1. Funeral held for one of the New York City officers shot last weekend
The funeral service for New York City police officer Rafael Ramos is being held Saturday in New York with Vice President Biden in attendance. Ramos and his partner, officer Wenjian Liu, were shot and killed Dec. 20. The gunman, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, later killed himself. Funeral plans for Liu are pending. On Friday, eight officers carried Ramos’ casket inside a Queens church for his wake amid a sea of blue as fellow officers lined the streets.
2. Four NFL divisions up for grabs Sunday
It’s the final weekend of the NFL regular season, and there are so many questions unanswered. The winner of the Atlanta Falcons-Carolina Panthers game will go to the playoffs by taking the NFC South title with only seven wins. Both the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers will be in playoffs, but only one gets the AFC North championship title, and that’s the winner of Sunday’s game. It’s a similar story for the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions and the NFC North title. The Denver Broncos can claim the No. 2 seed and a first-round playoff bye if they beat the Oakland Raiders. Here are five key story lines to watch:
USA TODAY Sports’ Lindsay H. Jones discusses three games that will decide division titles and the MVP race heading into the final week of the regular season.
USA TODAY Sports
3. First class just got classier between U.A.E and U.K.
How does a three-room suite sound for your next international flight? If it sounds pretty good, you have $21,000 and (for now) are flying between Abu Dhabi and London, you’re in luck. Etihad airlines begins daily service this weekend on its luxury A380. The 125-square-foot cabin has a living room, bedroom and a private bathroom with shower. It’s for one or two people. Oh, and that price tag? That’s one way.
4. Shreveport inaugurates new mayor who overcame violence, abuse
Ollie Tyler is sworn in Saturday as the first black woman to lead Shreveport, La. She overcame harrowing domestic abuse, with monthly beatings that left her with damage to her left eye. She shot and killed her abuser in 1968, after a beating and struggle that originally had the gun turned toward her. Tyler shared her story with the Shreveport Times as pressure mounted during the campaign for her to reveal her story.
5. Not quite a white Christmas, but …
A winter storm warning was issued for New Mexico and Colorado, while winter weather advisories were in effect in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin, which might see some light snow through early Saturday.
In case you missed it:
After Christmas sales are comparable to Black Friday prices this year. Take a look at these huge bargains.
- Unbroken and much ballyhooed The Interview did well in Christmas Day box office sales, but how will they fare this weekend? Analysts say Into the Woods may have more staying power.
And, the weekend essentials:
The week in pics:
Our favorite dog videos of 2014:
It’s Threepeat ‘Year in Review.’ This week it’s dogs, dogs, dogs.
USA TODAY has your ticket to the best new films to watch in theaters this weekend.