Paolo Zialcita

O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree. How lovely are thy branches.

Those are the lyrics to a popular Christmas carol about a tree so wondrous it roused musicians to write an entire song about its green boughs and unchanging leaves. But this year, one London Christmas tree isn't exactly inspiring people to burst into holiday carols.

Users on Instagram will soon be required to enter their birth date in order to use the social networking app. The Facebook-owned company previously only checked that the new user was at least 13 years old.

The changes are being made in the hopes of making the platform safer for younger users, Instagram said in a statement. The birth dates will be used to recommend different privacy settings and features. Birthdays will not be visible to the public.

A prominent Japanese doctor who devoted his life to providing aid in Afghanistan was killed by unknown gunmen on Wednesday along with five Afghan colleagues. It's the second attack on aid workers in the country in recent weeks.

Officials said Tetsu Nakamura, 73, was attacked while riding in an aid vehicle in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad. He died of his wounds while he was being airlifted to a base for emergency care.

So far, there has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. The Taliban denied involvement; ISIS is also active in the area.

Graduate students at Harvard University began an indefinite strike Tuesday after a deadline to fulfill contract demands such as pay equity and health insurance were not met by administrators.

Negotiations between the two sides are ongoing, but the union — which represents about 4,400 student workers — said an agreement is not close to being met. Representatives with Harvard Graduate Students Union-UAW accused the university of neglecting several issues that students have faced for years.

Flight cancellations and delays continued Monday as the winter storm that tore across the United States reached the Northeast, bringing several inches of snow and coastal floods. Travel disruptions are likely, with the National Weather Service warning of hazardous driving conditions.

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