National & World News

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET

A grand jury tasked with investigating broad issues of hazing at Penn State has issued a blistering report asserting that leaders at the university were well aware of pervasive misbehavior in the Greek system and failed to take action.

Penn State, responding in court, said that the university has "shown an unwavering commitment to promoting safety and accountability" and that alcohol abuse at college is a "national problem," not a university-specific one.

Authorities say a woman on Long Island, N.Y., stole and transferred more than $85,000 to support the Islamic State, using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Zoobia Shahnaz, 27, is charged with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and three counts of money laundering, according to a statement from the Department of Justice. She pleaded not guilty on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, N.Y.

Between my dad's love for upstate New York's sharp cheddars and the annual gift-pack of farmhouse cheeses my brother sends from California, cheese figures pretty heavily in my holiday season. This year Bronwen and Francis Percival's new book, Reinventing the Wheel: Milk, Microbes, and the Fight for Real Cheese, makes that not just cause for pleasure, but reflection as well.

If they are to successfully make the jump to light speed, Star Wars movies require a precisely calibrated fuel mixture: one-third epic space battles, one-third narrow escapes and duly buckled swashes, one-third hooded beardy dudes standing around looking pained while solemnly intoning the cheesiest hokum about Darkness and Light as if it's Hamlet's Yorick speech (which in a way, it is).

A viral video making the rounds Friday has one of President Trump's judicial nominees in an uncomfortable spotlight.

Matthew Petersen has been nominated for a judgeship on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, one of the nation's most important federal courts. Petersen is now a member of the Federal Election Commission.

But his trouble began during Wednesday's confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee when, among a panel of five nominees, he alone told Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., that he had never tried a case in court.

The average American reads at an 8th-grade level, but the patient information that doctors and hospitals provide often presumes that people have much more advanced reading skills.

So some researchers decided to see what happens when 9-year-olds write the patient guides.

Britain's senior-most military officer is warning that an improving Russian navy poses risks to undersea communications and Internet cables, saying any disruption could do "catastrophic" damage to the economy.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach said Britain and NATO need to prioritize protecting communications cables running along the seabed between countries and continents to prevent them being severed.

Behold, the cocktail avocado. No, that's not a weird cucumber. It's the latest in avocado innovation, on offer at British retail chain Marks & Spencer.

U.S. retailers are looking forward to a strong holiday season this year after new numbers show higher than expected sales for November.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that retail and food sales were up 5.8 percent last month over November 2016, according to advance estimates. And, sales were up a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent from October of this year.

A risky move by one of the defense teams has led to unusual drama in the seemingly-endless pre-trial proceedings of the 9/11 war crimes case.

Defense attorney Walter Ruiz decided to roll the dice and challenge the prosecution to prove that his client, alleged 9/11 money man Mustafa al Hawsawi, should be tried as a war criminal.

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