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Eric Baradat /AFP via Getty Images

Millions of Americans sank into addiction after using potent opioid painkillers, such as acetaminophen/oxycodone, that companies churned out and doctors freely prescribed over the past two decades.

Eric Baradat /AFP via Getty Images

This was meant to be the year we answered a big question about the deadly opioid epidemic: Will drug companies that make and sell prescription pain medications be held liable? That clarity never came.

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Olivier Matthys/AP

Between the financial crisis and record refugees, the long-serving chancellor "kept a steady hand during a tumultuous time," says one biographer.

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Matthew Westmoreland/AP

Riley Howell, who died saving his classmates from a gunman last April, was a Star Wars fan. Now he is a part of the Star Wars universe.

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Glenda Savitz

"We really wanted to communicate with her and play with her," says Jill McNeil, who lives across the street. "Since she couldn't learn our language, we thought we wanted to learn hers."

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Screenshot of WPIX streaming Yule Log

Fred Thrower came up with the idea for the TV fire in 1966. "There's something very special about the fact that you're watching the same burning fireplace that someone else is," says Fred's son Mitch.

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Alberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images

"It is injustice that turns them away from places where they might have hope for a dignified life, but instead find themselves before walls of indifference," the pontiff said in his holiday address.

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Tim McDonnell/NPR

We profiled women who were on the front lines of social change this year — from a doctor fighting Ebola in Congo amid gunfire to two forthright beauty queens.

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Meredith Rizzo/NPR

NPR tells the exclusive, behind-the-scenes story of the first person with a genetic disorder to be treated in the United States with the revolutionary gene-editing technique CRISPR.

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