Good morning. Here are some of the stories we’re following today:
1. Taliban militants slaughter more than 100 Pakistani children
In a brazen act of violence, Islamist militants stormed a military-run school in Peshawar on Tuesday, killing at least 126 people, most of them children, and injuring 122 others. A military source who spoke on the condition of anonymity told NBC News that there were at least 10 attackers wearing police uniforms and suicide vests. "They burnt a teacher in front of the students in a classroom," the sources said. "They literally set the teacher on fire with gasoline and made the kids watch." Taliban spokesman Muhammad Umar Khorasani told Reuters his group was claiming responsibility. "Our suicide bombers have entered the school, they have instructions not to harm the children, but to target the army personnel," he said. Read more in NEWS.
Peshawar Father: 'They Can't Find my Son, Dead or Alive'Dec. 16, 201400:39
2. Sydney siege highlights danger posed by ‘lone wolf’ attackers
The sheikh behind Monday’s Sydney hostage crisis that left him and two others dead is only the latest in a line of so-called “lone wolf” attackers. Other recent incidents have included the killing of a Canadian soldier in broad daylight and a hatchet attack against NYPD officers. Each attacker may be driven by his own circumstances, personal frustrations or mental instability. But experts on extremism said that the Sydney siege reinforced the lone attacker as a more persistent threat in industrialized countries than a feared replay of Sept. 11 by al Qaeda or mass killings carried out by jihadists returning from distant battlefields. Read more in NEWS.
Tears and Tributes at Scene of Sydney Hostage TragedyDec. 16, 201401:05
3. Bill Cosby’s wife comes to his defense
After weeks of keeping silent about the various sexual assault allegations against her husband, Camille Cosby released a statement defending him. “He is the man you thought you knew,” she said. She blamed the media for failing to vet her husband’s accusers, who have included models Beverly Johnson and Janice Dickinson. Other women have also claimed Cosby drugged them in past decades and attempted to sexually assault them. Cosby has never been charged with a crime. Read more in POP CULTURE.
4. Manhunt continues for Pennsylvania shooting spree suspect
Cops in Pennsylvania are searching for Bradley William Stone after six family members, including his ex-wife, were found dead across three towns outside of Philadelphia. Family friends and neighbors who know Stone, a former Marine, said he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and was discharged from the military because of it. SWAT officers used military-grade vehicles and equipment to search Stone's home in the town of Pennsburg and the surrounding area. But so far, officials have no definitive idea of where he may be. Read more at NBC PHILADELPHIA.
5. N.Y. teen lied about making stock market millions
A 17-year-old high school student who said he made a whopping $72 million in the stock market — all with the help of his school’s investment club — has admitted it was a whopper of a tale. Mohammed Islam fessed up Monday to the New York Observer about his rags to riches tale, which had been highlighted in New York Magazine, as being bunk. "While Mr. Islam runs an investment club at Stuyvesant High which does simulated trades, his millions are about as real as monopoly money," according to the PR firm representing Islam. Read more in NEWS.
6. What’s the most Googled word of the year?
There was a lot of doom and gloom among the most searched for topics on Google this year. Those included Ebola and the missing Malaysia Airlines jet. Other trending names that also caught the nation’s and world’s attention in 2014: the animated hit “Frozen,” the World Cup and the Winter Olympics. But who or what took the top spot? Read more in TECH.
And now this …
Using four leaf blowers, Austin native Ryan Craven built a hoverboard. It appears to work — but don't take his word for it. Craven published his do-it-yourself process so you can give it a try, too.