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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.
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
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.
SPORTS
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 25, 2013 | By Chris Lee
In "47 Ronin," Keanu Reeves portrays the leader of a band of ronin - masterless samurai in 18th-century Japan who must suffer the indignity of having no one to lead them in battle. Turns out that plot line provides an apt metaphor for the period 3-D sci-fi epic's problem-plagued odyssey to the screen. "47 Ronin" arrived in theaters Christmas Day as one of the most troubled movie productions in recent memory, as well as one of 2013's most spectacular flops-in-the-making. According to pre-release awareness surveys, the revenge thriller, which cost at least $175 million to produce, is on track to earn around $20 million in its opening five days.
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. "
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