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6:55 PM ET, December 25, 2017


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Kremlin trolls burned across the Internet as Washington debated options … The first email arrived in the inbox of CounterPunch, a left-leaning American news and opinion website, at 3:26 a.m. — the middle of the day in Moscow.  —  “Hello, my name is Alice Donovan and I'm a beginner freelance journalist …
Connor Sheets /
Man who left manure at Treasury Secretary Mnuchin's house comes forward, speaks out  —  A man who appears to be the person who left a gift-wrapped box of horse manure outside the home of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Saturday spoke with via phone late Sunday evening, calling the incident an “act of political theater.”
89.3 KPCC:
This man sent horse manure to the Treasury secretary to protest Trump's tax plan  —  Photo posted on Twitter by Robert Strong of Eagle Rock.  Strong said he was the person who put horse manure in a gift-wrapped box left near the Bel Air home of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on the night of Dec. 23.
Avi Selk / Washington Post:
‘A gift-wrapped package of poo’: Why a man left a box of manure for Steven Mnuchin  —  It was one of those gag cards you can buy in a drugstore.  “Merry Catsmess!” read the caption.  And in a personal touch, as if for emphasis, Robby Strong had enclosed a box of horse manure.
Discussion: Raw Story
Los Angeles Times:
Secret Service takes over investigation of package of manure sent to Steve Mnuchin's Bel-Air home  —  U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin attends a news conference on tax reform in November on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.  (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Nataliya Vasilyeva / Associated Press:
Russian officials bar Navalny from running for president  —  MOSCOW (AP) — Russian election officials on Monday formally barred Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny from running for president, prompting calls from him for a boycott of next year's vote.  —  The Central Election Commission …
Discussion: RedState
Salt Lake Tribune:
Tribune Editorial: Why Orrin Hatch is Utahn of the Year  —  These things are often misunderstood.  So, lest our readers, or the honoree himself, get the wrong impression, let us repeat the idea behind The Salt Lake Tribune's Utahn of the Year designation.  —  The criteria are not set in stone.
Discussion: Raw Story
37 dead in Philippines mall fire  —  Dozens feared dead in fire at Philippine shopping mall  —  (CNN)More than three dozen people were killed when a fire broke out at a shopping mall in the southern Philippines city of Davao, authorities said.  —  All 37 were call center agents working …
Discussion: Axios and WTKR-TV
Larry Fitzgerald /
An Appreciation of John McCain, Who Spent Six Christmases as a Prisoner of War  — Over his years with the Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald has become a friend and admirer of Arizona Sen. John McCain.  This Christmas he pays tribute to a man who as a POW in Vietnam was a model of selfless heroism …
Discussion: WPMT FOX43
Jacey Fortin / New York Times:
Parents Killed After Warning Daughter About Boyfriend's Racist Views, Family Says  —  A husband and wife were shot dead in their Virginia home three days before Christmas by a 17-year-old boy they had warned their daughter not to date because of his racist views, according to officials and news accounts.
Associated Press:
Text of Pope Francis' traditional Christmas day message  —  VATICAN CITY (AP) — Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Christmas!  —  In Bethlehem, Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary.  He was born, not by the will of man, but by the gift of the love of God our Father, who “so loved the world …
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Philip Pullella / Reuters:
Mideast needs two-state solution, Pope says in Christmas message
Discussion: IJR and Axios
Kurt Schlichter /
Christmas Is the Perfect Time to Mock Liberals, and Other Random Thoughts  —  When we gather together this Christmas, it's going to be super-awkward since everybody is dead because Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Scam, repealed net neutrality, and cut taxes.
Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters:
Topless Femen activist tries to snatch Jesus statue from Vatican crib  —  VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - A topless activist from the feminist group Femen tried to snatch the statue of the baby Jesus from the Nativity scene in St. Peter's Square on Monday but was stopped by police as she grabbed it.
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 More Items: 
Yonette Joseph / New York Times:
How Do You Keep an Elephant Warm? Knit a Giant Blanket
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Josh Rogin / Washington Post:
Trump puts the world's worst crooks and killers on notice
Ted Mann / Wall Street Journal:
Regulators Propose Rollbacks to Offshore Drilling Safety Measures
Discussion: Axios
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
After a Chaotic Start, Congress Has Made a Conservative Mark
Tyler Bridges / The Advocate:
Former Gov. Kathleen Blanco: Seeking prayers in new ‘fight for my own life’ against cancer
 Earlier Items: 
Karoun Demirjian / Washington Post:
Departing GOP lawmakers warn that their party could lose majorities in 2018
Discussion: Daily Kos
Avery Anapol / The Hill:
Trump and first lady Melania participate in NORAD Santa calls
Discussion: Axios
Olivia Beavers / The Hill:
Guatemala announces plan to move Israel embassy to Jerusalem
Discussion: Politico and RedState
New York Times:
Why Saad Hariri Had That Strange Sojourn in Saudi Arabia
Discussion: Al Jazeera English and Politico