Despite the battle against ISIS raging throughout Iraq and Syria, Christian refugees in Erbil — the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan — have pulled together some celebrations this Christmas. Photographs from the region show holiday decorations and preparations despite the terrorist group's efforts to wipe away Iraqi Christian culture.
Despite Mayor de Blasio's Monday request that people "put aside political debates" until after the funerals of NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, hundreds people once again took to New York's streets to protest police brutality on Tuesday night.
According to CNN, though the deal has yet to be finalized, YouTube has "tentatively agreed" to release The Interview for rent starting tomorrow, in conjunction with the film's small theatrical release. This comes after an earlier plan for Apple's iTunes store to distribute the film failed. (Though that might "re-materialize sometime after Christmas.") Hollywood has attempted simultaneous theatrical releases with VOD in the past, but a deal like this with YouTube would truly be unprecedented. Merry Christmas, freedom lovers.
UPDATE: According to CNN's Brian Stelter, you will be able to rent (or buy) The Interview today at 1 p.m. ET on streaming outlets including YouTube, Google Play, and Microsoft's Xbox Video. Go to SeeTheInterview.com or TheInterview-Movie.com, and you'll be able to rent it for $6 or buy it for $15.
The 90-year-old former president was taken to Houston Methodist Hospital on Tuesday night after experiencing shortness of breath, said family spokesperson Jim McGrath. McGrath added that while Bush is "expected to be fine," he'll remain in the hospital until at least Thursday morning, making this the second Christmas he's spent at Houston Methodist.
If something seems too good to be true, it either is or eventually will be. Take, for example, Uber's e-hailing option: Starting on Wednesday, Uber is charging a $2 "booking fee" for the formerly free uberT, which allows people to summon yellow and green taxis that happen to be in their area. (Riders then pay the drivers directly, as they would have had they flagged down the car themselves.) "The fee is a small charge added to uberT trips on behalf of yellow and boro taxi drivers who utilize the Uber platform," explained a memo sent to Uber users. "The fee will be collected through the app and billed to the card on file at the end of your ride." The note also "[took] the opportunity" to remind users of the existence of uberX, which boasts prices "cheaper than an NYC taxi" — especially when that taxi costs an extra two bucks. Back to hailing cabs the old-fashioned way.
A confrontation at a Berkeley, Missouri, gas station Tuesday night left a black 18-year-old dead, after officials say he pulled out a gun and pointed it straight at a local police officer. The officer — who police say was responding to a reported theft — then fired three shots at Antonio Martin, killing the teen.
One day between the end of Thanksgiving break and mid-December, New Yorkers who dwell in larger, ritzier buildings come home from work or school to find a fully decorated tree in the lobby next to the elevator. This occasion means the arrival of all good things: winter break, Santa, presents. Some building lobbies host an annual tree-decorating party, complete with Christmas cookies and neighbors who actually talk to each other.
You may know David Ganek as the former equity trader for SAC Capital who was reportedly looking to sell his Park Avenue duplex for $44 million earlier this year. Or you may know him as the modern art collector who reportedly sold Christopher Wool's Apocalypse Now at auction last year for $26.5 million. Or you may know him as the co-founder of the since-shuttered hedge fund Level Global Investors. But he recently turned his attention to another endeavor: transforming the United States into a squash powerhouse.
The Food and Drug Administration recommended changes to a 31-year-old ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men Tuesday, instead suggesting that potential male donors should have abstained from same-sex sex for at least 12 months before giving the gift of life. The new guidelines — like the decades-old ban — stem from the fact that gay and bisexual men are more likely to be HIV positive than the general population and therefore have a higher probability of donating infected blood. But all blood is screened for the virus after donation, and today's tests detect the virus less than two weeks after infection — leaving many gay men and advocacy groups confused about the new proposal.
After the Killings, Bill de Blasio and Bill Bratton Now Have the Most Critical Relationship in New YorkBy Chris Smith
It’s late afternoon on Friday, December 19, and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton is surprisingly serene. Fourteen floors below his office at One Police Plaza protesters are massing, once again, to block the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge. They’re chanting, “Hey, ho! Racist cops have got to go!” as a smaller, pro-cop rally starts to gather directly across the street. In the waiting room outside Bratton’s office, the flat-screen TV tuned to NY1 is playing and replaying cell-phone video showing an NYPD plainclothes cop punching a suspect as he is being handcuffed.
Bratton is concerned, certainly. Yet he remains visibly unruffled, reclining in a leather armchair. A puppet replica of his late great sidekick and co-strategist, the former deputy police commissioner Jack Maple, is propped on a shelf. Yes, Bratton says, in hindsight it was probably a bad idea to sit on one side of the mayor with the Reverend Al Sharpton on the other at a City Hall press conference back in July, after the death of Eric Garner. True, his first year back atop the NYPD has been stressful, particularly in the past month. Two weeks ago, on the afternoon a Staten Island grand jury announced it would not indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the cop who had wrapped his arm around Garner’s neck, Bratton was briefly hospitalized for dehydration.