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UPS Overload Leaves Miffed
Customers Short of Presents, Meals
Associated Press, by Liz Neporent    Original Article
Posted By: MissMolly- 12/26/2013 4:30:01 AM     Post Reply
If your gifts didn’t arrive on time to place under the tree this year, United Parcel Service might be to blame. The nation’s largest package carrier failed to deliver all packages to consumers by Christmas Eve, deflating the holiday spirit for some irate customers. In a statement, UPS said it simply could not keep up with last-minute shipments as “the volume of air packages in our system exceeded the capacity of our network.” The company spokeswoman called it “a perfect storm” of problems, blaming the delays on the normal surge in deliveries this time of year, the compressed shopping season, and

Michelle Keeps it Real
with Reverend Al
American Thinker, by Jeannie DeAngelis    Original Article
Posted By: DW626- 12/26/2013 3:21:23 AM     Post Reply
After heading up a ´poor me´ sob-story session with mothers in the Oval Office, packing for the nine-hour flight to Oahu, and wrapping up a 16-day Obamacare public relations blitz, ´Mom-to-Mom´ Michelle found time to take to the airwaves and dial in to the "Keeping it Real with Reverend Al Sharpton" radio show. If I might digress for moment, Al Sharpton is a man who, judging from his hairdo and his manner, is neither ´real´ nor ´reverend.´ Nonetheless, apart from making some inane arguments as to why everyone should sign up for Obamacare, true to form the first lady began by dragging

Three Turkish Cabinet ministers
resign amid corruption investigation
Los Angeles Times, by Glen Johnson    Original Article
Posted By: SoCalGal- 12/25/2013 11:08:03 PM     Post Reply
GAZIANTEP, Turkey — Three senior ministers in Turkey´s Cabinet resigned Wednesday as a secret 14-month corruption investigation of bid rigging and bribery intensified, threatening to topple the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP. The graft inquiry presents the most serious challenge to the legitimacy of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan´s government since opposition protests six months ago. The investigation has netted millions of dollars in cash stashed away in shoe boxes, exposed sanctions-breaking deals with Iran and revealed bribes paid to allow construction in protected areas. Outrage has morphed into protest, with thousands taking to the streets over the weekend after



Erdogan has played his cards wrongly
Gulf News [Dubai, UAE], by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: SoCalGal- 12/25/2013 10:54:26 PM     Post Reply
Two years ago, Recep Tayyip Erdogan was considered a man with a vision. And Turkey was seen as a shining example, a country whose government managed to integrate democracy and conservative Islamic traditions. Experts used to urge regional states to emulate what was then called “the Turkish Model”. It was an attractive model that was meant to appease the religious sentiments of Muslims and at the same time their hopes for representative government. Turkey was also touted as a regional necessity to counter the increasingly aggressive drive by Iran to spread its unwelcome influence in the Arab world. That is where

Graft Scandal Is Approaching
Turkey Premier
New York Times, by Tim Arango    Original Article
Posted By: Emerson- 12/25/2013 10:46:27 PM     Post Reply
ISTANBUL — A corruption investigation that has encircled the Turkish government moved an ominous step closer to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday, as three top ministers whose sons have been implicated abruptly resigned — and one of them, on his way out the door, said Mr. Erdogan should step down as well. The resignations, coming only hours after the ministers welcomed Mr. Erdogan at the Ankara airport as he returned from Pakistan late on Tuesday, were enough to inspire new talk of a deepening crisis, which Mr. Erdogan has repeatedly denounced as a foreign plot. But the words

Justin Bieber announces his
retirement on Twitter
Guardian (UK), by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: Bubbasuncle- 12/25/2013 10:10:45 PM     Post Reply
Twas the night before Christmas, all over the house, not a creature was stirring – except for Justin Bieber, who chose Christmas Eve to announce his "official" retirement on Twitter. (snip) series of Tweets direct to fans. Just last week, Bieber had told a Los Angeles radio station he planned to quit. "After the new album, I´m actually retiring, man. I´m retiring," he told Power 106 on December 17. However, he then suggested that was not, in fact, the case. "I want to grow as an artist, and I´m taking a step out, I want my music to mature," he

Cryptolocker ransomware has
´infected about 250,000 PCs´
BBC News, by Leo Kelion    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/25/2013 8:57:21 PM     Post Reply
A virulent form of ransomware has now infected about quarter of a million Windows computers, according to a report by security researchers. Cryptolocker scrambles users´ data and then demands a fee to unencrypt it alongside a countdown clock. Dell Secureworks said that the US and UK had been worst affected. It added that the cyber-criminals responsible were now targeting home internet users after initially focusing on professionals. The firm has provided a list of net domains that it suspects have been used to spread the code, but warned that more are being generated every day. Ransomware has existed since at least 1989,



NY Times: Obamacare Extensions
´A Sweeping Exercise of Executive Power´
Breitbart Big Journalism, by Wynton Hall    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/25/2013 8:08:53 PM     Post Reply
On Christmas Eve, the Obama administration announced yet another Obamacare enrollment extension on its HealthCare.gov blog for anyone who claims to have missed the myriad sign-up deadlines due to problems with the website. The New York Times called the announcement "vague" and noted that "it was not clear on Tuesday how many people would be affected, or how consumers would prove that website errors had prevented them from signing up by the deadline on Tuesday night." The Obama administration announcement also failed to note when the "special enrollment period" would cease; however, White House

Iran lawmakers introduce
uranium-enrichment bill
Associated Press, by Ali Akbar Dareini    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/25/2013 8:03:56 PM     Post Reply
Tehran, Iran - Some 100 Iranian lawmakers introduced a bill in parliament that would force the government to increase uranium enrichment to 60 percent if new sanctions are imposed on the Islamic Republic, state television reported Wednesday. (Snip) The bill is likely a response to a legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate last week that would authorize new economic sanctions on Iran if it breaches the interim nuclear deal reached in Geneva last month or fails to strike a final agreement. Under the deal, Iran agreed to limit its uranium enrichment to 5 percent and neutralize its stockpile of 20-percent enriched uranium in return for the easing

Exclusive: Al-Qaida leader
targeting UN workers
Associated Press, by Qassim Abdul-Zahra    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/25/2013 7:51:08 PM     Post Reply
Baghdad - The shadowy leader of a powerful al-Qaida group fighting in Syria sought to kidnap United Nations workers and scrawled out plans for his aides to take over in the event of his death, according to excerpts of letters obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press. Iraqi intelligence officials offered the AP the letters, as well as the first known photograph of the Nusra Front leader, Abu Mohammed al-Golani, the head of one of the most powerful bands of radicals fighting the Syrian government in the country´s civil war. The officials said they obtained the information about al-Golani after they captured members of another al-Qaida

At least 5 dead in Texas from
H1N1 flu; what you need to know
CBS News, by Anna Werner    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 12/25/2013 7:36:18 PM     Post Reply
One of the biggest health concerns each winter is flu season. And the Centers for Disease Control says the flu is widespread in four southern states: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. In some cases, it has turned deadly. At least five people have died from flu in Texas -- all from swine flu. Health authorities say this year´s flu vaccine can prevent swine flu and several other flu strains, if people get vaccinated. Last year, according to the CDC, only 45 percent of Americans got the flu shot. Dr. Christopher Perkins, medical director for Dallas County Health and Human Services, said, “When things are quiet, people tend to let their



Shipping overload leaves
many Christmas giftless
Wall Street Journal, by Shelly Banjo    Original Article
Posted By: Toledo- 12/25/2013 4:57:20 PM     Post Reply
Many shoppers are blaming online retailers for stealing Christmas. Companies from Amazon.com Inc. to Kohl´s Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. promised to deliver items from headphones to television sets before Christmas, but shipping delays left gift-givers across the country without anything to put under the tree. On Christmas Eve, Brandon Scott was still waiting for a 46-inch Samsung TV and Kate Spade watch he ordered from Amazon on Saturday. "I´m frustrated because these items could have easily been purchased at various retailers in my area, something I would have gladly done had Amazon not guaranteed´

Thousands expected for ´Birthday
Party for Jesus´ at The Citadel
Post & Courier [Charleston, SC], by Natalie Caula Hauff    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/25/2013 3:54:02 PM     Post Reply
If it´s anything like last year, thousands are likely to turn out on Christmas at The Citadel´s Johnson Hagood Stadium, where volunteers will serve food, hand out gifts and celebrate the birth of Jesus. Last year, about 2,000 people showed up at the "Birthday Party for Jesus," organized by a collection of churches and community groups. The line wrapped around the outside of the stadium. About 1,000 volunteers helped distribute bicycles, a traditional Christmas meal and other goodies. About the same number of volunteers are expected this year, but even more items will be given away at the event, which

Egypt´s Muslim Brotherhood
declared ´terrorist group´
BBC News [UK], by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/25/2013 3:46:05 PM     Post Reply
The military-backed interim Egyptian government has declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group after blaming it for a deadly attack on a police HQ earlier this week. The group, whose candidate Mohammed Morsi won the presidential poll last year before being deposed by the military, had already been outlawed. Thousands of its supporters have been arrested in a crackdown. [Snip] Deputy Prime Minister Hossam Eissa announced the move, which will give the authorities more power to crack down on the Brotherhood. He said that those who belonged to the group, financed it or promoted its activities would face punishment.

Richmond, Va., woman with a
´vision´ enlists her ´angels´ to
help women at risk
Fox News, by George Kindel    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/25/2013 3:41:26 PM     Post Reply
Depending on your point of view...This is a Christmas story, replete with real-life "angels" -- including one still working to earn his wings -- who give of themselves to help at-risk women and children desperate for shelter from life´s storms...Or, it´s a story about a courageous single mom, whose gentleness and infectious kindness belies a ramrod-strong backbone that shoulders the hardships of others until they can do for themselves...Or, it´s the story of a most unique and loving couple -- a woman who´ll let no mountain stand in the way of her "vision," a man who had to fall time



Rev. Jackson: Phil Robertson ´More
Offensive´ Than Rosa Parks Bus Driver
ABC News, by Michael Rothman    Original Article
Posted By: bamapreacher- 12/25/2013 2:48:04 PM     Post Reply
Jesse Jackson has decided to weigh in on the inflammatory comments that Phil Robertson made to GQ about gays and African Americans. In an interview with Drew Magary, the "Duck Dynasty" star said the Nazis needed Jesus, that he never saw the mistreatment of African Americans while growing up in Louisiana before the civil rights era and that homosexuality was a sin. A&E has already suspended Robertson, but Reverend Jackson, his Rainbow PUSH Coalition and GLAAD are demanding to meet with network execs, along with Cracker Barrel´s CEO, to discuss the future of all "Duck Dynasty" memorabilia or content.

No Americans injured in Christmas
Day embassy attack in Kabul
Washington Times (D.C.), by Jacqueline Klimas    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/25/2013 2:42:39 PM     Post Reply
No Americans were hurt when two rounds of indirect fire hit the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on Christmas morning, an embassy official said. “At approximately 06:40 local time in Kabul, approximately two rounds of indirect fire impacted the U.S. Embassy compound,” the official said. “All Americans are accounted for and no injuries were sustained. The embassy continues to investigate the attack.” It was not immediately clear which part of the large embassy complex the rounds hit just before dawn on Wednesday, Fox News reported. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack and said it fired four rockets at the embassy,

Activist group targeting Bob Newhart,
Catholics is funded by George Soros
Daily Caller (Washington, D.C.), by Patrick Howley    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/25/2013 2:22:13 PM     Post Reply
The gay advocacy group that launched a pressure campaign to block comedian Bob Newhart from speaking at a Catholic summit is funded by progressive billionaire George Soros and has close links to President Obama’s new White House counselor, records reveal. Newhart, 84, pulled out of speaking at a Christmas Week conference in Orlando organized by the Catholic networking group Legatus, which was founded by Republican Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan in 1987 to provide networking opportunities for Catholic business leaders. Newhart backed out after the gay rights group GLAAD launched a targeted campaign to pressure the

Obama gifts little girl with
presidential autograph
New York Daily News, by Adam Edelman    Original Article
Posted By: SoCalGal- 12/25/2013 12:46:32 PM     Post Reply
A lucky little girl´s initial Christmas present this year was truly a first gift. But it didn´t come wrapped with a bow, it came signed with a pen. Kyrstin Lavelle, 10, was at a Marine Corps gym near Honolulu Christmas Eve Day with her uncle and brother when she spotted President Obama, who is vacationing in Hawaii with his family, working out. (Snip)To return the favor, Lavelle said she gave the President a flower. Obama reportedly said he would give it to first lady Michelle Obama.

Edwin A. Shuman III, Former Prisoner of War
Who Defied Hanoi Hilton Guards, Dies at 82
New York Times, by Richard Goldstein    Original Article
Posted By: MissMolly- 12/25/2013 12:04:20 PM     Post Reply
As Christmas 1970 approached, 43 American prisoners of war in a large holding cell at the North Vietnamese camp known as the Hanoi Hilton sought to hold a brief church service. Their guards stopped them, and so the seeds of rebellion were planted. A few days later, Lt. Cmdr. Edwin A. Shuman III, a downed Navy pilot, orchestrated the resistance, knowing he would be the first to face the consequences: a beating in a torture cell. “Ned stepped forward and said, ‘Are we really committed to having church Sunday? I want to know person by person,’ ” a fellow prisoner, Leo K. Thorsness, recounted in a memoir. “He went around the


North Korea is really no joke
The Scotsman [Edinburgh, Scotland], by Alex Massie    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 12/25/2013 11:47:33 AM     Post Reply
North Korea: the greatest, oddest, show on earth. What larks. It is tempting to blame Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the South Park creators also responsible for Team America: World Police in which Kim Jong-il featured prominently – and absurdly – for the manner in which North Korea is treated as some kind of gruesome entertainment. The Norks are funny, not terrifying. The press often endorses, indeed reinforces, this attitude. An advertising campaign in New York City promoting the Daily Mail’s website depicts mug shots of Kim Jong-un (the current North Korean leader) and Kim Kardashian (a staple of ‘reality’ TV)

Queen and Royal Family attend
church service at Sandringham
BBC News, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: earlybird- 12/25/2013 11:25:56 AM     Post Reply
The Queen and other members of the Royal Family have greeted well-wishers outside the Sandringham church which they attended for a Christmas service. A big crowd had gathered to see the family, who were not accompanied by five-month-old Prince George. They listened to the service via loudspeakers and afterwards the Queen was presented with gifts by children. The Royal Family then returned to the Sandringham estate for a traditional Christmas dinner. At 15:00 GMT they will watch the Queen's speech on television, with BBC royal reporter Jenny Hill revealing that Her Majesty likes to view the broadcast alone.

Video - Edward Snowden Christmas
Message: End Mass Surveillance
Breitbart's The Conversation, by Elizabeth Sheld    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 12/25/2013 11:05:32 AM     Post Reply
Edward Snowden delivered Channel 4´s "Alternative Christmas Message" today, urging the the end of mass surveillance. The message was filmed from Russia, where he has temporary asylum. Below is the transcript: Hi, and Merry Christmas. I´m honored to have the chance to speak with you and your family this year. Recently, we learned that our governments, working in concert, have created a system of worldwide mass surveillance, watching everything we do. Great Britain´s George Orwell warned us of the danger of this kind of information. The types of collection in the book -- microphones and video cameras, TVs that watch us --

The magic of Christmas at the museum
Telegraph [UK], by Richard Gray    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 12/25/2013 10:40:43 AM     Post Reply
Ever wondered what goes on behind the closed doors of a museum over Christmas? This, according to the University of Oxford, is what goes on behind closed doors at its museums over Christmas. The statues, paintings, pottery and other objects come alive – with the help of some Pythonesque animation – to deliver a seasonal wishes and a Christmas carol. My favourite moment is about 20 seconds in to this rather sweet video. Would you like to watch another festive video?

A Christmas Song to Soothe Your Soul
Cybercast News Service, by Craig Bannister    Original Article
Posted By: mitzi- 12/25/2013 10:38:16 AM     Post Reply
Here´s a song to warm your heart and soothe your soul throughout the Christmas season. It´s "A Hallelujah Christmas," originally written by Leonard Cohen and performed by the Christian musical group Cloverton. Enjoy, and Merry Christmas.

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