The Brief

A man leaves flowers at an impromptu memorial near the site where two police officers were killed the day before in the Brooklyn borough of New York on Dec. 21, 2014.
Seth Wenig—AP

NYC Mayor Faces Scrutiny

Several community and political leaders have criticized New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in the wake of Saturday's fatal ambush of two police officers by a man who posted on social media specifically about wanting to kill police

Muhammad Ali attends the 2014 Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards at the Louisville Marriott Downtown on Sept. 27, 2014 in Louisville.

Muhammad Ali Hospitalized

Ali, widely considered the greatest fighter in boxing history, has been hospitalized with a 'mild case' of pneumonia, reports said

Snow covered pine trees

Winter Begins Officially

Here's everything you should know about the winter solstice, which will fall Sunday at 6:03 p.m. ET — marking the longest night and the shortest day of the year


Elton John Marries Longtime Partner David Furnish

John, 67, and Furnish, 52, recently revealed they decided to marry after England's legalization of same-sex marriage in March. Furnish said, "We feel it's really important to take that step, and take advantage of that amazing change in legislation. We all live by example"

police shooting

Florida Authorities Say 1 Police Officer Shot and Killed

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said the shooting occurred at around 3 a.m. in the Tampa Bay-area city and that a suspect has been taken into custody after fleeing the scene of the shooting in a vehicle and crashing into a pole and another vehicle

Guantanamo Bay

U.S. Transfers 4 From Gitmo

The transfer marks the first repatriation of prisoners to Afghanistan since 2009. 132 detainees are still being held at the Guantanamo complex, which President Barack Obama vowed to shut down early in his presidency

Antarctica, South Orkney Islands, Laurie Island, Gentoo

Antarctic Tourism Could Pose Threat to Penguins

A boom in Antarctic tourism--more than 37,000 people visited the continent in 2013--could introduce new, infectious diseases to the continent's penguin colonies, scientists warned in a new study

Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles, Ca. on Dec. 4, 2014.

North Korea Denies Role in Hack

North Korea on Saturday warned of "serious" consequences if Washington rejects a probe into the hacking attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, which it believes would prove Pyongyang had nothing to do with the cyberattack

Madonna Unexpectedly Releases 6 New Tracks

Madonna called the surprise release--from her newest album, Rebel Heart--an "early Christmas gift" to her fans, adding that she hoped the completed tracks might deter fans from listening to unfinished songs that had leaked

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell News Conference

Report: No NFL Team for LA

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Roger Goodell has informed teams around the NFL that there will be no franchise relocating to Los Angeles in 2015, though the “NFL to Los Angeles” talks probably won’t be going away anytime soon

Raul Castro

Raul Castro Salutes 'New Chapter' With U.S.

Cuban president Raul Castro saluted U.S.-Cuban relations on Saturday, while also insisting that the diplomatic thaw will not break Cuba from its Communist past. “Every country has the inalienable right to choose its own political systems," he said