8 Things You Need To Know This A.M. — Dec 29 2015

The Northeastern U.S. is set to get its first major snowstorm of the season. After all of New England was left dreaming of a white Christmas when holiday temperatures rose to record-breaking highs, there is some hope (in the form of flakes) on the horizon: Parts of New Hampshire and Maine are expected to receive up to 12 inches of snow by midmorning today, news warmly welcomed by snow-strapped ski resorts. Northern New York and Vermont should see anywhere between three to seven inches, while Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island will probably see amounts on the lower end. (Time)
Cleveland police officers will not be charged in the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. A grand jury declined to indict Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann and his partner, Frank Garmback, for their roles in the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was playing with a pellet gun outside a recreation center when he was shot by Loehman. “It was horrible, unfortunate, tragic,” said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty in a press conference. “But it was not, by the law that binds us, a crime.” The family has accused McGinty of "manipulating the grand jury process." (Read More)

After 70 years, Japan apologized to the Korean “comfort women” who were sexually enslaved during World War II.

After decades of mistrust due to the Imperial Army’s sexual enslavement of thousands of "comfort women" during World War II, Japanese leaders were able to reach a landmark deal with South Korea that finally provides some justice to the 46 surviving “comfort women.” According to the agreement, Japan has apologized for its wartime forced sexual slavery and will place one billion yen, or $8.3 million, into a fund to support the survivors. (Read More)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens owes its success to repeat viewers and women

With two records already under its belt — the biggest domestic opening in movie history and the fastest climb to $1 billion in sales — Star Wars: The Force Awakens has become a force of nature. According to exit surveys, Star Wars’ box office domination is all thanks to repeat viewers and a diversifying audience — specifically, an audience that is increasingly female. While opening weekend viewers were heavily male (67%), the Christmas holiday saw an uptick in female fans, with audiences being 38% women. (The Mary Sue)
The Iraqi army managed a major victory over ISIS fighters, expelling the Islamic State from the city of Ramadi.

In its first major military victory in a year, the U.S.-trained Iraqi army succeeded in reclaiming the western city of Ramadi, which was seized by ISIS forces back in May. After raising the Iraqi flag over a government complex previously overrun with ISIS fighters, Iraq’s military declared Ramadi “fully liberated.” The recapturing of Ramadi is a strategic win, since it blocks the Islamic State from putting pressure on Baghdad, which lies less than 60 miles to the west. (Read More)
Honest Tea is removing a Donald Trump quote from its bottle caps.

Known for the inspirational quotes that adorn the inside of their beverages’ bottle caps, Honest Tea is currently in the process of phasing out one huge man’s huge words. As revealed on the drink maker’s official Twitter, a quote from Donald Trump about “thinking big” will no longer appear on future Honest Tea caps. Honest Tea cofounder Seth Goldman said the decision is unrelated to the GOP frontrunner’s controversial presidential campaign and that the company is focusing on sage words from people who have already died, as there’s less risk of causing offense. (Fortune)
Online retailer Everlane’s after-Christmas sale lets shoppers choose their own prices. Until the end of 2015, retail “disrupter” Everlane is giving shoppers the unique opportunity to choose their own price on certain sale items. All discounted merchandise has three different price options and, in the name of full transparency, the brand breaks down what each suggested cost covers, from shipping to overhead. Shoppers are then allowed to choose whether they wish to only cover the cost of production or, for a bit more money, help the company invest in its growth. (Read More)
Kylie Jenner unveiled a new all-red hip tattoo. After giving fans a sneak peek of her new ink back in November, Kylie Jenner has finally debuted her second tattoo, which sits on her hip. The small design, etched entirely in red ink by celebrity tattoo artist Keith “Bang Bang” McCurdy, reads “sa-nə-tē” — the phonetic spelling of “sanity.” (Read More)

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