The Grinch strikes Target. About 40 million credit and debit card accounts of Target store customers may have been compromised this holiday shopping season, the chain said. The theft affects customers who swiped their cards at terminals in Target’s U.S. stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. The stolen data includes customer names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates, and the three-digit security codes located on the backs of cards. The data breach did not affect online purchases, the company said. Target Corp. advised customers to check their statements carefully. Those who see suspicious charges on the cards should report them to their credit card companies and call Target at 866-852-8680.
A divine letter. The young widow of an American teacher slain in Libya issued an open letter of reconciliation to her husband’s killers. Unknown assailants gunned down Ronnie Smith on Dec. 6 while he was jogging in Benghazi. Smith was a Christian from Austin, Texas, whose faith motivated him to move to Libya 18 months ago with his wife and young son. The letter from Anita Smith, posted on the internet in both English and Arabic, read, “To his attackers: I love you and I forgive you. How could I not? For Jesus taught us to ‘Love our enemies’—not to kill them or seek revenge.”
Crime and punishment. United Methodist church officials Thursday defrocked the Rev. Frank Schaefer, who defied church rules when he officiated his son’s same-sex wedding and said he would do so again if given the chance. Schaefer, who lives in Lebanon, Pa., had been told to resign from the clergy by Thursday if he could not follow the denomination’s Book of Discipline. But Schaefer called the book discriminatory and said, “I cannot voluntarily surrender my credentials because I am a voice now for many—for tens of thousands—of LGBT members in our church.”
With friends like these … Former NBA star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea today to finalize his plans to bring 12 ex-NBA players to Pyongyang for a Jan. 8 exhibition game marking the leader Kim Jong Un’s birthday. Rodman said the game is on track despite the recent execution of Kim’s uncle in a dramatic political purge. “I can’t control what they do with their government, I can’t control what they say or how they do things here,” Rodman said. “I’m just trying to come here as a sports figure and try to hope I can open the door for a lot of people in the country.” Rodman and Kim have struck up an unlikely friendship since the Hall of Famer traveled to the secretive state for the first time in February with the Harlem Globetrotters for an HBO series produced by New York-based VICE television. “I’ve come over to see my friend, and people always give me a little hard time about me saying that,” Rodman said. “I’m very proud to say he’s my friend, because he hasn’t done anything to put a damper, to say any negative things about my country.”