders are hoping will go over quietly. "My hope is there will be the same effect this Jan. 1 as the Y2K scare," said Brad Haddock, chair of BSA's policy implementation committee. "It's business as usual, nothing happens and we move forward." There are some limits: Scouts may not march in gay pride parades or be distracted by the "advocacy, promotion, or the distribution of information of a sexual nature." BSA also said that if a Scout or parent makes a request not to tent with another Scout, that request must be honored. Openly gay adults are still barred from leadership positions within BSA.

    December 28, 2013 4:47 PM

  3. unlawful Syria Rebels: Barrel Bombs Kill 25 Anadolu Agency/Getty

    3. Syria Rebels: Barrel Bombs Kill 25

    Improvised "barrel bombs" dropped from aircraft into a crowded vegetable market in Aleppo on Saturday, killing 25, including children. Rebels say the Syrian government is behind the attack, which the Syrian Revolution General Commission is calling a "massacre." The barrels dropped from planes were packed with explosives and metal fragments. One man in a video allegedly showing the aftermath of the attack said, "Inside the car there were bodies of women with their heads severed. We put the remains in bags ... May God take his vengeance against you, tyrant," referring to President Assad.

    December 28, 2013 5:37 PM

  4. lifeline lost Jobless Benefits Set to Expire Mary Altaffer/AP

    4. Jobless Benefits Set to Expire

    1.3 million long-term unemployed Americans are set to lose federal unemployment benefits on Saturday, since Congress failed to agree on an extension in the recently passed budget agreement. The Emergency Unemployment Compensation program was enacted during the recession and pays an average of $300 a week to those who have used up the 26 weeks of insurance offered by most states. If extended through next year, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the program would pay out $25 billion.

    December 28, 2013 11:47 AM

  5. tragedy in lebanon Beirut ‘Selfie’ Teen Dies

    5. Beirut ‘Selfie’ Teen Dies

    16-year-old Mohammad al-Chaar, who posed with a group of friends in a “selfie” posted on social media moments before a Beirut car bomb blast went off, succumbed to his wounds on Saturday, becoming the seventh casualty of the attack. The Lebanese teenager and three friends were on a curb in front of the car that also killed former finance minister Mohammad Chatah. AFP photographers saw Chaar lying on the pavement with a head wound before he was taken to the American Hospital in Beirut. The picture of Chaar and his friends has since gone viral, with heartfelt tributes pouring in on social media sites.

    December 28, 2013 1:53 PM

  6. REVEALING New Details in Sandy Hook Report

    6. New Details in Sandy Hook Report

    Connecticut state police released a 6,500-plus page investigative report on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting Friday. The documents include statements from police officers, Sandy Hook employees who survived as well as thousands of photographs—many of them blacked out—heavily-redacted interviews with some of the children who were there, and 911 calls made from inside the school during the shooting. “God he’s...he’s shot a hundred times...he must have some big artillery,” said one of the 911 callers, who is not identified in the documents. The report also offers new details about the house where shooter Adam Lanza lived his mother Nancy. Lanza’s bedroom, which Nancy was not allowed to enter, was darkened by garbage bags taped over the windows and filled with newspaper clippings on mass shootings and a spreadsheet that organized different shootings by the weapons used and how many people were killed.

    December 27, 2013 6:07 PM

  7. mississippi manhunt Bank Robber Wanted for Murder BancorpSouth/AP

    7. Bank Robber Wanted for Murder

    The FBI is seeking help in finding the man accused of robbing a bank and shooting a police officer to death in Mississippi on Monday. Authorities say the same suspect also tried to rob a bank in Atlanta, Georgia on the same day. A wanted poster has been released, showing the suspect in a facemask, patterned jacket, khaki pants and tennis shoes. He is described as between five feet eight inches and six feet tall with a slender build and is believed to have escaped in a gray sedan. 

    December 28, 2013 1:55 PM

  8. JUSTIFIED Judge: NSA Phone Spying Is Legal AP

    8. Judge: NSA Phone Spying Is Legal

    A federal judge in New York decided Friday that the NSA’s mass collection of phone data is lawful. In his opinion on the lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, U.S. District Judge William Pauley argued that the program was part of the government’s post 9/11 attempt to adapt “to confront a new enemy: a terror network capable of orchestrating attacks across the world.” In his opinion, Pauley wrote that, “The collection of breathtaking amounts of information unprotected by the Fourth Amendment does not transform that sweep into a Fourth Amendment search,” referring to the prohibition on unreasonable search and seizure. 

    December 27, 2013 11:51 AM

  9. letting go McMath Family Not Giving Up Ben Margot/AP

    9. McMath Family Not Giving Up

    The family of 13-year-old Jahi McMath, who was declared brain dead three days after suffering complications from tonsil surgery, is just not giving up. On Thursday, the brain dead teen’s uncle told reporters that a “miracle” happened: “We found out that someone is willing to take Jahi away from Children’s Hospital to a facility nearby here in the Bay Area to treat her.” Still, the teen’s body would need to have tracheostomy and gastrostomy tubes put in before she could be moved, which doctors at the Children’s Hospital are not willing to do. "Children's Hospital Oakland does not believe that performing surgical procedures on the body of a deceased person is an appropriate medical practice,” Chief of Pediatrics David Durand said. 

    December 28, 2013 1:57 PM

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  11. spears on the strip Britney's Vegas Show Debuts Denise Truscello/AP

    10. Britney's Vegas Show Debuts

    It’s Britney, Strip-style. The princess of pop’s Las Vegas residency kicked off Friday night with a show that the AP called “strikingly like the Cirque du Soleil productions found elsewhere on the Strip.” The 90-minute performance featured acrobats, human-size hamster wheels, a live band and a “frequently airborne Spears.” Costume changes included one that resembled what Spears wore in the “Toxic” music video and plaid shirts tied around dancers’ waists, a callback to the ‘90s and early 2000s. Spears will perform 50 shows each in 2014 and 2015 at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino.

    December 28, 2013 2:00 PM

  12. travel nightmare Indian Train Fire Kills 26 AP

    11. Indian Train Fire Kills 26

    A traveler’s worst nightmare came true on Saturday when fire engulfed a coach of a train in southern India, killing at least 26 passengers. The fire broke out around 3:45 a.m. as passengers broke windows to escape but many died after becoming trapped and suffocating as doors failed to open. India’s Railways Minister said preliminary reports indicate that the fire was started by an electrical short circuit. The train, which was traveling from Bangalore to Nanded, was about a mile from the small town of Puttaparthi when the fire broke out.

    December 28, 2013 1:49 PM

  13. THAT WAS FAST Phil Robertson Back In at A&E

    12. Phil Robertson Back at A&E

    Phil Robertson’s indefinite suspension is over before it started. A&E announced that the Duck Dynasty star, who was put on hiatus after he likened homosexuality to beastality and whitewashed Jim Crow, will not be taken off the show. The Robertson family, A&E noted in a statement about its decision, has denounced the “coarse language” used by its patriarch to explain his personal views in the now-infamous interview. “But Duck Dynasty is not a show about one man’s views. It resonates with a large audience because it is a show about family...a family that America has come to love,” said A&E. “As you might have seen in many episodes, they come together to reflect and pray for unity, tolerance, and forgiveness. These are three values that we at A&E Networks also feel strongly about.”

    December 27, 2013 5:25 PM