1. AN ACT OF DEFIANCE FROM NORTH KOREA
The pariah nation successfully launches a long-range rocket, ignoring warnings from the U.N. and the U.S.

2. RAMPAGE AT OREGON SHOPPING MALL
Witnesses heard the camouflaged, masked gunman say “I am the shooter” before opening fire, killing two people and himself.

3. WHO RAVI SHANKAR MENTORED BESIDES THE BEATLES
Saxophonist John Coltrane named his son Ravi after the sitar virtuoso, who died in California at 92.

4. THE TRICKY BALANCE OF OBAMA’S ‘FISCAL CLIFF’ STRATEGY
Advisers say he will publicly pressure Republicans to reach a deal while negotiating privately with top Congressional leaders.

5. HOW HIS WORDS ARE COMING BACK TO HAUNT HIM
Republicans note the president’s current stand on raising tax rates differs from the one he took in 2010.

6. WHY CHINA COULD BE GOOD FOR EUROPE’S WINE BUSINESS
China has become the largest export market in France’s Bordeaux region.

7. AN OFFICER’S GIFT PUTS NEW YORKERS IN A QUANDARY
The donation of shoes to a barefoot homeless man raised the age-old urban dilemma about whether to give money to strangers on the streets.

8. PLANE CARRYING JENNI RIVERA TOOK DRAMATIC PLUNGE
The music star’s jet plummeted nearly straight down at a speed that may have exceeded 600 mph.

9. WHY VEGAS LIKES THE NUMBERS 12-12-12
Sin City hopes to lure thousands to get quickie weddings on the once-in-a-century date.

10. LOOK WHO’S TWEETING
Pope hits 1 million followers as he sends first tweet, blessing online fans and urging them to listen to Christ.

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