In the Know: December 19, 2014

“Can I just say, I think every single one of those hostages, every single one of those victims, acted courageously.” New South Wales Deputy Police Commissioner Catherine Burn on the 16-hour hostage siege in a Sydney cafe that ended on December 16, 2014

Sources are saying the FBI has definitively traced the Sony Pictures cyberattack—and the administration continued grappling with the question of whether to formally accuse North Korea of involvement.

“Allowing a ruthless dictator of another country to decide what American people can and cannot see in our own country is against like everything we are supposed to stand for, right?” Said Jimmy Kimmel in response to Sony Pictures canceling the release of The Interview.

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev returned to court Thursday for the first time since he was arraigned in July 2013.

“There’s no black male my age, who’s a professional, who hasn’t come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn’t hand them their car keys,” President Obama said, discussing racial bias in the U.S.

A 16-hour, 17 person hostage situation erupted in Sydney on Tuesday, leaving two victims and the gunman dead. The siege was Australia’s first brush with terrorism in more than 35 years.

On Tuesday, Taliban gunmen killed more than 140 people, many students, at an elite Army high school; the massacre was an apparent retaliation for a major recent army operation after years of ambivalent policies toward the homegrown Islamist militants.

Three leaders of ISIS have been killed by American airstrikes in Iraq in the past month and a half, U.S. defense officials said Thursday.

In his annual year-end news conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin promised that his nation’s troubled economy would recover in two years despite a looming recession, a severely weakened ruble, and growing fears about economic instability.

On Sunday Islamic extremists killed 35 people and kidnapped at least 185 in Nigeria.

The U.S. and Cuba ended more than a half-century of enmity Wednesday, announcing that they would reestablish diplomatic relations and begin dismantling the last pillar of the Cold War.

The attorneys general of Nebraska and Oklahoma sued Colorado in the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, arguing state-legalized marijuana from Colorado is improperly spilling across state lines.

The families of nine people killed in a 2012 massacre at a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school sued the maker of the gun used in the attack on Monday, saying the weapon should not have been sold because it had no reasonable civilian purpose.

Thursday marked the first 400-point gain for the Dow since November 2011 and the second consecutive day that stocks rose more than 1 percent.

Women’s Affairs
Ireland is debating its ban on abortion as doctors keep a brain-dead pregnant woman on life support, awaiting a judge’s verdict on what to do with the living 16-week old fetus.

Women are leading a cultural shift in Saudi Arabia.

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