The Brief

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Fewest U.S. Smokers in 5 Decades

The percentage of adult smokers fell from 20.9% in 2005 to 17.8% in 2013, per a new report, the lowest rate since the CDC began its tracking in 1965

Inside Reagan National Airport As Winter Storm Cato Disrupts Thanksgiving Travel

Storms Disrupt Holiday Travel

Over 4,000 flights were delayed or canceled around the U.S., due to a wintry mix of snow and rain, on one of the busiest travel days of the year

Sarah Koenig

Serial Podcast Gets Season 2

Serial, the most popular podcast in the history of podcasts, will return to give listeners one story told week-by-week with its just-announced second season, staffers wrote on their website Wednesday, about one week after first asking listeners to donate

Members of the burial team carry a body to his grave at King Tom Cemetery in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on Nov. 19, 2014.

Ebola Cases in Sierra Leone Will ‘Soon Eclipse’ Liberia

Sierra Leone will "soon" dethrone Liberia as the hardest-hit country in West Africa's Ebola outbreak, the World Health Organization cautioned Wednesday. Nearly one-fifth of its total cases were reported in a three-week period that ended Sunday

Operations Inside A Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Location Ahead Of Black Friday

Labor Group Plans Strike of Walmart Stores on Black Friday

Employees at Walmart stores in at least six states and Washington, D.C., plan to strike on one of the busiest shopping days of the year to protest workers’ wages and hours. For the third year in a row, OUR Walmart is organizing a massive strike on Black Friday

Darren Wilson Ferguson Police Officer

Darren Wilson's Lawyers: No Plans for Brown Family Apology

The legal team of the white police officer who killed an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson said on Wednesday that he has no plans to apologize to the family of Michael Brown: "Even if he gave the most heartfelt apology, they’d still not like it"

An aerial view of a tract of Amazon jungle recently cleared by loggers and farmers near the city of Novo Progresso

Deforestation Eases in Brazilian Amazon

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon has fallen to its second-lowest level in 25 years, according to Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira. She said 4,848 sq km was felled between August 2013 and July 2014, compared with 5,891 sq km during the same period a year prior

Premiere Of "All You Need Is Love" - Arrivals

Avatar Sequels Will Be 'Bitchin'' Cameron Says

James Cameron has divided Avatar sequel scripts to a team that includes Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silva, Josh Friedman and Shane Salerno. “I can tell you one thing,” Cameron told Empire magazine, “they’re gonna be bitchin'"

Amazon Holds News Conference

Amazon Slashes Kindle Prices for Black Friday

Amazon's $79 Kindle e-reader will be on sale for $49, and the company's Kindle Fire tablets are also dramatically cheaper, with the Fire HD 6 going for a mere $79 (vs. its usual $99 price tag) and the Fire HD 7 on sale for $109 (vs. $139)

FOX's "Masterchef" - Season Five

MasterChef Judge Joe Bastianich to Exit

Entertainment Weekly has confirmed that Bastianich is exiting the franchise after MasterChef Junior's third season. Producers are still searching for someone to replace him alongside returning judges Gordon Ramsay and Graham Elliot