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12:55 PM ET, December 25, 2013


 Top Items: 
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 …
Discussion: CNN, Booman Tribune and Guardian
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
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)
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.
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
Discussion: Israel Matzav
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 …
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.
Andrea Peyser / New York Post:
Give her the heave-ho, de Blasio
Las Vegas Review-Journal:
The gist of Christmas lost  —  'Twas the season of Christmas, and all through the land  —  Were signs and symbols some folks couldn't stand.  —  The evergreen conifer many decorate with glee,  —  But don't you dare call it a Christmas tree.  —  Heaven forbid a Nativity in the town square
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
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 …
Rick Kambic / Chicago Sun Times:
Morton Grove Library Board rejects $3K donation from atheist  —  Comments on a Facebook page, including one that said “[expletive] God,” led Morton Grove Library trustees to reject a $3,000 donation that was made to support Park Board member Dan Ashta's Pledge of Allegiance boycott.
Discussion: The Raw Story and Mediaite
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Obama's albatross: Transparency  —  Five years into his presidency, Barack Obama might have been reaping kudos for ushering in a new era of transparency in government.  —  Instead, he's under fire for his administration's secrecy.  —  The White House has faced a fusillade of high-profile complaints …
Discussion: Washington Wire and Mediaite
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 More Items: 
Philip Rucker / Post Politics:
In fundraising pitch, Hillary Clinton says Bill will match donations
Travis Gettys / The Raw Story:
Christian activists show their love by covering Chicago atheist display and berating onlookers
Discussion: Mediaite and Liberaland

From Mediagazer:

Aaron Fritschner / @fritschner:
[Thread] Uri Berliner's essay on NPR bias has significant problems, including verifiable falsehoods, flawed arguments, and questionable voter registration data

Dylan Byers / @dylanbyers:
Sources: former Disney TV chief Ben Sherwood and former Hearst Magazines exec Joanna Coles will buy a 49% stake in The Daily Beast; Barry Diller will retain 51%

Matthew Keys / The Desk:
Federal prosecutors charge Marco Gaudino with one count of conspiracy for allegedly giving Tim Burke credentials to access systems used by Fox News and others

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