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3:05 AM ET, December 6, 2013

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 Top Items: 
Faith Karimi / CNN:
Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid icon and father of modern South Africa, dies  —  The evolution of Nelson Mandela  —  (CNN) — Freedom fighter, prisoner, moral compass and South Africa's symbol of the struggle against racial oppression.  —  That was Nelson Mandela, who emerged from prison …
RELATED:
Bill Keller / New York Times:
Nelson Mandela, South Africa's Liberator as Prisoner and President, Dies at 95  —  Nelson Mandela, who led the emancipation of South Africa from white minority rule and served as his country's first black president, becoming an international emblem of dignity and forbearance, died Thursday.  He was 95 .
Lydia Polgreen / New York Times:
Mandela's Death Leaves South Africa Without Its Moral Center  —  JOHANNESBURG — Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president and an enduring icon of the struggle against racial oppression, died on Thursday, the government announced, leaving the nation without its moral center …
Nelson Mandela / CNN:
Political world reacts to Nelson Mandela death  —  (CNN) - U.S. lawmakers and former presidents from both sides of the aisle took time Thursday to mark the death of Nelson Mandela, the prisoner-turned-president who reconciled South Africa after the end of apartheid, is dead.  —  Mandela was age 95.
Faith Karimi / CNN:
Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid icon and father of modern South Africa, dies
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Reuters:
Nelson Mandela dead: A life of struggle, triumph
Discussion: Culture Desk
Tracy Connor / World News:
Nelson Mandela dead at 95
Alexander Abad-Santos / The Wire:
President Clinton Doodled Male Genitalia (We Think) and It Was Glorious  —  The image above comes from the hacker Guccifer, who reportedly got access to the Clinton Library and allegedly obtained unreleased doodles.  Guccifer famously broke into George W. Bush's emails and revealed that the former preisdent paints dogs.
Discussion: Mediaite, TheBlaze.com and FishbowlDC
RELATED:
Andrew Taylor / Associated Press:
Budget Deal?  Big Obstacles, New Year's Deadline  —  With hopes of a “grand bargain” long gone, congressional negotiators now are seeking a more modest deal before year-end to ease the automatic spending cuts that are squeezing both the Pentagon and domestic federal programs.  But the going is getting rougher.
Discussion: CNN
RELATED:
Lisa Desjardins / CNN:
No budget deal this week
Discussion: Politico
Sahil Kapur / Talking Points Memo:
Pelosi: No Budget Deal Without Unemployment Benefits Extension (UPDATED)
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Obama Approval Down Most Among Hispanics in Past Year  —  Hispanics' approval has fallen from 75% in December 2012 to 52% in November  —  PRINCETON, NJ — President Barack Obama's job approval rating averaged 41% in November, down 12 percentage points from 53% last December, his high-water mark since his first year in office.
Maria Sacchetti / Boston Globe:
President Obama acknowledges having lived with his uncle  —  President Obama acknowledged on Thursday that he lived with his Kenyan uncle for a brief period in the 1980s while preparing to attend Harvard Law School, contradicting a statement more than a year ago that the White House had no record of the two ever meeting.
Alexandra Jaffe / The Hill:
Republican candidates shift their messages on Obama healthcare law  —  In a significant development, GOP candidates have embraced a concept that was unthinkable a year ago: fixing President Obama's landmark law.  Others, meanwhile, have offered replacement healthcare plans.
Washington Post:
Stolen cobalt-60 found in Mexico; curious thieves likely doomed  —  MEXICO CITY — The day after a load of stolen radioactive material was found in a field, Mexican authorities had formed a perimeter around the area and were measuring for contamination as they planned the recovery process Thursday, according to Mexican news reports.
Dan Merica / CNN:
Cruz refers to controversial law as advice to conservative group  —  Washington (CNN) - Republican Sen. Ted Cruz's advice for a conservative group facing criticism and hardship: “Stand your ground.”  —  The choice of words appeared to be a reference to a string of negative press …
Discussion: Politico, Daily Kos and The Raw Story
Michael Barone / Washington Examiner:
Obamacare's architects plugged their ears and misled public  —  BARACK OBAMA OBAMACARE SUPREME COURT MEDICARE AND MEDICAID  —  In 1970 the eccentric but insightful economist Albert Hirschman published a book called Exit, Voice and Loyalty.  It explored how people respond when a private firm's …
Discussion: protein wisdom
Mark Schlabach / ESPN:
Jameis Winston not charged  —  TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Nearly one year after Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was accused of rape by a female FSU student, the state attorney has decided not to charge the Heisman Trophy favorite.  —  Thursday's decision clears the way for him to finish the season with the No. 1 Seminoles.
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Obama plans new limits on NSA surveillance  —  President Barack Obama said Thursday that he'll be reining in some of the snooping conducted by the National Security Agency, but he did not detail what new limits he plans to impose on the embattled spy organization.  —  “I'll be proposing some self-restraint on the NSA.
Discussion: CNN
NY Daily News:
ABC brass nixed Barbara Walters' pick of Edward Snowden as year's most fascinating person  —  Michael Bolton's happy to be backup at charity gala; Will Ferrell keeps Ron Burgundy at a distance  —  Barbara Walters wanted Edward Snowden to be at the top of her list of 10 most fascinating people of 2013.
Discussion: Mediaite, TVNewser, Gawker and Liberaland
John Fund / National Review:
A Roll of the Dice  —  President Obama is back selling his health-care law with the manic intensity of a late-night-infomercial pitchman who knows that if he doesn't move the product, it could be discontinued.  —  Here's Obama aiming his comments at young people this Wednesday: “The product is good.
Sally Kohn / CNN:
Opinion: Hospitals close as GOP balks at Obamacare  —  Editor's note: Sally Kohn is a progressive activist, columnist and television commentator.  Follow her on Twitter at @sallykohn.  —  (CNN) — The Obamacare website is open for business.  But the Charlton Memorial Hospital in Folkston, Georgia, is closed.
World Watch Monitor:
Nigeria's Boko Haram strikes again in Cameroon  —  Missionary killed, churches torched around time of French priest's kidnapping  —  A missionary has been killed and several churches set ablaze in attacks by Nigeria's Islamist group Boko Haram in neighbouring Cameroon.
Discussion: Jihad Watch and The Gateway Pundit
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Polis melts down on House floor  —  Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) on Wednesday night lost his cool on the House floor over the issue of immigration, after the presiding officer warned another Democrat not to refer to people sitting in the House gallery.  —  Democrats were calling for House passage …
Arthur Martin / Daily Mail:
British soldier's alleged killer ‘told police he went for jugular as he was hacked to death in London street because that is how animals are killed in Islam’  — Michael Adebolajo told police in interview that he and Michael Adebowale waited at Woolwich Barracks to target a soldier
 
 
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 More Items: 
Bloomberg:
China Bans Financial Companies From Bitcoin Transactions
Adam Shaw / Fox News:
Pope Francis is the Catholic Church's Obama - God help us
Charles Lane / Washington Post:
Pandering to seniors over Social Security
New York Times:
No, There Won't Be a Doctor Shortage
Discussion: AEIdeas
Louise Radnofsky / Wall Street Journal:
Medicaid Is Latest Health-Site Victim
 Earlier Items: 
Politico:
Ky. gov hits McConnell on ACA
Tom Scocca / Gawker:
On Smarm  —  Last month, Isaac Fitzgerald, the newly hired editor …
Jenna Portnoy / New Jersey Online:
Chris Christie leaves for Oklahoma Thursday, raising ire of Democrats and gay rights activists
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay
Politico:
How the GOP lost its nerve on tax reform
Discussion: CNN and No More Mister Nice Blog
Politico:
GOP men told how to talk to women
 

 
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