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10 things you need to know today: December 15, 2013
Mandela is laid to rest near his childhood home, the Northeast gets blanketed in snow, and more
 
Snow is blanketing the Northeast as a giant storm stretches over the region.
Snow is blanketing the Northeast as a giant storm stretches over the region. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

1. Mandela buried near childhood home
Nelson Mandela was buried Sunday in Qunu, the rural South African village which was his childhood home. The funeral ceremony included a 21-gun salute and fly-overs by military aircraft. Several hundred people attended the funeral of South Africa's first democratically-elected president, who died on Dec. 5 at age 95. [TIME]

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2. Colorado high school shooting lasted 80 seconds
The Friday shooting at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., that left one seriously wounded, reportedly lasted only about 80 seconds. The shooter, Karl Pierson, turned the gun on himself after shooting student Claire Davis point blank before focusing on the school library. Davis remains in critical condition. [CNN]

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3. China celebrates successful moon landing of space probe
China successfully carried out the world's first soft landing of a space probe on the moon in nearly four decades on Saturday. The unmanned Chang'e 3 lander carried a six-wheeled moon rover called "Yutu" or "Jade Rabbit," which has since left tracks on the moon's surface as it embarks on a three-month scientific exploration. The landing is part of a space program that aims to eventually put a Chinese astronaut on the moon. [Washington Post]

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4. Snowy winter storm system hits northeastern U.S.
The northeastern U.S. is experiencing a major winter storm that could bring as much as 18 inches of snow to parts of the region through Sunday. The storm, which started in the Midwest, is forecast to affect some 100 million people, with New England taking the biggest hit. [USA TODAY]

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5. EU halts Ukraine trade deal
The European Union has halted a trade deal with Ukraine even as momentum seems to shift toward the pro-Europe protesters. John McCain met Ukrainian opposition leaders in Kiev on Saturday and voiced support for protesters. The street protests started after President Viktor Yanukovich walked away from a trade pact with Europe at the last minute on Nov. 21 to seek closer ties with Russia. [Reuters]

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6. Pope Francis: I'm not a Marxist
Pope Francis, responding to criticisms that his economic and social ideas resemble communism, said in an interview on Sunday that he is not a Marxist but that he knows Marxists. Francis also denied reports that he would name a woman cardinal, said there was good progress in cleaning up Vatican finances, and confirmed that he would visit Israel and the Palestinian territories next year. [NBC]

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7. Congress may soon focus on tax reform
Updating the federal tax code could be the next area that the Democratic Senate can find common ground with the Republican House, according to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, said on Sunday's Meet the Press that he expects Republicans in the House to begin moving on tax reform early in 2014. [Politico]

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8. Kim Jong Un's aunt survived recent purge
North Korea named the aunt of Kim Jong Un in a list of senior officials late Saturday, indicating she remains part of the regime's inner circle despite a purge of associates of her executed husband, Jang Song Thaek. A North Korean official has said that the recent purge won't hurt the country's economic policy. [Wall Street Journal]

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9. Winston wins Heisman Trophy by large margin
Florida State quarterback James Winston won the Heisman Trophy Saturday night, scoring 1,501 more points than AJ McCarron, the Alabama quarterback who came in second. Winston was widely considered the favorite, despite facing a rape accusation that he vehemently denies. [The New York Times]

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10. Texas football coach to resign
Storied University of Texas head football coach Mack Brown plans to resign from his position after the Dec. 30 Alamo Bowl against Oregon. Brown has coached the Longhorns since 1998. [ESPN]

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Terri is a freelance writer at TheWeek.com. She's a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, and has worked at TIME and Brides.

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