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From Dear Leader to Marilyn Monroe, defector mocks Kim

Reuters -
By Ju-min Park | SEOUL (Reuters) - Above the ballooning dress of Marilyn Monroe is the face of the late North Korean despot Kim Jong-il.

Fire at Conn. Home Kills Ad Exec's 3 Kids, Parents

ABC News -
A fire swept through an advertising executive's Victorian home along the Connecticut shoreline, killing her three children and her parents.

Nigeria hit by Christmas day bomb attacks

Financial Times -
ABUJA, Dec 26 - Islamist militants set off bombs across Nigeria on Christmas day - three targeting churches including one that killed at least 27 people - raising fears that they are trying to ignite sectarian civil war.

Gunshots kill 7 at Texas family holiday gathering

San Francisco Chronicle -
AP Seven people believed to be related had opened their Christmas gifts and started cleaning up the wrapping paper when they were shot to death in an apartment, police said Sunday.

Off and running: Paul, Clippers beat Warriors in opener

OAKLAND (AP) - Chris Paul could nitpick everything the Clippers didn't do in his much-hyped debut - and he boldly referred to the rebounding as "horrendous.

'Mission Impossible' Leads Holiday Movies With $26.5 Million

BusinessWeek -
By Michael White and Martin Z. Braun Dec. 26 (Bloomberg) -- “Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol” was the top US and Canadian film over the holiday weekend, taking in $26.5 million for Paramount Pictures as Hollywood prepared to close out a second ...

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Suicide bomber kills 7 at Baghdad checkpoint

BAGHDAD (AP) - A suicide attacker set off a car bomb Monday at a checkpoint leading to the Iraqi Interior Ministry, killing seven people and injuring 32 others, officials said.

Blasts mar pope's Christmas peace appeal

Shreveport Times -
Pope Benedict XVI delivers his "Urbi et Orbi" (to the City and to the World) speech from the central loggia of St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican on Sunday.

Afghanistan: Suicide bomber kills 19 at funeral

San Francisco Chronicle -
A suicide bomber struck a funeral gathering in northern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing at least 19 people, including a member of parliament, and heightening fears of an accelerating slide into violence in a part of the country that was once relatively ...

Arab League observers expected

CNN International -
By the CNN Wire Staff (CNN) -- Dozens of Arab League observers are expected to arrive in Syria on Monday to monitor whether President Bashar al-Assad's government complies with an agreement to end a brutal crackdown on protesters calling for the end to ...

Focus on N. Korea as Japan PM meets China's leaders

BEIJING - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Monday held talks with China's leaders during a visit to Beijing dominated by concerns over nuclear-armed North Korea after the death of Kim Jong-Il.

Obamas visit Marines, celebrate a quiet Christmas in Hawaii

Los Angeles Times -
The president poses for pictures and signs autographs at a Hawaiian Marine base after the family opened their presents and attended church.

Romney leads, Paul rises in NH poll -
Newt Gingrich's surge has slowed and Ron Paul has gained momentum, but Mitt Romney remains the clear front-runner in New Hampshire with a little more than two weeks until the nation's first primary, according to a new Boston Globe poll.

4 killed in Maine crash, state's worst in 2011

The Associated Press -
PALERMO, Maine (AP) - Maine State Police say four men have died in a Christmas Day traffic accident, the state's deadliest this year.

Decades later, a Cold War secret is revealed -
By AP | December 26, 2011 DANBURY, Conn. (AP) - For more than a decade they toiled in the strange, boxy-looking building on the hill above the municipal airport, the building with no windows (except in the cafeteria), the building filled with secrets.

Suspect wanted in slayings, 2-year-old boy's abduction in Va still at large ...

Washington Post -
RICHMOND, Va. - Richmond, Va., police have identified the two people slain on Christmas Eve that led to a search for a 2-year-old boy abducted from the scene who was later found safe in the backseat of an SUV.

Todays Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA DJI, Nasdaq Index, S&P 500 Stock ...

Learning and Finance -
A batch of positive economic data posted in the US during the latter half of the trading week which helped to keep indices in the green.

China's Stocks Drops on Rail Spending Outlook, Money Rate Jump

BusinessWeek -
By Bloomberg News Dec. 26 (Bloomberg) -- China's stocks fell, extending the longest weekly slide in two years, on a jump in money market rates and media reports the government will cut railway construction spending and maintain property curbs next year ...

Hackers hit security think tank Stratfor's website

Reuters -
(Reuters) - US security think tank Strategic Forecasting Inc (Stratfor) said its website had been hacked and that some of the names of corporate subscribers had been made public.

Samsung Electronics to Acquire Sony's Stake in LCD Venture

BusinessWeek -
By Mariko Yasu and Saeromi Shin Dec. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Samsung Electronics Co., the world's biggest television maker, agreed to buy out the stake of Sony Corp.

SOPA/PIPA Explained; GoDaddy loses 21000 domains and stops supporting SOPA -
This week saw the domain registrar Go Daddy lose over 21000 domains. Why did this happen to a service which was doing pretty well for itself for so long?

Procrastinator's Gift Guide to iOS Apps

PCWorld -
By Philip Michaels, Macworld Struggling to track down one last stocking-stuffer for anyone on your holiday shopping list? If they happen to own an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, the App Store offers more than a half-a-million last-minute gift options.

Mission Possible: Tom Cruise Slays Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (and Rocks the ...

E! Online -
The latest flick in the MI franchise topped this weekend's box office with $26.5 million, cruising up from its number three spot last weekend in limited release.

Lady Gaga Lawsuit -- Whiney Former Assistant Claims GaGa Demanded Towell After ... -
In what reads like one of the biggest sour grapes lawsuits of the year, Lady Gaga's former assistant claims she was a slave to the singer, having to do such unconscionable things as fetching a towel for her after she showered, and keeping GG on ...

James leads Miami Heat past Dallas Mavericks

San Francisco Chronicle -
AP While Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks were on the court celebrating the championship they won over LeBron James and Dwyane Wade last season, the Miami Heat were gathered in another part of the building.

Chicago pulls turnaround -
By Greg Beacham AP / December 26, 2011 LOS ANGELES - Derrick Rose drove the lane and lofted home a smooth floating shot for the winning points in the Chicago Bulls' opener, just in case anybody doubted the youngest MVP in NBA history can shoulder the ...

Bears out of playoffs with 35-21 loss to Packers -
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws while being pressured by Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher (54) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011, in Green Bay, Wis.

Pierce staying patient -
By Gary Washburn NEW YORK - On Opening Day, the Celtics already were dealing with injuries. Paul Pierce reported to Madison Square Garden yesterday and didn't even bother to work out.

Broncos, Ravens, Falcons hold advantages in playoff races

Washington Post -
NEW YORK - Win and you are in as a division champion. That's the easy scenario for the Broncos, Cowboys and the Giants next weekend.

Comet Lovejoy marks highlight of Christmas on the International Space Station

The State Column -
It seems Christmas came early on the International Space Station, as all the commander of the ISS could say about the comet is that it was “amazing.

Another Soyuz rocket launch fails

BBC News -
By Jonathan Amos Science correspondent, BBC News This time, a Soyuz-2 vehicle failed to put a communications satellite into orbit after lifting away from the country's Plesetsk spaceport.

Several US states weigh in on cigarette label suit

CBS News -
(AP) RICHMOND, Va. - Several states and US territories are weighing in on a lawsuit over proposed graphic cigarette warning labels that include a sewn-up corpse of a smoker and a picture of diseased lungs, saying the federal government should be ...

France, UK issue clashing advice on breast implants

Reuters -
By Brian Love and Daniel Flynn | PARIS (Reuters) - France and Britain issued conflicting advice on Friday to tens of thousands of women with breast implants made of cheap industrial silicone that some fear pose health risks.

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