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Revelers around the world welcome 2014

A sea of horn-tooting, funny hat-wearing revelers cheered as the famed crystal ball dropped in freezing New York City’s Times Square to ring in 2014, highlighting a world-wide wave of celebrations.

 
Beyonce criticized for using Challenger disaster audio

NASA officials say the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster “should never be trivialized” in response to a new song from Beyonce that features an audio sample recorded just after the craft exploded on takeoff in 1986, killing all seven crewmembers.

 
Trapped Antarctic ship awaits helicopter rescue

Passengers on board a research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice for a week are expected to be rescued by helicopter, after three icebreakers failed to reach the paralyzed vessel, officials said Tuesday.

 
4 found shot to death in California home; police believe murder-suicide

Four people, two of them children, were found killed in a Southern California home, police said. A 16-year-old boy called police Monday night to say his family members were injured or killed in the house, Fontana police Sgt. Doug Imhof said.

 
Explosions, flames after ND train derailment

Authorities urged residents to evacuate a small North Dakota town Monday night after a mile-long train carrying crude oil derailed outside of town, shaking residents with a series of explosions that sent flame and black smoke skyward.

 
Authorities trace robber ‘s trip from Southeast to Arizona

Investigators on Monday tried to piece together how a man connected to two bank robberies in the Southeast ended up 1,500 miles away in Phoenix, where he died in a police shootout after another heist.

 
Security heightened in Russia after bombings kill 31 in 2 days

Two suicide bombings in as many days have killed 31 people and raised concerns that Islamic militants have begun a terrorist campaign in Russia that could stretch into the Sochi Olympics in February. Russian and international Olympic officials insisted the site of the games, protected by layers of security, is completely safe.

 
Doctors give no prognosis for Michael Schumacher

Doctors offered a grim assessment of Michael Schumacher’s head injuries Monday, providing no prognosis for the Formula One driving great after his skiing accident in the French Alps.

 
As 55 tax breaks expire, outcry rises over unpredictability

In an almost annual ritual, Congress is letting a package of 55 popular tax breaks expire at the end of the year, creating uncertainty — once again — for millions of individuals and businesses.

 
Shanahan, Schwartz among 5 NFL coaches canned

Barely 12 hours after the NFL’s regular season ended, five head coaches were unemployed. Fired on Monday were Washington’s Mike Shanahan, Detroit’s Jim Schwartz, Minnesota’s Leslie Frazier and Tampa Bay’s Greg Schiano. The Cleveland Browns dismissed Rob Chudzinski on Sunday night.

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