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Programming through the Holiday Season

The Afterlife of Otis Redding Sunday, Dec. 10, 4 PM Otis Redding was killed in a plane crash 50 years ago on Dec. 10, 1967. "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," which he wrote and recorded with Steve Cropper days before, subsequently became the first posthumous number-one record on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts. Redding’s five magnificent years in showbiz transformed the sound of soul music. His grainy, growling, and “squawking” voice kept the music rooted in the older...

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Imagine this: a high school assembly where students share their deepest, most painful secrets — and instead of judgment from their peers, they get applause.

That's the approach Philadelphia's Freire Charter School has taken in its effort to prevent the next violent outburst or the next tragedy on campus. Instead of turning to guards or metal detectors, the school is making empathy part of its curriculum.

President Obama on Friday officially nominated San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to the post of secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a move that boosts the profile of a young Hispanic seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party.

Castro would replace Shaun Donovan, who Obama wants to become the next director of the Office of Management and Budget. Donovan would take over OMB from outgoing budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who's expected to be confirmed shortly as the next health secretary.

The Associated Press says:

The entire state of California is in a severe drought. Farmers and farmworkers are hurting.

You might expect this to cause food shortages and higher prices across the country. After all, California grows 95 percent of America's broccoli, 81 percent of its carrots and 99 percent of the country's artichokes, almonds and walnuts, among other foods.

Yet there's been no sign of a big price shock. What gives?

Here are three explanations.

Congress passed a bill on Thursday to honor the U.S. Army's only segregated Latino unit with the Congressional Gold Medal. If the bill is signed into law by President Obama, the 65th Infantry Regiment of Puerto Rico, also known as the Borinqueneers, will join Puerto Rican baseball star Roberto Clemente as the only Hispanics to be awarded the highest civilian honor given by Congress.

Faced with a weak economy and a need to improve Italy's debt ratio, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's government will include illegal drug sales and prostitution when it figures the country's gross domestic product.

That's according to a report from Bloomberg News, which says:

Richard III can finally be laid to rest. Well, next spring anyway.

A British court on Friday ruled that plans to rebury the 15th century king in Leicester can proceed. His remains had been found beneath a parking lot in that city in 2012.

For months, Tea Party groups had been exhorting their members to "Fire the Speaker!"

A collection of Tea Party-backed candidates have also said, if elected, they would not support John Boehner for speaker in the next Congress.

An all-new meteor shower makes its debut tonight, and astronomers say it could put on a show starting as early as 10:30 p.m. ET Friday and peaking early Saturday. Called the Camelopardalids, the shower is named after the giraffe constellation. It's expected to be visible in nearly all of the U.S., if skies are clear.

"No one has seen it before," NASA says, "but the shower could put on a show that would rival the prolific Perseid meteor shower in August."

Raw fish is sizzling hot right now.

This post was updated at 4:40 p.m. ET.

A federal judge in Detroit has ruled that Democratic Rep. John Conyers, the second-most-senior member of the U.S. House, will appear on the August primary ballot, overturning a decision by Michigan's secretary of state who said the candidacy was invalid.

Judge Matthew Leitman issued an injunction ordering Conyers' name to be placed on the ballot, The Associated Press says.

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South Bend LGBTQ to host reading of on transgender children's book

Community centers, libraries and schools across the country are reading one book Thursday, in an effort to raise awareness and education around transgender children. The book is ‘I Am Jazz” written by reality TV star and transgender child activist Jazz Jennings. The reading movement started when a parent in Wisconsin wanted the book to be read to her child’s class in an effort to explain her daughter’s transition to her classmates. The school faced backlash and cancelled the reading. A local...

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