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Dictionary.com’s word of the year is ‘xenophobia’

NEW YORK — You might have thought about it, heard it. A lot. You might have even felt it: Dictionary.com’s word of the year is “xenophobia.”

While it’s difficult to get at exactly why people look up words in dictionaries, online or on paper, it’s clear that in contentious 2016, fear of “otherness” bruised the collective consciousness around the globe.

Grumpy Cat counts down to the new year with top pet peeves

NEW YORK — Grumpy Cat’s got a message just in time for the holidays and she doesn’t care how you feel about it.

In vintage David Letterman style, the grumpster has posted her Top 10 pet peeves on her new blog at Pawculture.com, but absent is the multimillion-dollar thing that might just annoy her the most: money talk.

Holocaust jacket, and prisoner’s story, found at tag sale

NEW YORK — The blue and grey stripes struck Jillian Eisman like a lightning bolt.

She was rummaging through a packed closet during a Long Island tag sale when she immediately recognized the symbol of horror and hate: A jacket worn by a prisoner at the Nazi Dachau concentration camp during World War II.

Little People, Dungeons & Dragons top Toy Hall of Fame class

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — At long last, a big honour for the Little People.

After seven times as finalists for the National Toy Hall of Fame, the tiny tenants of Fisher-Price’s house, barn and school bus were enshrined on Thursday.

They were joined by the swing and Dungeons & Dragons in the hall’s class of 2016.

Justice Breyer, the fashion maven, makes a colleague swoon

WASHINGTON — A Supreme Court copyright dispute over cheerleading uniforms Monday brought out the fashion maven in Justice Stephen Breyer.

“The clothes on the hanger do nothing. The clothes on the woman do everything,” Breyer said during an argument about whether the design of cheerleading uniforms can be protected under copyright law.

Gov’t says colder weather will boost winter heating bills

Expect to pay more to heat your home this winter than you spent last year.

That’s the message from government analysts who sifted through forecasts for a colder winter and slightly higher energy prices.

The Energy Department said Thursday that household bills are likely to be higher for all four main heating fuels — natural gas, electricity, heating oil, and propane.