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Christmas

NEWS
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.
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BUSINESS
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.
SPORTS
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.
WORLD
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.
NATIONAL
December 25, 2013 | By David Horsey
Tomorrow and the day after that and all the days beyond, we can worry and gripe and argue about guns and greenhouse gases; tea party politics and the gap between rich and poor; Obamacare and immigration. On Christmas Day, though, we all deserve a break. Forgetting for a while the wise guys of human folly, most of us can spend the day being wise men and women sharing love, friendship, good times and a communal meal with the people in our lives who matter the most. Appreciate every blessing that comes with the occasion and, as Tiny Tim said, "God bless us, every one. "
OPINION
December 25, 2013
Re "Haunted by ghost of Christmases past," Column, Dec. 21 Having read Sandy Banks' column for several years, I was delighted to see the photo of her and her three beautiful grown daughters. Her Christmas traditions are the stuff of many families, including mine and my three sons. Our family is older than Banks', and over the years we gradually did let go of some of those ceremonies; I suspect hers will too. But we can all say thanks for the precious memories. Frederica Miller South Pasadena ALSO: Letters: A 'good news' day Letters: Oil reform will help Mexico Letters: Union Station's not-welcome mat
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 25, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
Christmas just might bring record high temperatures to the Southland. It's so warm and dry that forecasters have issued a red flag fire warning through Thursday evening for much of Los Angeles and Ventura counties. The record high for Christmas Day in downtown L.A. was 85 degrees, reached in 1980. Meteorologist Carol Smith with the National Weather Service in Oxnard said the temperature is forecast to meet that mark on Wednesday. The low in downtown Los Angeles Wednesday morning was 46 degrees, meaning the temperature might jump roughly 40 degrees through the day. In Long Beach, where the Christmas record was set at 81 degrees in 1972, the high Wednesday is expected to reach 83. Burbank hit 85 degrees on this date in 1980 and Smith said Wednesday is also forecast to be 85 degrees.
NATIONAL
December 25, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
An 8-year-old Pennsylvania girl, whose battle against a rare form of leukemia became a social media sensation that inspired thousands of people to gather and sing her Christmas carols, has succumbed to her disease, her family announced on Wednesday. Delaney Brown of West Reading “passed away quietly with her loving family by her side,” family spokesman Christopher Winters said in a statement posted Wednesday on Facebook. Known by her nickname, Laney, the child was a second-grader at Wyomissing Hills Elementary School.
BUSINESS
December 25, 2013 | By Meg James
The hottest holiday commercials this season have ditched the heartwarming, home-for-the-holidays scenes to strike a dramatically different chord. Advertising executives have instead chosen sly humor over sentiment, as major marketers including American Honda Motor Co., Netflix and K-Mart are betting that tongue-in-cheek sells. Perhaps for good reason: U.S. consumers are tired of sugarcoated Christmas commercials, according to a recent online survey of more than 2,000 consumers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
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