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December 25, 2013 | By Paul Richter
WASHINGTON -- The State Department condemned twin Christmas Day attacks on Christians in Iraq that killed at least 37 people. One car bomb, which killed at least 26 people, went off near a church in the Dora neighborhood of Baghdad during Christmas Mass. Another bomb exploded in an outdoor market in another nearby Christian neighborhood, killing 11. The U.S. embassy in Baghdad said the Christian community in Iraq “has suffered deliberate and senseless targeting by terrorists for many years, as have other Iraqis.” It said it “condemns in the strongest terms” the attacks.
December 25, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
There's a good chance you woke up with a new smartphone or tablet this Christmas morning, but as Microsoft can tell you, no one wants to use a device with no apps. If you've got a new gadget, you need to load it up with the best apps, that way the device can actually improve your life and not just bust your loved ones' wallets. Last year, 328 million apps were downloaded on Christmas , and this year, the number is expected to be even higher. So what apps should you download? Every user has different needs so no one has the same apps, but the apps below are must-have for most users.
December 25, 2013 | By Jill Cowan
Since 1968, come rain or shine, Joan Sue Betson's yard on Galaxy Drive in Newport Beach has been a Christmas Eve beacon. In old photos, hundreds of candles can be seen glowing inside brown paper bags side by side on a retaining wall in front of the sprawling Spanish-style home and lining the driveway. Rows of the homemade luminarias shine from window sills and light the porch. "It used to be quite an event to walk out here every year," said neighbor John Senick, who has lived behind the house for about seven years, in an interview with Times Community News.
December 25, 2013 | By Dan Loumena
In the sports world, the NBA owns Christmas Day, with five games scheduled today. The first game begins at 9 a.m. Pacific time with the Chicago Bulls playing at the Brooklyn Nets and the last game will end about 10 p.m. when the Clippers and Warriors finish in Oakland. In middle of the five games are the Lakers and Miami Heat playing at Staples Center in a 2 p.m. start. The Oklahoma City Thunder visit the New York Knicks at 11:30 a.m. and the Houston Rockets travel across the state to play the San Antonio Spurs at 5 p.m. The Heat-Lakers and Thunder-Knicks games are on ABC while the other three are on ESPN.
December 25, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
All that tens of thousands of people really wanted for Christmas was to have their electricity back after fierce ice storms felled power lines in a wide swath from Michigan through parts of upstate New York, New England and Canada. More than half a million customers lost power when ice storms coupled with ferocious winds toppled power lines beginning last weekend. Repair crews from utilities across the region, helped by out-of-state workers, toiled to fix the lines, but tens of thousands of customers remained without power Wednesday.
December 25, 2013 | By Dan Loumena
All J.J. Watt, the star Houston Texans defensive end, wants for Christmas is plastic surgery for his busted nose. OK, the NFL's reigning defensive player of the year probably wants more than that. The nose job, which he likely needs to clean up scarring from a gash that reopened during games after the initial injury, will come after the season. “Once it gets time to heal up and rest, it goes back to pretty normal,” Watt told the Associated Press in reference to his nose.
December 25, 2013 | By Mike Bresnahan
The miracles expired in the final minutes of Wednesday's game, the Miami Heat's collection of All-Stars finally outweighing the Lakers and their one healthy point guard. It wasn't really unexpected, the Heat that much better than the Lakers, and it underlined so many things about the home team on another Christmas Day loss, this one 101-95 at Staples Center. Nick Young's all-or-nothing act is often a joy to watch and the Lakers can hang with good teams if they make a slew of three-pointers, but, of greatest importance, there is still no closer on this team.
December 25, 2013 | By Maeve Reston
President Obama and his wife, Michelle, made their customary Christmas visit to greet troops at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, offering thanks and encouragement to some 580 service members before spending the evening at home with friends and family. The ocean-front Marine base at Kaneohe Bay -- where Obama also works out, plays golf and goes to the beach with his family -- is a five-minute drive from the Obamas' vacation rental in Kailua.  In a speech at the chow hall, Obama acknowledged the "friends and comrades" who are raising their families on the base while their loved ones serve in Afghanistan and elsewhere.  In a three-minute speech before he stepped off the stage to greet Marines individually, Obama noted that he had recently spoken to soldiers in Afghanistan and Bahrain, among other places.  PHOTOS: The battle over Obamacare "It was just a sampling of the incredible sacrifice that all of you and your families make every single day," the president said.
December 25, 2013 | By Rosanna Xia
Outside a Subway restaurant in West Hollywood, Michael Hope adjusted his Santa hat, stuffed a festive Christmas bag with cellophane-wrapped cookies and prepared to make his first delivery. "OK, let's see who's working," said Hope, 36, as he walked into the Subway. Andrew Neal, 29, peered through the window. Like Hope and Neal in Los Angeles, volunteers around the country spent Christmas delivering homemade cookies to gas station attendants, baristas, grocery store clerks and others who had pulled the holiday shift.
December 25, 2013 | By Jason Felch
As temperatures hovered around freezing across much of the United States on Christmas Day, Southern California basked in unseasonably warm weather as Santa Ana winds pushed hot, dry air across the region. In Long Beach, the mercury hit 85 degrees, beating the 1972 high of 81 degrees. In downtown Los Angeles, temperatures reached 82 degrees, making it the second warmest Christmas Day since records began in 1877 and well above the seasonal average of 67 degrees. The record was set in 1980 with a high of 85 downtown.
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