The Brief

A man takes part in a prayer vigil at the site where two police officers were shot in the head in the Brooklyn borough of New York
Carlo Allegri—Reuters

'Don't Blame the Protesters'

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, whose father and grandfather were policemen, argues that the tragic murder of two NYPD officers this weekend should not be used to discredit the growing movement of peaceful protests that have come in response to shootings by police. "Police are not under attack, institutionalized racism is," he writes

School Attack Suspects Arrested

Pakistani police say they have arrested several people suspected of facilitating the deadly attack on a school in the city of Peshawar last week

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Fast Food Could Make Children Perform Worse in School

A new study shows that American children who regularly eat fast food don't perform as well as their fellow students in school. Researchers found kids who eat the most fast food have lower test scores in science, math and reading

Pope Francis delivers his blessing at the end of an audience with Italian athletes in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican

Pope Francis Slams Vatican Bureaucracy

The Pope had some blunt criticism for Vatican bureaucrats on Monday when he urged Roman Curia officials to remember their duty to serve in charity and love “Sometimes, [officials of the Curia] feel themselves ‘lords of the manor,’” he said

Google Top Searches of 2014 List

Western Journalist Granted Access to Islamic State Lands

Jürgen Todenhöfer, the first Western journalist to be granted access to ISIS-controlled territories, has returned with a warning: the terrorist group is "much stronger and much more dangerous” than its adversaries understand

'The Hobbit'

The Hobbit Wins Weekend Box-Office Battle

The Peter Jackson film brought in $56.2 million over the weekend (and $90.6 million since its Wednesday opening), while Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Annie — all films showing in more than 3,000 locations — made almost $40 million less

Kim Jong Un

North Korea Threatens Strikes on U.S. Amid Hacking Claims

President Barack Obama is "recklessly" spreading rumors of a Pyongyang-orchestrated cyberattack of Sony Pictures, North Korea says. Its National Defense Commission warned that its 1.2 million-member army is ready to use all types of warfare against the U.S.

Killings By Police March

Shootings by Police Voted Top Story of 2014 in Poll

The killing of unarmed black men Michael Brown and Eric Garner by police officers was voted the top news story of 2014 in a survey of news directors and editors around the country. Voters placed the Ebola outbreak in West Africa as second biggest

An orangutan named Sandra, covered with a blanket, gestures inside its cage at Buenos Aires' Zoo

Court Grants Sandra the Orangutan Basic Rights

An orangutan named Sandra has been granted certain rights by a court in Argentina. Lawyers argued that Sandra was a “nonhuman person” and was being detained illegally in a zoo. The case rested on whether the court decided the orangutan was a “person” or a “thing”

A DirecTV dish receiver sits on the roof of a home in Denver

Dish Network Drops Fox After Failed Contract Negotiations

Fox News Channel and Fox Business were blacked out Saturday on satellite TV provider Dish Network, after the two parties failed to agree on a new contract, in negotiations that had gone on for the last several weeks. Both sides are pointing fingers at each other