February 22, 2018

A woman chased down a purse-snatcher in Edmonton, Canada, last week, only to take the would-be thief out to coffee after catching up to him, CBC reports.

Tess Aboughoushe cornered the man in an alley after she heard a woman calling "stop, thief, he took my wallet!" Aboughoushe was surprised to find the thief crying when she caught him: "He came out from behind the dumpster and says, in a conciliatory way, 'Here is the wallet, I can't do this anymore, I'm sorry, just take it, take it,'" she said.

After returning the wallet, Aboughoushe took the desperate thief out for coffee and pointed him in the direction of the local library, where he could get help from social workers on staff. "He said, 'I've never done anything like this before. I just really need the money' … I wanted to show him some compassion," she said. Jeva Lange

February 7, 2018

The 2018 Gerber baby is sure to win over hearts everywhere with his light-up-the-room smile — and he's making history in the process. One-year-old Lucas Warren of Dalton, Georgia, is the first "spokesbaby" in the 90-year history of the Gerber Baby photo contest to have Down syndrome, Today announced Wednesday.

"Every year, we choose the baby who best exemplifies Gerber's longstanding heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby," said Gerber president and CEO Bill Partyka. "This year, Lucas is the perfect fit."

Lucas' mom, Cortney, said of her son: "He may have Down syndrome, but he's always Lucas first. He's got an awesome personality, and he goes through the milestones of every child." She added, "We're hoping when he grows up and looks back on this, he'll be proud of himself and not ashamed of his disability."

Lucas' photo was picked from more than 140,000 submissions. His parents told Today that they plan to put the $50,000 prize money toward Lucas' education.

"We're hoping this will impact everyone — that it will shed a little bit of light on the special needs community and help more individuals with special needs be accepted and not limited," said Lucas' dad, Jason. "They have the potential to change the world, just like everybody else."

Meet Lucas and learn more of his story below. Jeva Lange

January 25, 2018

Linda Joyce was "absolutely overjoyed" when her husband of 34 years proposed to her earlier this month, not realizing she was already his wife, The Huffington Post reports.

Michael Joyce, 68, is in the later stages of Alzheimer's, having been diagnosed in 2010, and he struggles with chronic memory loss. "There was something just different about him and the way he was looking at me," Linda, 64, recalled of the night Michael popped the question. "He looked at me with tears in his eyes and with a stutter he said, 'will you marry me?'"

The couple agreed to get "married" that weekend, and Linda was stunned when Michael remembered the next day. "It was miraculous," she said. "He remembered every day for a week."

Family and friends hastily gathered for the vow renewal ceremony near the Joyces' home in Auckland, New Zealand. "On the day of our ceremony, [Michael] woke up and said to me 'today's the day' and he was so happy," Linda said. "In his head and in his heart, it was what he wanted to do. He wanted to get married." Jeva Lange

September 22, 2017

On any given day, Washington, D.C.'s utility company, Pepco, spends its time concerned about things like power outages and power lines — certainly not domesticated rodents. All that changed when 8-year-old Serenity wrote the company with a "firm, straightforward request" for a hamster, NBC Washington reports.

Serenity had made the understandable mistake of mixing up Pepco with Petco, the pet supply company. She promised in her letter to work extra hard at school and around the house if she could get the pet. "Lest her point be missed, at the bottom of the letter, she drew a hamster that took up half the page," NBC Washington writes.

Despite not exactly being in the hamster business, Pepco decided to surprise Serenity on Friday. Take a look at the photos below. Jeva Lange

February 28, 2017

There are significant perks to being related to Oscar nominees, as director Ava DuVernay's 11-year-old niece discovered Sunday at the Academy Awards. "Lawd hav' mercy," tweeted The 13th and Selma director on Tuesday after discovering her niece had "hustled half of Hollywood for Oscar selfies."

As the niece shows off her selfies, DuVernay films. "I mean…" DuVernay mutters as her niece reaches double-digit poses with celebs.

You can't help but admire the 11-year-old's guts, though. DuVernay added: "Thanks to all who were so kind to her!" Jeva Lange

November 4, 2016

Ted Cruz's college roommate publicly roasted the Texas senator throughout the Republican primary, and now the former roommate of Tim Kaine has stepped up to testify about the potential next vice president. "Eventually the media will find me, so I figured I'll go ahead and offer a full disclosure of what I know about Tim," the roommate, Charles Hirschhorn, wrote on Facebook.

The bombshell? "He does not like to clean the bathroom," Hirschhorn wrote. "The four of us shared one bathroom. As you can imagine, the shower was well used and rarely cleaned."

Hirschhorn goes on to add a number of other facts about Kaine, including that "he makes a mean bowl of ramen," "has no fashion sense," and "knows his BBQ."

That Hillary Clinton's running mate is "as confused by romance as everyone else" is another of Hirschhorn's points. "That year he met a fellow student, Anne Holton, who shared his commitment to social justice. She began spending more time at the house and bringing over cookies. Tim was the last to understand where their relationship was heading. We would have told him earlier but we didn't want Anne to stop baking." Kaine and Holton married in 1984.

The sweet tribute touches on other qualities that make Kaine an admirable candidate, such as that "his commitment to social justice runs deep" and that "his nature is to find common ground." Read Hirschhorn's entire adorable post here. Jeva Lange

July 28, 2016

Finland is turning 100 this year and to celebrate the occasion, Norway has confirmed it is considering giving its southern neighbor a mountain as a birthday present. "There are a few formal difficulties and I have not yet made my final decision, but we are looking into it," Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg told the national broadcaster, The Guardian reports.

Although Solberg wouldn't have to move any literal mountains, she would probably have to move a couple bureaucratic ones since it would require slightly tweaking Norway's borders:

At [4,344 feet] above sea level, the highest point in Finland currently lies on a bleak mountain spur known as Hálditšohkka, part of a far larger fell known as Halti, more than 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle.

Halti's summit, at [4,478 feet] high, is [a little over half a mile] away in Norway. But moving the border barely [131 feet] further up the mountainside would put Hálditšohkka's [4,367] summit in Finland — and make the country’s highest point [23 feet] higher. [The Guardian]

Some, though, say the proposal is "a joke" and would actually violate Article 1 of the Norwegian constitution, which asserts that the nation is a "free, independent, indivisible and inalienable realm." Norway doesn't need to hoard its mountains, though; the hilly nation's highest peak, Galdhøpiggen, is a dizzying 8,100 feet. Jeva Lange

See More Speed Reads