This just in
July 11, 2014
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Free working title to any film studios out there already considering a sequel to a LeBron biopic down the road: The Decision: Back to the Cleve.

LeBron James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers via an exclusive essay for Sports Illustrated today.

"I always believed that I'd return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn't know when," James writes. "I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown. I looked at other teams, but I wasn't going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy... I'm coming home."

James' free agency fueled weeks of rumors, but a return to Cleveland began to seem likely when Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert flew down to Florida last weekend. That, combined with the Cavs' subsequent cap-clearing trade on Wednesday, made today's announcement feel less like a surprise and more like the expected end to a story — and, according to James, the beginning of a new one:

"In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have," he writes. "I'm ready to accept the challenge."

Game on.

ISIS Crisis
11:28am ET
Screenshot / CNN

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday condemned the Islamic State's apparent killing of journalist Kenji Goto, calling it a "despicable and horrendous act of terrorism."

ISIS on Saturday released a video purporting to  show Goto's decapitated body after its demand of a prisoner exchange went unmet. Though the video has yet to be authenticated, both Japan and the U.S. have released statements tacitly confirming it is real.

"To the terrorists, we will never, never forgive them for this act," Abe said.

Watch this
11:05am ET
Screenshot / NBC

As you may have heard, the Super Bowl is finally here. So ahead of the big game, Saturday Night Live showed what it would be like if the Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch and Richard Sherman hosted their own talk show. Incredibly, a special guest even got he media-averse Lynch (played by Kenan Thompson) to crack a smile and open up a little bit. — Jon Terbush

This just in
9:39am ET
Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images

Egypt on Sunday said it freed Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste and would soon deport him to his native Australia.

Greste was arrested in December 2013 and accused of publishing false news, sparking an international outcry from free press advocates who considered the charges bogus. Egypt has not said what it plans to do with two other Al Jazeera reporters, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, who were imprisoned along with Greste.

This just in
7:37am ET
Quinn Rooney / Getty Images

Novak Djokovic on Sunday defeated Andy Murray in four sets — 7-6, 6-7, 6-3, 6-0 — to claim a record fifth Australian Open title.

The top-ranked player in the world, Djokovic remained perfect in Australian Open finals while claiming his eighth Grand Slam. Murray, who has never won the event, settled for his fourth second place finish in Melbourne.

This just in
January 31, 2015
AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

Japanese officials said they are attempting to authenticate a video released on Saturday which shows the apparent beheading of Kenji Goto, a hostage of Islamic State militants, The Associated Press reports.

The video, titled "A Message to the Government of Japan," shows an apparent ISIS militant with a British accent, along with Goto, who kneels in an orange jumpsuit and does not speak in the minute-long video.

The militant speaks directly to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, saying that Abe's "decision to take part in an unwinnable war," is to blame for Goto's beheading.

"Let the nightmare for Japan begin," he adds.

Japanese and Jordanian officials had been attempting to negotiate through indirect channels for the release of Goto and Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh.

the view from the top
January 31, 2015

After nearly 7,000 miles in the air, Troy Bradley of Albuquerque and Leonid Tiukhtyaev of Russia came back to earth on Saturday, landing their helium-filled balloon four miles offshore of Baja California, The Associated Press reports.


Bradley (left) and Tiukhtyaev | (AP Photo/Tami Bradley-Two Eagles Balloon Team)

The Two Eagles Balloon team took off from Japan early on Sunday morning; a little less than a week later, they had broken at least two long-standing records for ballooning; the pilots easily exceeded the previous distance record of 5,209 miles, and also set a new duration record of six days, 16 hours, and 38 minutes in the air.

The official distance and time of the flight still has to be confirmed by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, so in the meantime, feast your eyes on the views from above. —Sarah Eberspacher


Crossing the Pacific Ocean | (AP Photo/Two Eagles Balloon Team)

Passing over Mount Fuji | (AP Photo/Two Eagles Balloon Team)

Really? Really.
January 31, 2015
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Jurors in the murder trial of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be allowed to watch the Super Bowl, so long as they remain vigilant, Bristol County Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh warned them on Friday.

"I am not going to forbid you from watching the Super Bowl if that's something that's really important to you," CNN reports that Garsh told the jurors. "(But), you hear that word, you've got to walk out of the room."

"That word" is of course "Hernandez." As a former star for the Patriots who helped carry the team to a Super Bowl victory three years ago, Aaron Hernandez's name could very well come up during Sunday's broadcast featuring New England and the Seattle Seahawks.

The jurors had heard two days of testimony as of Friday; Hernandez, 25, has pleaded not guilty to the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee.

Quotables
January 31, 2015
Lucas Jackson - Pool/Getty Images

While saying that "we're not there yet," outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told CNN on Friday that the United States may eventually have to send ground troops back into Iraq.

"I think (turning back Islamic State militants) may require a forward deployment of some of our troops," Hagel said. "Whether we get there or not, I don't know."

Hagel noted that the ground troops could remain in non-combat roles, such as intelligence gathering on ISIS targets. There are already 4,500 U.S. troops in Iraq, which are operating in training and advising capacities with Iraqi forces.

This just in
January 31, 2015
AP Photo/Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recalled more than 2 million vehicles from Toyota, Chrysler, and Honda due to possible air bag problems, Reuters reports. 

About 400 cases of inadvertent air bag deployments have been reported in the recalled vehicle models, although the incidents have not resulted in any known deaths, an official for the NHTSA said. The three automakers will have to fix a defective chip in the air bag systems, which will require the entire air bag module and its circuits to be replaced.

Watch this
January 31, 2015

Ah, Super Bowl weekend.

We could talk more about Deflategate, but why do that when Key & Peele released this perfectly delightful sketch spoofing Seattle Seahawks players Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch?

"Richard Sherman" spends his time critiquing the Academy Award nominations, questioning why Selma and Foxcatcher were overlooked. And "Marshawn Lynch" trots out a new catchphrase, before throwing us a surprise around the 2:20 mark. Check out the fun in the video, below. —Sarah Eberspacher

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