Missouri students turn backs on church protest at basketball game to support Michael Sam

A group of Missouri students formed a human wall outside Mizzou Arena on Saturday in support of Michael Sam.

The students were attempting to block from view members of a church group who were in town protesting against the outpouring of support for former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, who announced he was gay earlier this month.

Sam and the rest of the Missouri football team were honored during the basketball game against Tennessee. Sam received one of the loudest ovations from fans when the team was acknowledged.

Sam earned the SEC Defensive Player of the Year Award during the 2013 season and is projected to be a mid-round selection in the April NFL draft as either a defensive end or linebacker. He told his teammates and coaches he was gay prior to the start of last season and told the rest of the world earlier this month. When he signs with an NFL franchise at some point later this spring or summer, Sam will become the first active, openly gay NFL player.

Members of a Baptist church stood outside the arena holding signs that condemned the community's and school's support for Sam. Students who formed the wall tried to counter the protest by turning their backs and singing the Missouri alma mater. Alix Carruth and Kelaney Lakers were the students who organized the 'Stand With Sam' counter protest.




Johnny Manziel wants to be first overall pick

As Johnny Manziel prepares for the upcoming NFL draft, he made it clear where he wants to be selected.

"I want them to say absolutely, without a doubt, with 100 percent certainty, that I'm who they want," Manziel said. "I want everybody from the janitor at Reliant Stadium to the front office executive assistant all the way up to (owner) Bob McNair to say, 'This kid is 100 percent, can't miss. This is who we want being the face of our program. We want the Texas kid staying in Texas and leading the Texans.'"



Dunn convicted of attempted murder; hung jury on murder in 'loud music' trial
A jury on Saturday night convicted a Florida man on four charges related to his shooting into an SUV full of teenagers during an argument over loud music, but could not decide on the most serious charge -- murder.

Michael Dunn was found guilty on four charges, including three of attempted second-degree murder, which could land him behind bars for decades. Yet there was no verdict on the first-degree murder charge tied to the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis.

As the jury's decisions became clear about 7 p.m. Saturday, Dunn looked ahead solemnly with a frown but no tears. His lawyer, Cory Strolla, told reporters later that his client was "in disbelief."

"Even as he sat next to me, he asked, how is this happening," Strolla said. "... It has not set in. I don't think it will set in anytime soon."


Target offers 10% discount after credit card hack

Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel says the chain is offering customers a 10-percent discount  on Dec. 21 and 22. It's the company's way of trying to bring a little goodwill back to consumers after it was announced payment card information was hacked over the past few weeks. 

For 40 million Target shoppers, the Grinch came early this year – stealing personal credit and debit card information and likely selling it on the black market.

"Anyone who believes that they may have been victimized in any intrusion of this case should make immediate notification to the Secret Service," said Secret Service spokesperson, Ed Lowery.



John Henson -- son of the iconic Jim Henson -- dies of heart attack at 48
ohn Henson -- a son of the late, great children's entertainment visionary Jim Henson -- died after a "sudden, massive heart attack," his family's company said.

The Jim Henson Company announced the death of the 48-year-old son of its iconic founder in a Facebook post Saturday.

He died Friday while at home with one of his two daughters, the post said. John Henson is also survived by his wife, Gyongyi, and his siblings Lisa, Cheryl, Brian and Heather.

Actress Ellen Page: "I am gay"
Hollywood actress Ellen Page, known for her role in the movie "Juno," announced she is gay, in a very public way.

Page broke the news during an emotional speech Friday in a crowded conference hall in Las Vegas, her publicist confirmed to CNN.

"I'm here today because I am gay. And because... maybe I can make a difference," Page told a crowd at an event called Time to THRIVE, a conference to promote issues of the gay community.