The man at the eye of the storm in Saudi Arabia is Ahmad Aziz Al Ghamdi. He's a religious scholar, the former head of the religious police in Mecca, a group officially known as the Committee for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

With news that the United States will work toward re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba and easing the embargo, there is already talk about the reaction in the Cuban-American community.

In political terms, this is a major voting bloc in the hugely important swing state of Florida.

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The Church of England has named its first female bishop.

The Rev. Libby Lane, who has been a parish priest for 20 years, will be consecrated on Jan. 26, becoming the first woman to hold that position since the church was founded five centuries ago.

A Pennsylvania gas well.  fracking drilling
Gerry Dincher / Flickr/Creative Commons

An advocacy group says hundreds of millions of gallons of fracking waste is being dumped into oil and gas disposal wells without strong oversight. But the state stands by the strength of its program.

Ohio Citizen Action—a grassroots anti-pollution group—says the state’s inspections of injection wells are inconsistent. These are wells used to dispose of oil and gas drilling waste.

Nathan Rutz with Ohio Citizen Action adds that the U.S. EPA should do a better job at keeping the state inspectors in line.

Updated at 2:39 p.m. ET

President Obama announced today the most significant change in U.S. policy toward Cuba in more than 50 years, paving the way for the normalization of relations and the opening of a U.S. Embassy in Havana.

Obama said "we will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries."

Pakistan is picking up the pieces today after an attack on a school by Taliban militants left 145 people dead.

It's a heart-wrenching story. We've collected the news in a different post. Here, we'll tell the story visually, but fair warning — the photographs are representative of the horrific attack, so they're tough to look at:

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Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A day after a horrific Taliban attack on a school that left 145 people dead, Pakistan began to take stock.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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