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2:55 AM ET, December 19, 2014


 Top Items: 
The Daily Beast:
Paramount Bans Showing ‘Team America’  —  Three movie theaters say Paramount Pictures has ordered them not to show Team America: World Police one day after Sony Pictures surrendered to cyberterrorists and pulled The Interview.  The famous Alamo Drafthouse in Texas, Capitol Theater in Cleveland …
Jaclyn Hendricks / New York Post:
Kim Jong-un death scene from ‘The Interview’ leaks online  —  Well, that was fast.  —  Right on the heels of Sony's announcement that the studio would be scrapping the Christmas Day release of “The Interview,” the film's controversial climax has surfaced.  —  The scene features North …
Discussion: NY Daily News and The PJ Tatler
U.S. will respond to North Korea hack, official says  —  Washington (CNN) — U.S. government officials are preparing to publicly blame North Korea for the Sony Pictures hack — but haven't yet decided how to respond to the attack.  —  The White House and other agencies are holding a series …
Discussion: Daily Kos, Boing Boing and
Julian Hattem / The Hill:
Theaters cancel ‘Team America’ showings
Discussion: Hot Air, CNN and The Daily Banter
Edward-Isaac Dovere / Politico:
The first Latino president?  —  Obama's not there yet.  —  Bill Clinton was the first black president.  Thursday afternoon, taking in the Cuba thaw after weeks buoyed by President Barack Obama's immigration reform executive actions, Labor Secretary Tom Perez put down a new marker for his own boss.
Discussion: Hot Air and The Hill
Mike Levine / ABC News:
5 Sweeping Changes Recommended for Secret Service After Fence Jumper Enters WH
Discussion: and Politico
Jim Sciutto / CNN:
U.S. airstrikes kill 3 top ISIS leaders  —  Washington (CNN) — U.S. airstrikes have killed two top-level and one mid-level ISIS leader, a senior U.S. military official tells CNN.  —  Haji Mutazz was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's deputy in Iraq; Abd al Basit was his military emir in Iraq; and Radwan Talib was his Mosul emir.
Discussion: New York Magazine
US servicemen in first ground battle with ISIS - Kurdish media
Discussion: Reuters
Lolita C. Baldor / Associated Press:   Top Islamic militants killed; more US troops going to Iraq
Philip Ewing / Politico:   General: ISIL battle in Iraq could take 3 years or more
Ken Thomas / Associated Press:
PAUL: TRADE WITH CUBA ‘PROBABLY A GOOD IDEA’  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said Thursday that starting to trade with Cuba “is probably a good idea” and that the lengthy economic embargo against the communist island “just hasn't worked.”  —  Paul became the first potential …
Daniel W. Drezner / Washington Post:
Every big question you have about the U.S. opening to Cuba, answered
Joy Diaz / KUT:
Sexist Comment by Austin Police Officer: Isolated Incident or Part of Broader Culture?  —  Update (2:19 p.m.): Officer Andrew Petrowski officially retired from the Austin Police Department on Friday, Dec. 12 after learning KUT would air his comments this week.
Boston Public Radio / WGBH News:
‘Governor, This Is Barack Obama, Formerly Of Somerville.’ … For the past eight years, Deval Patrick has joined Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on the radio each month to field calls from listeners.  On Thursday, he joined the hosts of Boston Public Radio for the final time as governor of Massachusetts.
Leo Varadkar /
Clinically dead pregnant woman being kept alive by hospital  —  Life support machine being used to protect unborn baby  —  A PREGNANT woman who is clinically brain-dead is being kept on a life support machine in hospital to keep her baby alive, the Irish Independent can reveal.  — Google
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Democrats to Colbert: Thanks For Your Help!  —  I have never seen Stephen Colbert's show on Comedy Central, but I take it that it consists of an endless series of anti-Republican “jokes.”  If asked, would Colbert admit to being a loyal Democratic Party foot soldier, or would he claim …
Robert Kelchen / Politico:
Should the Government Rate Our Colleges?  —  Should the federal government be in the business of rating colleges?  And can it do them right?  —  That's been a question ever since the summer of 2013, when President Obama announced the Department of Education's new plan to score American colleges …
The year Congress hit rock bottom  —  Can the Hill climb out of its hole?  —  Look at what Congress pulled off in the last two weeks and it might seem like compromise and conciliation ruled the 113th Congress.  —  Lawmakers cleared a funding bill that will keep federal agencies open through Sept. 2015.
Michael Daly / The Daily Beast:
Cuba Protects America's Most Wanted  —  Cop-killers, hijackers, and bomb-makers are living in tropical paradise 90 miles from justice.  Will they ever be tried for their crimes?  —  With the prisoner exchange and the normalizing of relations with Cuba arises the question of the dozens …
Charles M. Blow / New York Times:
The Obamas, Race and Slights  —  The president and the first lady added their voices this week to the raging conversation on race following the protests that erupted in the wake of grand juries not indicting police officers who killed two unarmed black men — Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
Discussion: JustOneMinute
Azi Paybarah / Capital New York:
At private meeting, union head tells officers to use ‘extreme discretion’  —  Police union leader Pat Lynch is telling officers to use “extreme discretion,” in response to what he said was a lack support from City Hall and Washington in the wake of a grand jury decision not to indict an officer in the death of Eric Garner last month.
Pamela Ng / New York's PIX11:
Mayor de Blasio named PETA's Person of the Year for 2014
 New Item Finder: 
3 hours ago
Julie Rovner / Kaiser Health News:
Public Easily Swayed On Attitudes About Health Law, Poll Finds   Find
4½ hours ago
Edward-Isaac Dovere / Politico:
The first Latino president?   Find
4½ hours ago
The year Congress hit rock bottom   Find
4½ hours ago
Robert Kelchen / Politico:
Should the Government Rate Our Colleges?   Find
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 More Items: 
Julie Rovner / Kaiser Health News:
Public Easily Swayed On Attitudes About Health Law, Poll Finds
Douglas MacMillan / Wall Street Journal:
Uber Strikes Deal With Portland to Suspend Service for Three Months
Discussion: New York Times and The Verge
Robert Joseph Baker / Manning Live:
Stinney sister: Decision ‘long overdue’
Wall Street Journal:
Memo to Staff: Time to Lose a Few Pounds
Discussion: Slantpoint and Tech Times
Department of Justice:
Attorney General Holder Directs Department to Include Gender Identity Under Sex Discrimination Employment Claims
Discussion: Advocate, National Review and WGBH News
The Year of Outrage  —  Slate tracked what everyone was outraged about every day in 2014.
Discussion: The Dish
Stephen Braun / Associated Press:
Files of more than 40,000 federal workers breached
 Earlier Items: 
Associated Press:
President signs legislation ending Nazi benefit checks
Nick Hanauer / Politico:
The Pitchforks Are Coming... For Us Plutocrats
Alice Robb / The New Republic:
Watching Colbert Makes Conservatives Even More Conservative
Garth Kant / WND:
Discussion: Raw Story and Right Wing Watch
Julia Marsh / New York Post:
Catsimatidis' daughter files for divorce from husband of 3 years