Pope Francis, the poor man’s pope, has won the title of Time magazine’s Person of the Year. And there was some stiff competition this year!
Pope Francis beat out other Person of the Year candidates including Syrian President Bashir al-Assad, Ted Cruz, and Miley Cyrus. “What makes this pope so important is the speed at which he’s captured the imaginations of millions who had given up on hoping for the church at all,” writes Time. Yes, I suppose he’s a better Person of the Year candidate than a Syrian dictator, an obnoxiously stubborn Republican, and a twerking pop star, but there have been some grumblings among the American conservative media circuit about Pope Francis and his socialist leanings. Some (Rush Limbaugh and crew) have taken the pope’s views on structural inequality and the pitfalls of capitalism to mean that he’s a total Marxist. But the pope doesn’t seem to mind. “Marxist ideology is wrong,” Pope Francis said. “But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don’t feel offended.” Telegraph
Michelle Bachelet wins the presidential election! Don’t worry – I didn’t say Michele Bachmann. Close call. The former president of Chile is back, winning 62 percent of the votes. Bachelet, who was widely admired as president from 2006 to 2010, has now become the first two-term leader in Chile since Gen. Augusto Pinochet. “I am happy with the result and victory and I shall be a president for everyone in Chile,” she said of the landslide victory. First on her to-do list: increase corporate taxes, expand access to higher education and overhaul the 1980 Constitution. New York Times
It’s a neo-Nazi versus anti-Nazi showdown in Sweden. On Sunday, around 40 Neo-Nazis attacked more than 200 legally organized anti-nazi protesters in Stockholm. The demonstrators were protesting the growing neo-Nazi sentiment in the area, which, based on the attack, appears to be growing faster than they intially thought. The neo-Nazis threw stones, bottles, and fireworks, while the anti-Nazis moved toward the attackers chanting anti-Nazism slogans and forcing them to retreat. Police detained 28 people and three were injured and taken to the hospital. ABC News
The Family Guy brings back Brian! After Brian the dog was shockingly killed off last month, fans were outraged but most had a sneaking suspicious that he would be back… except for that one guy who got an RIP Brian tattoo. Yikes… Anywho, Brian was resurrected Brian in Sunday’s night’s episode. Creator Seth MacFarlane said he didn’t know how any fans could actually believe they would kill off the beloved dog but did want to teach viewers a fuzzy holiday lesson: “never take those you love for granted, for they can be gone in a flash.” Entertainment Weekly
Bad news for germaphobes: The FDA’s new number one enemy is antibacterial soap. Despite the widespread use of antibacterial hand soap and body wash, the US health regulator has now warned that antibacterial chemicals in soaps and body washes may pose health risks. “Although consumers generally view these products as effective tools to help prevent the spread of germs, there is currently no evidence that they are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water,” said the agency. Also, there are some fun risks associated with long-term, daily use of antibacterial soaps, including bacterial resistance and hormonal effects. So if you’re battling influenza this Christmas, put down the Purell and pick up the soap on a rope. BBC News
Even if influenza doesn’t get you this season, you still have to watch out for “affluenza,” a terrible new disease that stems from your rich parents never teaching you right from wrong and how not to be an entitled brat. The term affluenza describes a condition in which children — generally from richer families — have a sense of entitlement, are irresponsible, make excuses for poor behavior, and sometimes dabble in drugs and alcohol – aka a spoiled brat. 16-year-old Ethan Couch succumbed to affluenza shortly before he killed four people in a drunk driving incident last summer in Texas. Instead of jail time, the teenage was sentenced to 10 years probation after his attorneys argued he suffered from affluenza and had the emotional age of a 12-year-old. If only he were a poor black kid with drug-addicted parents who never taught him right from wrong – then he would be in jail for 20 years. Just kidding, it’s Texas. He would totally get the death penalty. CBC News