You thought Starbucks was waging a war on Christmas when, in 2011, the company's holiday cups featured nutcrackers that bore a coincidental resemblance to the Guy Fawkes mask, at the time a symbol of Occupy Wall Street. You thought Starbucks was taking the Christ out of Christmas when its 2015 cups were plain red to be inclusive of all holiday celebrations. You thought wrong. Its new holiday drink, the Christmas Tree Frappuccino, is here to say: The battle has only just begun.
A Minnesota police dog was on the hunt, snout to the street, searching for traces of possible burglary suspects early on a September morning. A 20-foot leash tethered the German shepherd to an officer from the St. Paul Police Department. The two suspects were fleeing on foot, and Gabe, a five-and-a-half year old dog with the police K-9 unit, had been brought in to help law enforcement respond to a possible burglary in a neighborhood just west of downtown St. Paul. But when the K-9 darted past a garbage dumpster, screams suddenly filled the air.
WASHINGTON - Rep. Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican who is among the most conservative members of the House, said he would resign his seat after House officials learned that he had asked two female employees to bear his child as a surrogate. Franks' announcement came as the House Ethics Committee said it would create a special subcommittee to investigate Franks for conduct "that constitutes sexual harassment and/or retaliation for opposing sexual harassment." His resignation, which Franks said will take effect Jan. 31, will end the ethics investigation.
CARPINTERIA, Calif. - Fire continued to tear across southern California on Thursday, surrounding communities and shrouding much of the region in searing flame and thick, choking smoke. And where there was no fire, there was fear.
Two students were killed after gunfire erupted early Thursday at a New Mexico high school, according to police. The San Juan County Sheriff's Office said the person believed to have opened fire at Aztec High, a school of about 1,000 students near the Colorado border, is also dead. No one else was injured, the sheriff's office said. The Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President, which oversees territory not far from the school, had previously released a statement saying 15 people were injured.
WASHINGTON - Another family-pet death for Vice President Mike Pence: His 16 year-old cat, Pickle, has gone on to the great litter box in the sky. "We will all miss Pickle, our very chatty, sweet kitty of 16 years," Karen Pence tweeted Thursday, along with a picture of the orange and white feline. The Pences in June mourned the death of another other cat, Oreo, who was named after the cookie because of his black and white coat.
Consider the Hallmark Channel in December. No, but really. "I cannot stop watching the Hallmark Channel," says Mac Cohn, proprietor of a sports website in Ohio. "Usually to unwind I would watch football, but even watching football has become a political thing. The Hallmark Channel has none of that." Hallmark, which often seemed to exist just so you had something to fold laundry to, is now deep into its biggest annual event - "Countdown to Christmas," a series of several dozen fresh-from-the-oven seasonal made-for-TV movies. And it is an event.
Bitcoin soared past the $17,000 mark on Thursday, a dizzying run for a digital currency that was worth less than $1,000 at the start of the year and was once largely the preoccupation of technologists or those looking to avoid scrutiny to launder money or buy drugs and weapons online.
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Rand Paul was on the verge of becoming a powerful senator and the nation's leading libertarian. His neighbor was a successful doctor and Kennedy-style Democrat who favored nationalized medicine. They might have sparred over health care or taxes, but an acquaintance of both said they stood in their yards roughly a decade ago shouting at each other over the grass clippings Paul's mower had shot on Rene Boucher's property.
Lindsey Vonn is one of the most heralded Alpine skiers of all time, and for good reason: Her 77 World Cup victories are the most-ever by a woman, and Ingemar Stenmark's all-time record of 86 is within reach. But for all her success, she only has two Olympic medals, a tally she would like to grow this winter at the Pyeongchang Olympics. And if she does, don't expect her to celebrate with President Donald Trump at the White House.