National News

A Milwaukee prosecutor says no charges will be filed against a police officer who shot and killed Donte Hamilton in April. Here, Maria Hamilton holds posters used in rallies that vent frustrations about the death of her son.

Milwaukee Prosecutor Won't Seek Charges In Police Shooting

Eight months after a police officer shot and killed a black man whom the officer had been trying to search as the man slept, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm says the officer acted in self-defense.

The incident occurred in a Milwaukee park around 4 in the afternoon. Officer Christopher Manney, who is white, was trying to frisk a sleeping Dontre Hamilton. Manney fired his gun 14 times after Hamilton woke up and grabbed the officer's baton, striking him with it.

Pope Francis delivers his message during a meeting with cardinals and bishops of the Curia at the Vatican on Monday. The pope said the Curia suffered from "spiritual Alzheimer's"  and careerism.

Pope Francis, At Christmas Gathering, Blasts Vatican's Bureaucrats

Pope Francis blasted the Vatican's top bureaucrats at an annual Christmas gathering, accusing the cardinals, bishops and priests who make up the Curia of "spiritual Alzheimer's" and of lusting for power at all costs.

A supporter of newly elected Tunisian presidential candidate Beji Caid Essibsi flashes the V-sign from a car as they celebrate the first results of the Tunisian elections in Sousse, Tunisia.

Tunisian Election Puts Former Regime Figure In Presidency

A tense runoff election in Tunisia, birthplace of the Arab Spring in 2011, has ended with a win for Beji Caid Essebsi, a veteran of the country's autocratic regimes. Essebsi defeated interim leader Moncef Marzouki.

Affiliated with the secular-leaning Nidaa Tounes (Tunisia Calls) party, Essebsi won Tunisia's first democratic presidential election by taking more than 55 percent of the vote. Election officials announced the results Monday.

People sing as they take part in a prayer vigil at the site where two police officers were shot to death in the Brooklyn borough of New York this weekend.

NYC Police Deaths: Details On Suspect; Rift Between Mayor And Police

Updated at 1:56 p.m. ET

New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton says tensions in the city are at their worst since the 1970s. Bratton spoke two days after Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot and killed two police officers in New York. Brinsley had been arrested at least 19 times and reportedly had tried to hang himself last year.

The tragic shooting has also exposed fault lines in the relationship between Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city's police department.

Princess Cristina, seen here on April 5 in Barcelona, Spain, will face trial on tax fraud charges.

Spain's Princess Cristina To Stand Trial On Tax Fraud Charges

Spain's Princess Cristina, sister of King Felipe VI, will stand trial on charges of tax fraud, becoming the country's first royal in modern times to face prosecution.

The allegations stem from Cristina de Borbon's alleged links to her husband's business affairs between 2007 and 2008.

James Franco (left) and Seth Rogen, stars of <em>The Interview,</em> arrive for the film's Los Angeles premiere on Dec. 11. The comedy about a CIA plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was pulled from theaters after a cyberattack on Sony Pictures, the studio behind the film. The FBI said the attack was traced to the North Korean government.

The 5 Business Stories That Made 2014 A Memorable Year

As the year's end approaches, economists are looking back and assessing the news stories that shaped 2014.

Though their lists may vary, most analysts are pointing to five developments that had very big impacts on the U.S. economy. These were the biggies for 2014:

Oil Prices Plunge

No one saw this one coming. When 2014 began, a barrel of crude oil was selling for about $110. It hovered there until late spring, when the price ticked up to nearly $115.

Workers remove a poster for <em>The Interview</em> from a billboard in Hollywood, Calif., after Sony canceled the movie's Christmas release due to a terrorist threat. The hacking of Sony's networks has sparked a war of words between the U.S. and North Korea.

Calling U.S. A 'Cesspool,' North Korea Warns Against Escalation

"The "whole U.S. mainland" would be under threat of attack if America seeks vengeance for last month's Sony hacking, North Korea says. An official at its defense commission called the U.S. a "cesspool of terrorism" after President Obama called the hack "cyber-vandalism."

North Korea's National Defense Commission, which is headed by the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, said its military was ready to fight America "in all war spaces including cyber warfare space," issuing a wide threat that specified targets in the U.S.

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy, seen in a photo taken last year, says his resignation was "by mutual agreement.

An Update On LA's iPad Program

NPR Ed is updating some of the top stories we've been following in 2014.

The 650,000 students in the Los Angeles Unified School District expected to be tapping and scrolling on their very own iPads by now, halfway through the school year.

Sister Elizabeth feeds Yoda, a water buffalo calf at the ranch. The nuns bought the buffalo to make mozzarella.

Nuns On The Ranch Give A Heavenly Twist To Beef

Many beer aficionados are familiar with the rare breweries run by Trappist monks. The beer is highly sought after, but it's not the only food or drink made by a religious order. Many abbeys and convents have deep roots in agriculture, combining farm work with prayer.

Low heating oil prices mean New Englanders don't have to bundle up at home this year, but they will have to watch their rising electric bills.

Heating New England Homes: The Good And Bad News

Falling oil prices are perhaps nowhere more welcome than in northern New England, where most homes burn heating oil in their furnaces. But cheaper heating oil is refilling consumers' pockets just as high electric prices are emptying them out.

For example, a heating oil truck delivers 600 gallons of heating oil every two weeks to an old, four-story brick building in Concord, N.H. At last year's oil prices, each refill would have cost around $2,200. Right now, it's more than $300 cheaper.

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