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A very special bear: New children’s book chronicles the real story behind ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’

LONDON Lindsay Mattick’s great-grandfather was on his way to fight in World War I when he bought a bear cub he named Winnie, inspiring author A.A. Milne to create the timeless character Winnie-the-Pooh. Now, Mattick has written a new children’s book chronicling the real-life story behind the bear.

Priest and Cat calendar shows unexpected face of Orthodox Church

MOSCOW A group of Christian enthusiasts has released a calendar showing an unexpected face of the Russian Orthodox Church: cat-loving priests.

The Priest and Cat calendar released earlier this month by photographer Anna Galperina and editor Ksenia Luchenko shows 12 Orthodox priests at their homes posing with their cats.

Merriam-Webster declares ‘ism’ as word of the year for 2015

NEW YORK Merriam-Webster has picked a small but powerful suffix as word of the year: ism.

But not just any ism. The top isms to earn high traffic spikes and big bumps in lookups on the dictionary company’s website in 2015 over the year before are socialism, fascism, racism, feminism, communism, capitalism and terrorism.

For first time, Pantone picks 2 colours of the year: A mindful pairing of light pink and blue

NEW YORK Serenity now, people, with some Rose Quartz mixed in.

The experts at the Pantone Color Institute have chosen not one but two colours of the year — named thusly — in a complementary pairing that spans fashion, media, packaging, housewares and a desire for more tranquility and calm in actual life.

Lords a-leaping: ‘12 Days of Christmas’ items cost $34K, a 0.6 per cent increase over last year

PITTSBURGH Lords a-leaping is the U.S. economy slow to recover!

The cost of 10 lords a-leaping increased 3 per cent over last year, but nine of the other 12 gifts listed in the carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” stayed the same price as last year, according to the 32nd annual PNC Wealth Management Christmas Price Index released Monday.

Mexico says it’s closing in on tiger that has spent a month on the run since escaping from zoo

MEXICO CITY A tiger named “Ankor” marked a full month on the run Wednesday, having evaded capture since he escaped from a restaurant zoo and disappeared into what appears to be a very tiger-friendly habitat on Mexico’s southern Pacific coast.

Mexican authorities have mounted a full-scale search effort including police, soldiers and a group of 10 big-cat experts.

Oldest known seabird, 64-year-old Wisdom, returns to Midway Atoll; first identified in 1956

HONOLULU Federal wildlife officials say the world’s oldest known seabird has returned to Midway Atoll.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Wednesday the Laysan Albatross named Wisdom was spotted at the remote island on Nov. 19.

An ornithologist first put an identification band on Wisdom in 1956. She’s estimated to be at least 64 years old, but she could be older.

Dogs, cats, house calls, lighter products can help owners go gently into those golden years

LOS ANGELES Teach your dog or cat a few tricks, and your golden years will be better for it.

The movement to improve care for older pets has been going on for some time. But the idea of training pets to help out aging baby boomers is relatively new.