8 Things You Need To Know This AM

The Justice Department opened a civil rights investigation into the Chicago Police Department in the wake of the shooting death of Laquan McDonald.

Almost two weeks after dashcam footage was released showing Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke fatally shooting Black teen Laquan McDonald 16 times, the Justice Department announced it will conduct a “thorough, impartial, and independent” review of the Chicago Police Department. During a press conference, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the probe will focus on the department’s accountability and use of force in order to determine if there is a pattern of excessive violence and civil rights abuses. (Read More)
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West revealed the name of their newborn son.

Leave it to the Wests to come up with a more unique and attention-grabbing name than North: in an announcement posted to her official website, Kim Kardashian finally revealed the name of her second child. The Sagittarius and newest heir to the Kardashian-West throne is Saint West, and, according to Kim’s post, he weighed a healthy 8 pounds, 1 ounce, at the time of his birth. (Read More)
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Donald Trump called for barring all Muslims from entering the U.S.

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump called for the U.S. to bar all Muslims from entering the country until the nation’s leaders can “figure out what is going on." He said, "Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life." There is no U.S. precedent for denying immigration on the basis of religion. (New York Times)
Kendrick Lamar and his “Bad Blood” collaborator Taylor Swift lead this year’s Grammy nominations.

It is no surprise that Kendrick Lamar’s critically-acclaimed rap-jazz fusion album To Pimp A Butterfly will lead the pack at the 2016 Grammy Awards, which racked up 11 overall nominations — more than any other artist. Not to be outdone, Taylor Swift and her five-times-platinum 1989 scored nods in three of the four biggest categories, Album, Record, and Song of the Year. Trailing behind Lamar, Swift, and Drake’s enigmatic OVOXO pal, the Weeknd, are each shortlisted for seven awards. (Read More)
A wounded veteran will receive the first-ever penis transplant in the U.S.

Surgeons at Maryland’s John Hopkins School of Medicine will soon perform the first penis transplant in the U.S. on a young veteran wounded by a bomb in Afghanistan. While a successful procedure has only been performed once before in South Africa, John Hopkins doctors have been approved to perform 60 transplants, all on wounded soldiers. Organs will be sourced from deceased donors, and the first surgery can take place within the next few months. (Jezebel)
Kristin Cavallari addressed her brother’s mysterious disappearance.

Former Laguna Beach star Kristin Cavallari reached out on social media to thank fans for their support and prayers, following her brother Michael’s disappearance. Over a week ago, Michael’s car was found abandoned, but still running, off the side of a remote road in Moab, Utah. Cavallari shared a childhood photo of her and her brother on Instagram, writing, “I appreciate all the concern, thoughts, and prayers that have been extended to me and my family. We remain hopeful and I will share any news that we receive. I have such gratitude for all those that have shared their support.” Michael’s whereabouts are still unknown. (Read More)
Texas Police are letting traffic violators donate toys in lieu of paying fines.

One north Texas city is getting in the holiday spirit by replacing traffic citations with charity. For the fifth year in a row, the Pantego Police Department is asking drivers who were pulled over for non-hazardous violations to bring unwrapped toys to the department, in order to get out of tickets. The donated presents are then brought to a Fort Worth children’s hospital. According to Pantego police, the program collected nearly 1,500 toys last year. (Huffington Post)
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Students at Manchester Metropolitan University can pursue a degree in Pizza Hut.

While you may feel like you’re an expert in pizza, considering the sheer number of pies (not to mention garlic knots and loaves of cheesy bread) you’ve consumed in your life, students at one British university may have you beat. Pizza Hut has teamed up with Manchester Metropolitan University to launch its first-ever apprenticeship program that will train 1,500 students in “a range of skills from food production to financial analysis.” The program will run for the next five years, and will include classes at both the school, and various Pizza Hut franchises. (Read More)
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