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Congress hopes to wrap up work on payroll tax cuts

Fox News -
| AP WASHINGTON - Capping a full retreat by House GOP leaders, Congress will convene Friday in hopes of approving a stopgap measure renewing payroll tax cuts for every worker and unemployment benefits for millions - despite serious opposition among ...
Al Jazeera
PBS News Hour
The Associated Press

North Korea urges South to pay its respects at Kim Jong-il funeral

The Guardian -
As North Korea prepares for the funeral of Kim Jong-il, the guest list is generating enough speculation to match The Tempest for Shakespearean intrigue.

Chinese court sentences veteran rights activist to 9 years in prison for ...

Washington Post -
BEIJING - A Chinese court sentenced a veteran activist Friday to nine years in prison for inciting subversion, in what appears to be the most severe punishment handed down in a crackdown to prevent the spread of Arab Spring-style democratic uprisings.

'The X Factor' winner on that final song, and the secret hand-gesture with the ...

Entertainment Weekly -
by Adam B. Vary SPOILER ALERT! Don't read any further if you don't want to know who won the first season of The X Factor! For the rest of you, check out what the winner had to say below: In my on the scene report from Wednesday's performance finale ...

Santa Claus Still Flying High in New Poll

ABC News -
By CONNIE CASS AP Why do kids believe a chubby guy in a flying sleigh can deliver joy across America? Because their parents do. A whopping 84 percent of grown-ups were once children who trusted in Santa's magic, and lots cling to it still.

France recommends removal of suspect breast implants

Reuters -
| PARIS (Reuters) - The French government recommended on Friday that tens of thousands of women in France seek removal of breast implants made of a suspect silicone gel by a firm that exported worldwide.

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Endless Quakes Rattle Kiwi Economy

Wall Street Journal -
By CYNTHIA KOONS New Zealand's economic recovery was already on shaky ground. A series of 5-plus magnitude earthquakes in Christchurch on Friday afternoon hit at just the wrong time.

Iraq set for crisis talks after deadly bombings

BAGHDAD - Iraqi political leaders were set for crisis talks on Friday after the country suffered its deadliest attacks in four months amid a row that has seen its premier threaten to dissolve power-sharing.

Pentagon expresses 'regret' over Nato airstrike that killed Pakistan soldiers -
The Pentagon expressed "deepest regret" and "sincere condolences" to Pakistan as the US conceded for the first time it bears significant responsibility for the Nato airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

Turkey Freezes Relations With France Over Genocide Denial Bill

BusinessWeek -
By Steve Bryant and Emre Peker Dec. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Turkey froze political and military relations with France in retaliation for the approval by the French parliament's lower chamber of a measure that makes it a crime to deny genocide against ...

Philippines moves to clean up storm devastation

ABC Online -
Police dig in the rubble of buildings in the wake of tropical storm Washi. [AFP] More than 1000 people remain missing in the Philippines following devastating floods that hit the country's south at the weekend.

On campaign trail in Iowa, Callista Gingrich takes spotlight _ but not the ...

Washington Post -
MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa - When his top aides walked out this spring and left his campaign in tatters, Newt Gingrich considered dropping out.

The Story Behind Ron Paul's Racist Newsletters

The Atlantic -
By Michael Brendan Dougherty The documents, which include harsh, prejudiced attacks against the black community, are evidence of a libertarian movement trying to find an audience.

Stocks Higher on Wall Street

New York Times -
Stocks rose on Thursday, putting the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index on the cusp of finishing out the year higher as another decline in jobless claims pointed to further improvement in the labor market.

European Stocks Rise as US Data Offsets Debt-Crisis Concern

BusinessWeek -
By Adam Haigh Dec. 23 (Bloomberg) -- European stocks rose, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index extending this week's rally, before reports that may add to optimism that the American economic recovery is gathering strength.

Are you in AT&T's top 5 percent of heaviest data users?

by Marguerite Reardon December 23, 2011 12:00 AM PST Follow @maggie_reardon Did you get a notice recently from AT&T stating you use more than your fair share of wireless data?

Consumer Electronics Show: 10 Things You'll See in 2012

eWeek -
NEWS ANALYSIS: The Consumer Electronics Show - CES - will be happening in Las Vegas next month, and there's a good chance several big things could be announced at the show.

'We Bought a Zoo' -
By COLIN COVERT "We Bought A Zoo" is as phony as a Kardashian marriage. Director/writer Cameron Crowe proved that he could create engaging characters and bracing, tough-minded comedy with "Say Anything," "Jerry Maguire" and "Almost Famous.

'War Horse' -
By CHRISTOPHER KELLY In his long, justly-lauded career, Steven Spielberg has made his share of bad movies: the bloated, unfunny war spoof "1941"; the cloyingly whimsical romances, "Always" and "The Terminal"; the shockingly inept "Indiana Jones and the ...

'The Artist' -
By CHRISTOPHER KELLY Michel Hazanavicius' black-and-white, mostly silent comedy "The Artist" is a gorgeously made curiosity - a film that functions as a testament to its own obsession with other movies.

'Prometheus' trailer: Yep, this is DEFINITELY an 'Alien' prequel

Entertainment Weekly -
by Adam B. Vary Ever since Ridley Scott started talking about his first foray back into science fiction since 1982′s Blade Runner, the geekosphere has been all Twitterpated over whether the film is, in fact, a prequel to Alien.

L.A.'s Bryant says he'll play in the opener | Philadelphia Inquirer | 2011-12-23

Philadelphia Inquirer -
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is expected to play in the season opener Sunday against the Chicago Bulls, saying his right wrist "should be fine," the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday on its website.

Matt Barkley made best choice for himself by returning to USC

Matt Barkley thrilled USC fans Thursday by announcing that he will forgo the NFL draft and return for his senior season. That press conference Thursday -- the one with the suit and the band and the giant Christmas tree -- is not what Matt Barkley is ...

Orlovsky's late TD pass lifts Colts over Texans

Chicago Tribune -
Indianapolis, IN - Dan Orlovsky certainly didn't "Suck for Luck" on Thursday, especially when the oft-maligned quarterback orchestrated a two-minute drill to perfection to give the Colts an unlikely 19-16 victory over the AFC South-champion Houston ...

Beltran deal solidifies Cardinals as NL Central favorites -
Carlos Beltran won't make anyone in St. Louis forget about Albert Pujols but his addition solidifies the Cardinals as favorites in the National League Central.

Kings get win in Darryl Sutter's debut as coach

Los Angeles Times -
They beat the Ducks, 3-2, in a shootout as Sutter earns his first victory in 5 1/2 years. Mike Richards scores for Kings in his first game back since suffering a concussion on Dec. 1. Darryl Sutter takes in his first game as Kings coach on Thursday ...

Pigeons moving up intellectual pecking order

San Francisco Chronicle -
By now, the intelligence of birds is well known. Alex the African gray parrot had great verbal skills. Scrub jays, which hide caches of seeds and other food, have remarkable memories.

A Commanding View of a Comet

National Geographic -
A time-lapse movie taken from the International Space Station shows a brightening view of Earth's horizon at dawn on December 21.

Walmart pulls formula after infant dies

San Francisco Chronicle -
Alan Scher Zagier, AP AP Columbia, Mo. -- Walmart and health officials awaited tests Thursday on a batch of powdered infant formula that was removed from more than 3000 stores nationwide after a Missouri newborn who consumed it apparently died from a ...

Journal retracts paper on chronic fatigue syndrome

Los Angeles Times -
In a disappointment for scientists and patients, a researcher's report of a possible cause is discredited by allegations of data manipulation and inability to replicate the findings.

HIV finding is top breakthrough of 2011, journal Science says -
CHAPEL HILL, NC • An HIV discovery from researchers led by a University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill scientist is the biggest scientific breakthrough of 2011, according to the journal Science.


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