Christmas Day

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Christians Usher in Christmas

Pope calls for peace in Syria, pilgrims gather in Bethlehem, and NORAD's phone rings off the hook

(Newser) - Pope Benedict called for an end to the violence in Syria and urged Christians to "see through the superficial glitter" as he led the celebration of Christmas in his annual Urbi et Orbi address. "May the Lord bring an end to the violence in Syria, where much blood... More »

Your Friendly NORAD Operator: Michelle Obama

First lady takes kids' calls, questions

(Newser) - For little kids who just wanted to know what time Santa was going to hit the roof, the voice at the other end of the phone might have raised other questions: "Hello, this is the first lady, Michelle Obama, with NORAD, tracking Santa. How can I help you?" While... More »

Record Crowds Throng Bethlehem

Most pilgrims in a decade come to mark Jesus' birth

(Newser) - The largest number of pilgrims in a decade gathered in Bethlehem to celebrate Christmas, with tens of thousands flocking to the Church of the Nativity for prayers this morning. Israeli military officials, who coordinate movement in and out of the West Bank, said more than 100,000 pilgrims have come... More »

Feds Warned of Second Christmas Day Attack

Plot would have targeted New York City

(Newser) - Was there almost a second Christmas Day attack? Early last December, overseas intelligence alerted the US of a plot to blow up a bomb in New York City on Christmas, according to an FBI report acquired by Fox News . “The final target of the attack was not known, but... More »

Obama Team Afraid to Mention 'Radical Islam'

They keep downplaying terrorists' jihadist connections

(Newser) - The Weekly Standard rips into the Obama administration's anti-terror record in a scathing new essay. Stephen F. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn accuse the administration of failing to detect three plots beforehand (Times Square, the Christmas Day attempt, and Fort Hood), taking credit for dumb luck when two of the attempts... More »

Facebook the No. 1 Christmas Website

Social network crowds out Google and Yahoo for first time

(Newser) - Facebook got a big present this holiday season: It was the No. 1 US website on Christmas and on Christmas Eve. Facebook, which lagged behind Google in second place last year, trounced that site and rival Yahoo—though the search engines generated more traffic throughout the balance of the year.... More »

This Isn't '2001 All Over Again'

Ignore the alarmists and recall how safe the last 8 years have been

(Newser) - No matter how fear-mongers spin it, Friday’s terror attempt on Northwest Flight 253 “was not 2001 all over again,” Walter Shapiro writes. GOP Rep. Pete King and others can wax "apocalyptic" about what “would have been remembered forevermore as the Christmas Day massacre,” but... More »

Dad Charged After Girl Dies on Cold Walk

Children walked miles after truck broke down on Christmas

(Newser) - The father of an 11-year-old girl who died, likely of hypothermia, after trying to walk 10 miles in the snow Christmas Day has been charged with second-degree murder. Robert Aragon banged his head on the defendant's table during the short hearing. Authorities allege the 55-year-old Idaho man let Sage Aragon... More »

A Christmas Story at 25: Stealth Classic

Industry born on collectors items, museum, and conference

(Newser) - After 25 years, devotees of A Christmas Story and its wacky realism still tune in to regular holiday showings, including an annual 24-hour marathon on Christmas Day. Just as Star Trek has Trekkies, A Christmas Story has Ralphies, named after Ralphie Parker, a 9-year-old desperate for a BB gun. CNN ... More »

Report Rips Zoo in Tiger Attack

Facility was understaffed and unprepared for emergency

(Newser) - When a 243-pound tiger escaped its pen and began mauling Christmas Day visitors, the San Francisco Zoo was painfully understaffed and ill-equipped to respond to the emergency, according to a new report. "The zoo is too often chasing problems," concluded the independent Association of Zoos and Aquariums of... More »

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