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2:50 PM ET, December 25, 2013


 Top Items: 
Judge Who Once Called Rape Victim ‘In Control’ Sentences Abusive Boyfriend To Write ‘Boys Do Not Hit Girls’  —  Montana District Judge G. Todd Baugh's controversial remarks about a 14-year-old rape victim inspired a national petition and protests when he suspended the rapist's jail sentence in August to a mere 30 days.
Discussion: The Raw Story
Michael Muskal / Los Angeles Times:
Judge sentences man to write ‘boys do not hit girls’ 5,000 times  —  Montana District Judge G. Todd sentenced a man convicted of assaulting his girlfriend to write “boys do not hit girls” 5,000 times, in addition to six months in jail.  Above, a file photo shows Baugh in court in Great Falls, Mont. (Larry Mayer / Billings Gazette)
Raphael Ahren / The Times of Israel:
Why is this occupation different from all other occupations?  —  The EU insists that Turks in Cyprus and Moroccans in Western Sahara ‘cannot be compared’ to Israelis in the West Bank.  Two legal scholars are fighting a losing battle to find out why
Hadas Gold / Politico:
Edward Snowden's Christmas message  —  ‘Together we can find a better balance.  End mass surveillance,’ said Snowden.  AP Photo  —  Close  —  NSA leaker Edward Snowden is offering an “alternative” Christmas Message, saying a child born today will “never know what it means to have a private moment.”
Rebecca Shabad / The Hill:
House Republican vows to defend Christmas from ‘offended’ minority  —  Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) on Tuesday vowed to protect Christmas against what he called a “vocal minority” offended by its symbols and traditions.  —  “There is a vocal minority that is offended at the rest of us …
John Carney / CNBC:
The economics of Christmas, a holiday satire  —  What if some of the biggest names in economics and econ-blogging got into a fight about Christmas?  It might go a little something like this.  —  The Christmas equivalence theorem  —  By Robert Barro, Wall Street Journal
Discussion: EconLog and TheMoneyIllusion
Rebecca Shabad / The Hill:
Iran's top leaders praise spirit of Christmas  —  Iran President Hassan Rouhani is endorsing the spirit of Christmas.  —  Rouhani on Tuesday retweeted two tweets, one by Iran's supreme leader and one by its foreign minister, that focused on the spirit of Christmas.
Jennifer Bendery / The Huffington Post:
Here Are The 15 Democratic Senators Bucking The White House And Threatening War With Iran
Robert Pear / New York Times:
Sign-Up Period Extended Again for Health Plan  —  WASHINGTON — The Obama administration said Tuesday that it would provide more time for people to complete their applications for health insurance if they could show that they missed the deadline because of problems with the federal health care website.
Associated Press:
Pope Francis calls for peace in Syria, Middle East in Christmas address  —  The popular pontiff also singled out South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Nigeria during his message to tens of thousands of tourists, pilgrims and Romans who gathered below the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.
Chris Geidner / BuzzFeed:
Appeals Court Refuses To Halt Utah Marriages For Same-Sex Couples  —  A Christmas Eve order from the 10th Circuit.  Update: State officials say they will ask the Supreme Court to step in.  —  Nicole Barnes, left, and her partner Tarah Camarillo exchange rings as they get married …
Royal pardon for codebreaker Alan Turing  —  Computer pioneer and codebreaker Alan Turing has been given a posthumous royal pardon.  —  It addresses his 1952 conviction for homosexuality for which he was punished by being chemically castrated.  —  The conviction meant he lost …
Jose DelReal / Politico:
Bill de Blasio daughter reveals drug, alcohol abuse  —  In an unusual and moving Christmas Eve video, the college-age daughter of New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio is revealing for the first time her struggle with alcohol, drugs and depression — and is urging others in need to get help.
Philip Rucker / Post Politics:
In fundraising pitch, Hillary Clinton says Bill will match donations  —  Hillary Rodham Clinton fired off an end-of-the-year fundraising solicitation to supporters of her family's charitable foundation - and she offered an intriguing pitch.  —  Her husband, former president Bill Clinton …
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 More Items: 
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Obama's albatross: Transparency
Discussion: Washington Wire and Mediaite
Rick Kambic / Chicago Sun Times:
Morton Grove Library Board rejects $3K donation from atheist
Discussion: The Raw Story and Mediaite
Las Vegas Review-Journal:
The gist of Christmas lost
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Travis Gettys / The Raw Story:
Christian activists show their love by covering Chicago atheist display and berating onlookers
Discussion: Mediaite and Liberaland
 Earlier Items: 

From Techmeme:

Meta says it is testing its Meta AI chatbot with WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger users in India and parts of Africa

Ken Yeung / VentureBeat:
Elon Musk's xAI previews Grok-1.5 Vision, its first multimodal model, and says the AI model will be available soon to “early testers and existing Grok users”

Kamila Wojciechowska / Android Authority:
Source: Google's new Pixel 9 series, next-gen Pixel Fold, and 5G tablet that is under development will feature a new modem that supports satellite connectivity

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