The Brief

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during the Police Athletic League December Luncheon in Manhattan
Kevin Hagen—Reuters

NYC Mayor: 'Put Aside Protests'

NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio called for a halt Monday to political debates and protests as the city mourns the fatal shooting of two police officers — but within hours, demonstrators said they would defy calls for a temporary cessation in protests against police brutality

Evergreen Enterprise On the Road in North Korea

North Korea Goes Dark

North Korea's Internet went completely offline Monday, just days after President Obama warned of a "proportional response" to the hack against Sony

Oklahoma Execution Lawsuit

Judge OKs Oklahoma Executions

Federal judge ruled Oklahoma's lethal injection protocols constitutional and said scheduled executions of 4 death row inmates can proceed

Joe Cocker In Concert At Zenith In Paris

Rock Star Joe Cocker Dead At 70

Joe Cocker died Monday at age 70, after losing a battle with lung cancer, his management staff confirmed. Cocker, a British-born musician who rose to fame in the 1960s, was known for his bluesy voice and cover of The Beatles' "With A Little Help From My Friends"

An illuminated Christmas tree is seen near the New York Stock Exchange building as preparations for Christmas celebrations get started in New York on Dec. 13,2014.

Weather Outside Will Be Frightful, Holiday Forecast Promises

Rain will slink across the East Coast and parts of the South on Monday and Tuesday, with heavy-duty storms set to put a damper on Christmas Eve travel. Rain is expected from Boston to Washington on Wednesday, with snow in Mississippi and the Great Lakes

A picture shows copies of the novel "Fifty Shades of Grey" on display at a book shop in central London on July 19, 2012.

50 Shades of Grey to Debut at Berlin Film Festival

The film adaptation of E L James’s best-seller about the erotic awakening of a young woman and her mysterious billionaire boyfriend will make its international debut at February’s Berlin Film Festival, two days before the film opens in U.S. theaters on Feb. 13

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

A trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Dec. 22, 2014.

Stocks Surge on Growing Economic Confidence

The U.S. market rose broadly on Monday after posting huge gains to close out the previous week, effectively rebounding from a seven-day sell-off earlier this month, with the Dow Jones once again inching toward the 18,000-point mark

FRANCE-CRIME-POLICE-CHRISTMAS

France Hit By Second Car Attack in 3 Days

A driver in the small town of Nantes rammed his vehicle into a crowded Christmas marketplace on Monday, injuring several people before stabbing himself repeatedly. A day earlier, a driver in Dijon had ploughed his vehicle into a group of pedestrians.

Google Unveils Self-Driving Car Prototype

The company's famous autonomous vehicle comes a step closer to reality with a prototype it called the "best holiday gift we could’ve imagined." Built out of parts from other manufacturers, the fully functional vehicle will begin testing over the holidays

Dog in cage

Baltimore Cops Bust Dog-Fighting Ring

Police broke up a violent, multistate dog-fighting ring, charging 22 people with animal cruelty, dog fighting and conspiracy, and recovering 225 dogs, including 50 puppies, and at least 20 weapons. Authorities raided 18 locations in the Baltimore area and a compound in West Virginia