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Curator Timothy Verdon says "Mary is unexpectedly fashionable" in Fra Filippo Lippi's Madonna and Child, painted in the 1460s. Provincia di Firenze, Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence/National Museum of Women in the Arts hide caption

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Provincia di Firenze, Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence/National Museum of Women in the Arts

Art & Design

Mother, Empress, Virgin, Faith: 'Picturing Mary' And Her Many Meanings

This Christmas, images of Mary created over five centuries glow on the walls of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Curator Kathryn Wat says that, to her, Mary represents bravery and strength.

Fuel prices have plummeted this year, but airfares have remained high. The International Air Transport Association estimates that the world's airlines will rake in nearly $20 billion in profits this year. Brennan Linsley/AP hide caption

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Brennan Linsley/AP

The Year In Air Travel: Packed Planes And More Perks — For A Price

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Future Nails The Water
Groundhog Day The Water
Crybaby Blowout Kinski

Curator Timothy Verdon says "Mary is unexpectedly fashionable" in Fra Filippo Lippi's Madonna and Child, painted in the 1460s. Provincia di Firenze, Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence/National Museum of Women in the Arts hide caption

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Provincia di Firenze, Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence/National Museum of Women in the Arts

Mother, Empress, Virgin, Faith: 'Picturing Mary' And Her Many Meanings

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Kyrie, Gott Heiliger Geist Bwv 671 Kåre Nordstoga
I Get the Blues When It Rains Wil Blades

Syrian President Bashar Assad, shown here in July, appeared to be in a tough position at the beginning of the year. But many analysts say his hold on power grew stronger over the course of 2014, due in part to the U.S. bombing campaign against the Islamic State. SANA/AP hide caption

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SANA/AP

For Syria's President, The Year Ends Better Than It Began

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Vartha Ambrose Akinmusire
Inflatedbyspinning Ambrose Akinmusire
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The Imagined Savior Is Far Easier To Paint
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Who They Wish I Was Christian Scott

A man peddles plastic Christmas trees and lights in downtown Monrovia. John W. Poole/NPR hide caption

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John W. Poole/NPR

Christmas In Liberia: Ebola Fears, No Snow, Holiday Spirit

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Let It Snow Ashanti
Luv Letter DJ Okawari
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Mirror
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A sculpture at Britannia stadium in the English city of Stoke-on-Trent commemorates the Christmas Truce, a legendary soccer game played between German and British troops in December 1914. Rui Vieira/AP hide caption

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Rui Vieira/AP

Deford: It's Hard To Write A Christmas Story About Sport

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O Little Town of Bethlehem Mannheim Steamroller
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God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen [Rock] Mannheim Steamroller

Around Christmas, people around the world covet a Rudolph, Wis., postmark on their cards and letters. Carrie Antlfinger/AP hide caption

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Carrie Antlfinger/AP

Sending Your Holiday Mail By Way Of Rudolph, Wis.

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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Burl Ives
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O Detroit, Lift Up Your Weary Head! (Rebuild! Restore! Reconsider!) Sufjan Stevens
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Alanson, Crooked River Sufjan Stevens
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Elisa Carrero assists Julian Gauiria, of Paterson, N.J., with enrollment in the health insurance exchange in November. Signups continue to be brisk, health officials say. Tyson Trish/North Jersey/Landov hide caption

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Tyson Trish/North Jersey/Landov

Obama Administration Downplays Court Challenge To Health Law

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The hepatitis C medication Sovaldi, from Gilead Sciences, costs $1,000 per pill. It's just one of the new medications introduced in the past year that can cure the disease within weeks or months. Courtesy of Gilead Sciences via AP hide caption

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Courtesy of Gilead Sciences via AP

Costly Hepatitis C Drugs Threaten To Bust Prison Budgets

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City of Glass Portico Quartet
Ruins Portico Quartet

Crate-digger and director Mitchell Kezin shows off one of his Christmas finds in a still from his documentary, Jingle Bell Rocks! Elaine Littman/Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories hide caption

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Elaine Littman/Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories

Have An Oddly Jolly Christmas: A Quirky Holiday Playlist

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The Waitresses' members were in the middle of a tour behind "I Know What Boys Like" when "Christmas Wrapping" took over the radio in 1981. David Corio/Redferns hide caption

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David Corio/Redferns

Couldn't Miss This One: Behind 'Christmas Wrapping'

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Christmas Wrapping The Waitresses
Clubb Crackalacka Sabzi
Valencia Sabzi

The Alamo Drafthouse theater chain will show The Interview starting on Christmas Day. Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

In Its Strange Journey, 'The Interview' Becomes An Art House Film

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Reminder [Long Arm Remix] Hidden Orchestra
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Archipelago Remixes
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Hidden Orchestra

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The Revival Hidden Orchestra
Signs Bloc Party
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Intimacy
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