Colin Dwyer

In 2010, Chris Bertish paddled into 25-foot waves en route to a win at the Mavericks Surf Contest, an annual competition at one of the world's most famous (and nastiest) big-wave breaks. On Tuesday, Bertish paddled out to conquer something even more massive — roughly 4,600 miles larger, in fact.

The 42-year-old South African surfer and sailor set out to become the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean unassisted on a stand-up paddleboard.

The holiday competition to warm the cold cockles of our hearts is sure heating up.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key surprised his country, announcing that he would be resigning in a week's time. Key, who is also leader of the National Party, made his decision public at a press conference on Monday afternoon local time.

"Sometimes you've got to make hard decisions to make right decisions," Key told reporters. "This is the hardest decision I've ever made, and I don't know what I'll do next."

Italian voters have dealt a serious defeat to the government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. In a referendum Sunday, they rejected Renzi's proposed constitutional reforms, which would have changed the balance of power between the executive and Parliament.

The "no" vote is expected to win by a margin of nearly 20 percentage points, in what is seen as a resounding message of discontent with Renzi's government. The lopsided result also signals the strength of anti-establishment sentiment in the country.

The Jill Stein campaign plans to bring her fight for a statewide ballot recount in Pennsylvania to federal court.

Jonathan Abady, lead counsel to Stein's recount efforts, said in a statement late Saturday that starting Monday, the campaign will "file for emergency relief in federal court, demanding a statewide recount on constitutional grounds."

Indian moviegoers are set to get a hefty dose of patriotism with their big-screen previews.

According to an interim order handed down Wednesday by two justices on India's Supreme Court, movie theaters nationwide must play the country's national anthem before each feature film begins. What's more, the audience members must stand in observance, while an Indian flag is depicted on the big screen and the doors of the theater are temporarily closed to prevent distractions.

It was in 1974 that William Christenberry found the little red house.

The photographer and painter, a vital chronicler of rural Alabama, came across the building standing alone among the pine trees, deep in the Talladega National Forest. All he had with him was his tiny, no-frills Brownie camera — a long-cherished gift that "Santa brought my sister and me."

Rarely has a single door attracted so much media attention.

All weekend, cameras have been trained on the wood-paneled door of the clubhouse at the Trump International Golf Club in Bedminster Township, N.J., as the journalists behind them sought to suss out clues to the next step in President-elect Donald Trump's transition efforts. And on Sunday, those clues trickled in with each new arrival.

Less than a week after his election, Donald Trump has begun to fill out the team he plans to bring with him to the White House. The president-elect announced Sunday that he has selected Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus to serve as chief of staff in his incoming administration.

In the same announcement, Priebus' appointment shared top billing with the news that Trump campaign CEO Stephen K. Bannon will serve as chief strategist and senior counselor to the president.

For the second time in just six weeks, it appears that Latin America's longest-running war may finally end in peace. The Colombian government and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, announced an agreement Saturday night that would end their 52-year guerrilla war — another attempt at peace after Colombian voters narrowly rejected a previous deal in an October referendum.

Out of Austin, Texas, three writers have emerged from a ceremony with fresh laurels in hand: C.E. Morgan, Jason Reynolds and Susan Faludi have won Kirkus Prizes this year — for fiction, young readers' literature and nonfiction, respectively. The prize, awarded by the literary publication Kirkus Reviews, doles out $50,000 apiece along with the honors in each category.

Judges plucked the three winning books from the pool of more than 1,100 books that received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews in roughly the past 12 months.

Overnight Saturday, an apparent firebomb burned through the Republican Party headquarters in North Carolina's Orange County. A bottle of flammable liquid was thrown through one of the building's windows, igniting a four-room fire and leaving behind blackened walls and charred campaign posters — but no casualties. No one was injured in the attack.

Now, a day after the destruction in Hillsborough, N.C., politicians on both sides of the aisle are decrying the incident.

Bob Dylan has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature. The prolific musician is the first Nobel winner to have forged a career primarily as a singer-songwriter. What's more, he's also the first American to have won the prize in more than two decades. Not since novelist Toni Morrison won in 1993 has an American claimed the prize.

From a group of 40, the finalists for the National Book Awards have been whittled to just half that number. The National Book Foundation released its shortlists Thursday for its annual prize in four categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people's literature.

Say one thing for certain: The lists don't lack for leading lights.

When President Obama doled out the 2015 National Medals of Arts and National Humanities Medals on Thursday, plenty of the artists and arts patrons he draped with awards had familiar names — including Mel Brooks, Morgan Freeman, Terry Gross and nearly two dozen others.

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