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Best songs, movies of 2017, Philly joins suit against Defense Dept. | Morning Newsletter

All the local news you need to know to start your day, delivered straight to your email.

Lil Uzi Vert performs at Coachella Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in April 2017. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)
Lil Uzi Vert performs at Coachella Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in April 2017. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)Read moreAmy Harris

Hello, Philadelphia. As you may have noticed, it's really, really cold. Unfortunately, it's not going away anytime soon, and we could even see some snow this weekend. Bundle up!

If you like what you're reading, tell your friends it's free to sign up to get this newsletter in your inbox every weekday. I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, and feedback, so please email me, tweet me @aubsn, or reach our social team on Facebook. Thank you for reading.

— Aubrey Nagle

» READ MORE: The Best of 2017

'Tis the season for sharing your personal "best of" lists with family and friends. What was your favorite book? Which music rocked your world?

Our staff has rounded up their favorites, from Philly's own Lil Uzi Vert to movies for the #MeToo age. Now, let the heated debate begin!

» READ MORE: Black-owned bookstores looking for a comeback

After struggling to survive all too recently, two black-owned bookstores in Philadelphia — one believed to be the nation's oldest — are staging a comeback.

Two years ago, Hakim's Bookstore in West Philadelphia almost closed. Earlier this year Black and Nobel thought they might have to close, too.

But with a little community help and a few innovative retail strategies, they're both hoping to keep their traditions alive.

» READ MORE: Philly sues Defense Dept. over gun-check system failures

New York City, San Francisco and Philadelphia have teamed up to file a federal lawsuit against the Department of Defense. The suit argues that many service members who are disqualified from gun ownership weren't reported to the national background check system.

The suit follows last month's mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where a former U.S. Air Force member was able to buy a rifle and kill 26 churchgoers. The Air Force failed to alert the FBI to the shooter's criminal history, which should have prevented the purchase.

"The background check system only works if it contains the proper records," Mayor Jim Kenney said of the suit.

What you need to know today

  1. Friday night a police officer in Harrisburg was shot and multiple others were targeted by a man later shot by police. The question still remains: was it a terrorist attack? 

  2. An opioid crisis has swept the country and now victims and lawmakers are wondering what's next. Five addiction experts share their predictions for 2018.

  3. Four Philadelphia nuns and a young Delaware County driver survived a horrific car crash this month in what the nuns are calling a "Christmas miracle."

  4. When you're ready to take down the Christmas tree, do it the green way and recycle. Here's how to do it in Philadelphia and the surrounding 'burbs.

  5. Sixers rookie Markelle Fultz, the 2017 No. 1 overall draft pick, is almost ready to return to the court. One thing we know is he won't be on the bench for long.

  6. Rivalry aside, key Eagles will be getting a rest this weekend against the Dallas Cowboys, since the game has no postseason implications for either team.

  7. Improving one's health is a classic New Year's resolution that never goes out of style. Get ahead of the curve with these five nutrition trends for 2018 (and five more that are so 2017).

  8. Supply and demand affects everything from gas to groceries. So why are prescription drug prices almost immune to competition?

» READ MORE: #OurPhilly

We want to see what our community looks like through your eyes. Show us the park that your family walks through every weekend with the dog, the block party in your neighborhood or the historic stretch you see every morning on your commute to work.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we'll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out to build those followers!

That’s Interesting

  1. Looking for New Year's plans? Check out these parties in and around Philly to ring in 2018 in style.

  2. We asked for your tales of the most surprising holiday gift you've ever received and the responses are well worth a read (and a chuckle).

  3. Social media is way more than entertainment to this West Philly salon; Deeper Than Hair is finding national fans thanks to a killer Instagram strategy.

  4. When it debuted, that famous painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware on Christmas went 19th-century viral — and it wasn't even meant for American audiences.

  5. A freshman couple from Temple wrote a parody of Rupi Kaur's best-selling poetry book Milk and Honey featuring the words of famous Vines. It just became a best seller, too.

  6. This Bucks County native (and former National Women's Football League player) has a funny way of expressing her Eagles fandom: she creates silly song parodies for each game.

  7. If you're headed to The Nutcracker's last performance this season, you're in for a treat: the dancers traditionally add inside jokes to the holiday classic in celebration.


"This is just wrong. People who never miss a day of work shouldn't get awards and certificates. They ought to be publicly shamed." — Author and librarian Roz Warren reminds you to stay home from work if you're sick, for everyone's sake.
  1. The situation that led to a 4-month-old girl being attacked by a raccoon in her home this month is a microcosm of the city's affordable housing woes, writes the Inquirer Editorial Board.

  2. Columnist Will Bunch writes that despite Donald Trump's "Merry Christmas" declaration, his anti-immigration policies defy the teachings of the holiday. 

What we’re reading

  1. As politicians go back and forth over amnesty for unpaid parking tickets, WURD Radio's Charles D. Ellison writes for The Philadelphia Citizen that the real issue at stake is how the Philadelphia Parking Authority's efforts affect impoverished communities.

  2. The Allegheny Front, a public radio program reporting on environmental issues in Western Pennsylvania, has published an intriguing story on how local entrepreneurs are turning coal towns into bike trail towns.

  3. If you're a fan of the Rockettes, you'll love to learn about this 90-year-old retired Rockette captain who's still tapping in Bucks County via the Intelligencer.

  4. Millennial-focused brands like Everlane and the clothing they offer — and thus the problems they claim to solve — often leave out plus-size bodies. This Racked report on the trend is illuminating for any fashion fan.

  5. The holiday weekend and its requisite time with the relatives had me thinking of this collection of stories on the complex relationships with our aunts from The Outline.

Your Daily Dose of | Mystery

The biggest art heist in U.S. history saw $500 million worth of art stolen from a Boston museum, and the loot was last tracked to Philly. Now time’s running out to collect $10 million for information on the cold case.