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  1. LAST MINUTE  2 Million Went to Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty

    1. 2 Million Went to

    The website received a record number of visitors Monday, as two million people logged on to check out federal health insurance coverage. The Obama Administration extended the deadline to enroll for January 1, 2014 coverage, giving everyone an extra day to sign up before Christmas Eve. “We see this intense traffic as a sign that people are eager for affordable health insurance,” said the communications director for the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services. The Obama administration announced Tuesday that they'd give yet another extension to anyone who could prove that website kinks prevented them from meeting the deadline.

    December 24, 2013 2:32 PM

  2. MIDNIGHT MASS Pope Gives First Xmas Eve Service Franco Origlia

    2. Pope Gives First Xmas Eve Service

    Pope Francis gave his first Christmas Eve midnight Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, emphasizing acceptance and humility throughout his sermon. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light,” the pontiff said, quoting from Isaiah. The grace that Jesus brought to the world, he said, “made salvation possible for the whole human race.” In his first nine months as pope, Francis has made an effort to promoting a less judgemental identity for the Catholic Church.

    December 24, 2013 5:25 PM


    3. UN Doubling Troops to South Sudan

    The United Nations Security Council decided Tuesday to send 6,000 more soldiers and police to South Sudan, nearly doubling its peacekeeping force in the country to 12,500 troops. U.N. Chief Ban Ki-moon called or member states to ramp up their military involvement in response to increased violence throughout the country. Security Council members also released a statement expressing “grave alarm and concern regarding the rapidly deteriorating security and humanitarian crisis,” demanding that President Salva Kiir’s forces and that of his rival, deposed vice president Riek Machar, end their fighting. 

    December 24, 2013 4:17 PM

  4. OPENING UP Chiara de Blasio Talks Depression Mark Lennihan/AP

    4. Chiara de Blasio Talks Depression

    NYC Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s daughter, Chiara, revealed Tuesday that she has long struggled with depression and substance abuse. “Every kid who grows up in New York grows up pretty fast,” she says, in a Christmas Eve video released by the de Blasio team, explaining that she had “clinical depression for my entire adolescence.” When she went to college, she channelled her depression and insecurity to substance abuse, which she got help for at an outpatient treatment center in New York City. “Getting sober is always a positive thing,” she says. “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s so worth it.”

    December 24, 2013 12:15 PM

  5. NICE DAY FOR A 1,400 Gay Utahns Rush to Wed Kim Raff/AP

    5. 1,400 Gay Utahns Rush to Wed

    About 700 marriage licenses have been issued to same-sex couples in Utah since Friday, when a federal judge rejected the state’s request against gay marriage. The brides and grooms to-be made a mad dash to county clerks’ offices in a race against the clock fearing an effort by the Beehive State to stay the ruling and close the window that would allow them to wed—an effort that was ultimately unsuccessful. The scene was celebratory and chaotic; a team of volunteer officiants “wandered the halls” marrying couples in front of weeping witnesses while around 1,500 people gathered outside the state capital to celebrate.

    December 24, 2013 10:37 AM

  6. Coal in NSA's Stocking

    6. Snowden to Give Christmas Address

    Queen Elizabeth is a tough act to follow, but Edward Snowden must feel up to the task. After she delivers her Christmas Day address, Snowden will brodcast his own message to the U.K. Billed as an "alternative" address by Channel 4, the world's most famous leaker will warn the world that 2014 looks a lot like 1984. "The types of collection in the book—microphones and video cameras, TVs that watch us—are nothing compared to what we have available today. We have sensors in our pockets that track us everywhere we go. Think about what this means for the privacy of the average person."

    December 24, 2013 1:33 PM

  7. Not 'Gravity' NASA Makes X-Mas Eve Spacewalk NASA/AP

    7. NASA Makes X-Mas Eve Spacewalk

    Two astronauts made NASA's second ever Christmas Eve spacewalk Tuesday in order to repair the International Space Station’s cooling system. Astronauts Rich Mastracchio and Michael Hopkins installed a new ammonia pump to the space station after removing the faulty one on Saturday. “It’s like Christmas morning opening up a little present here,” said Mastracchio as he worked 260 miles above earth. The last time NASA astronauts did a Christmas Eve spacewalk was in 1999, when the Hubble Space Telescope needed repair.

    December 24, 2013 2:03 PM

  8. TOGETHER AGAIN Pussy Riot Members Reunited Ilya Naymushin/Reuters

    8. Pussy Riot Members Reunited

    Reunion tour? After spending nearly two years in prison convicted of “hooliganism” during an Anti-Putin protest at Moscow's main cathedral, Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were reunited outside the Yemelyanovo airport. Prison did little to soften the punk rock attitudes of the pair, who call their release and amnesty little more than a publicity stunt by the Kremlin ahead of the controversial Olympic games in Sochi. Both women say they will now focus their efforts on the creation of a human rights organization to help other Russian prisoners.

    December 24, 2013 7:17 AM

  9. BOOM Car Bomb Kills 12 in Egypt Mahmoud Khaled/AFP/Getty

    9. Car Bomb Kills 12 in Egypt

    At least 12 people were killed in a car bomb attack on police headquarters in Mansoura, the second attack there in recent months, and the deadliest outside of the Sinai Peninsula since July. While none have claimed responsibility for the bombing, a militant group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, owned other similar attacks on security personnel—a group increasingly the target since police officers violently cleared two Cairo protests this summer. A government spokesman laid blame on the Muslim Brotherhood, who condemned the attack.

    December 24, 2013 6:30 AM

  10. BOO, HISS Scorsese Heckled at Screening Cindy Ord/Getty

    10. Scorsese Heckled at Screening

    It’s safe to say not everyone loves Scorsese’s new dark comedy, The Wolf of Wall Street. The sex, drugs and real estate yarn isn’t only being panned by critics, it’s actually getting some real-life jeers at Academy screenings.  Scorsese was confronted by an angry screenwriter shouting, “shame on you" and "disgusting" as he emerged from an elevator at L.A.’s famous Samuel Goldwyn theatre. And veteran actor Hope Holiday vented on Facebook, "Tonight was torture at the Academy — The Wolf Of Wall Street – three hours of torture – same disgusting crap over and over again."

    December 24, 2013 8:00 AM

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  12. Why So Mum? Obamacare Gets Secret Extension Jon Elswick/AP

    12. Obamacare Gets Secret Extension

    The White House is playing Secret Santa. Monday night was supposed to be the deadline for signing up for federal health insurance plans that take effect on January 1, but the Obama administration secretly updated over the weekend to extend the deadline 24 hours. The change was announced after the Washington Post broke the story. Last week, the individual mandate was extended for people whose insurance plans were canceled.

    December 23, 2013 11:57 AM

  13. AWAITING ORDERS Marines Ready to Enter South Sudan U.S. Air Force/AP

    13. Marines Ready to Enter South Sudan

    A group of 150 U.S. Marines are poised and awaiting orders to enter South Sudan to help evacuate about 100 remaining citizens and provide security for the American embassy there. Around 380 citizens have already been evacuated amid a looming civil war in the world’s newest country, which in the last week has already seen hundreds dead and thousands more displaced. U.S. Africa Command cited as reason for the move, the lessons learned in Benghazi last year when three Americans and Ambassador Christopher Stevens were killed by militants. “We needed to be better postured, in order to respond to developing or crisis situations, if needed. These precautionary movements will allow us to do just that," the statement read.

    December 24, 2013 7:38 AM

  14. NOM NOM NOM Nuts in Pregnancy Cut Allergy Risk Parivartan Sharma/Reuters

    14. Nuts in Pregnancy Cut Allergy Risk

    Maybe your kid won’t have to eat at the peanut-free table after all. A new study in JAMA Pediatrics suggests that not only is eating nuts while pregnant safe for the unborn, it could actually lower the child’s risk of developing the dreaded allergy after he leaves the womb. Researchers following a group of 11,000 particpants found that nut allergies were significantly lower among the children with moms who ate more nuts. The findings come at a time of increased worry over what can be deadly childhood allergies, which have more than tripled since 1997.

    December 24, 2013 6:58 AM

  15. Green market Colorado Issues Pot Licenses Brennan Linsley/AP

    15. Colorado Issues Pot Licenses

    The budding legal marijuana industry is ready to light up. On Monday, Colorado issued 348 approved licenses for stores, manufacturers, and cultivation facilities to begin growing and selling the drug to anyone at least 21 years old in 2014. This includes 136 marijuana shops, which are mostly located in Denver. The state's voters approved a legalization law in 2012, and it will become the first state to boast a legal marijuana market.

    December 23, 2013 10:54 PM

  16. better late than never Queen Pardons British Codebreaker Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

    16. Queen Pardons British Codebreaker

    The British government has pardoned pioneer codebreaker and computer scientist Alan Turing—a man instrumental in the WWII Allied effort—50 years after he was convicted of homosexuality, chemically castrated, and stripped of his title. Justice Minister Chris Grayling requested the pardon, calling Turing "an exceptional man," and saying his work on the Enigma machine shortened the conflict and saved thousands of lives. Turing died two years after the sentence by cyanide poisoning, which was deemed a suicide. His pardon will go into effect on Dec. 24.

    December 23, 2013 8:46 PM

  17. HOPE Teen to Stay on Life Support Ben Margot/AP

    17. Teen to Stay on Life Support

    An Oakland mother is fighting for 13-year-old Jahi McMath to remain on life support, against her doctors’ diagnosis that the teen is brain dead and unlikely to wake up from complications after routine tonsil surgery. A court appointed specialist is set to evaluate McMath today. The charged case has sparked protests over the quality of the young girl’s care and questions over who has the power to decide when to remove life support. Doctors warn against giving the family false hope, but her mother Nailah Winkfield sees progress. "I just want her to have more time,” she said. “There are so many stories of people waking up in her situation."

    December 24, 2013 6:55 AM

  18. taking a bow Snowden: Mission Accomplished AP

    18. Snowden: Mission Accomplished

    Edward Snowden, observing the havoc wreaked on the American government's surveillance programs, believes he's done what he set out to do. “For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the mission’s already accomplished. I already won," Snowden said in his first in-person interview since arriving in Moscow. "As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated.” Since the former government contractor's revelations leaked this past spring, the NSA has been under intense scrutiny and criticism from not just the American public, but also heads of state across the globe. “I am not trying to bring down the NSA, I am working to improve the NSA,” Snowden said. “I am still working for the NSA right now. They are the only ones who don’t realize it.”

    December 23, 2013 9:41 PM

  19. BLIP BLIP Kids Can Track Santa Online

    19. Kids Can Track Santa Online

    Santa Claus is officially coming to town. And as in years past, impatient kids can follow his travels online with the official “Santa Tracker” from the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). The U.S.-Canadian Defense operation has been tracking the big man’s progress since 1955, when a newspaper ad mistakenly listed NORAD’s number as Santa’s and instead of disappointing kids, they assured them of his coordinates. Last year, the site attracted 22.3 million viewers and volunteers answered 114,000 phone calls from around the globe.

    December 24, 2013 6:33 AM