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When In Rome; Dictionary.Com Defines Word Of The Year

Pope Francis opens the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. Pope Francis pushed open the great bronze doors of St. Peter's Basilica on Tuesday to launch his Holy Year of Mercy, declaring that mercy trumps moralizing in his Catholic Church.

CREDIT: AP/Andrew Medichini

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Muslim Cabdriver Compensated After A Passenger Assaults Him For Being A “Terrorist.” Mohamed A. Salim, a cabdriver from Fairfax County, was awarded $350,000 by a civil jury when a passenger called him a terrorist and punched him. The initial charge of misdemeanor assault was previously dropped, but this decision came after Salim filed another lawsuit earlier this year. The victory is significant especially in a period when anti-Muslim narratives are at their peak. [The Washington Post]

Pope Francis Opens The Holy Door Of Forgiveness. The jubilee year of mercy is back in Rome for the first time since the Great Jubilee in 2000, with the unprecedented clause that priests can absolve women who have had abortions. It is said that the Pope’s efforts to transform church into a place of forgiveness of sins rather than condemnation culminated in this effort. The Holy Door will be opened until the Feast of Christ the King on 20 November 2016. [BBC]

Business Groups Join The Mix To Address Student Debt Crisis. So far, most of the activists advocating reform for the student loan debt crisis are Millennials most impacted by the phenomenon. Recently, however, businesses that hire Millennials have also taken an interest. High-level professionals, such as doctors or lawyers, argue that loans are causing talented students to avoid these expensive professional schools and forcing them away from public service in general. Realtors and entrepreneurs also cited the lack of opportunity for graduating students. With borrowers facing an average student loan repayment length of 13.4 years, up nearly 80 percent from 1992, businesses are planning to lobby for cheaper college so that workers will be more productive and satisfied. [The Rolling Stone]

The Word Of 2015: “Identity.” After a year of many changes, awarded “identity” the word of the year. The decision was based on the “events tied to gender, sexuality, race, and other key issues,” according to Liz McMillan, CEO of Last year’s word was “exposure.” [CNN]

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