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Metairie, Louisiana

Western parts of the U.S. awoke to a white Christmas Thursday, as much of the nation dealt with a drenching from the storm front that snarled holiday travel plans for millions of Americans.

Between two and six inches of snow was forecast in the valleys in northern California, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, according to the National Weather Service, with higher elevations facing up to a foot of powder.

Even Hawaii was expected to see some snow, as a blizzard warning remained in effect for the summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the Big Island.

Hack threat comedy released in US
Thursday, 25 December 2014 04:56
24 December 2014Last updated at 17:27
Breaking news

Sony Pictures is to distribute its film The Interview online, after a cyber-attack and a row over its release.

The film will be offered on a dedicated website - seetheinterview.com - as well as via Google and Microsoft services.

Sony had previously pulled the film, whose plot centres on a plan to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The decision to cancel screenings had been criticised by US President Barack Obama.


Dec. 22, 2014: A New York Police Department officer stands guard beside a makeshift memorial. (AP)

JetBlue airlines plans to offer free flights to police officers across the country who want to attend the funerals for the fallen NYPD cops over the weekend, the company said Wednesday.

Two copes from each department will be allowed to fly at no charge anywhere across its route network to New York City, the New York Post reports.

A Connecticut family will be complete this Christmas thanks to the charming innocence of a 9-year-old.

Julian Otero wrote Santa a letter that melted everybody’s heart – but especially his grandfather’s boss.

First and foremost, he said in his letter, he wanted to spend Christmas with grandpa Leo and asked St. Nick if he could do something so he could have the day off. Leo Otero was scheduled to work at the Madison Beach Hotel.

The note read in part: “My greatest wish is that you talk to my grandfather’s boss Mr.

Russian ruble strengthens in thin trade
Thursday, 25 December 2014 03:49

By Alexander Winning

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's rouble strengthened on Thursday as exporters sold foreign currency in response to government pressure and to meet tax payments, but trading volumes were thin as many Western markets were closed for the Christmas Day holidays.

At 0825 GMT (3.25 a.m. EST), the rouble was 1.7 percent stronger against the dollar at 52.55 and gained 1.5 percent to trade at 64.53 versus the euro .

  • Tribal plantation workers burn houses belonging to indigenous Bodo tribesmen after ethnic clashes in Balijuri village, in Sonitpur district in the northeastern Indian state of Assam on December 24, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

By Biswajyoti Das

GUWAHATI, India (Reuters) – India deployed military helicopters to hunt down tribal militants in the northeastern state of Assam on Thursday after rebels killed 75 people this week, the deadliest in the remote area in years.

Top 10 animated Christmas movies
Thursday, 25 December 2014 03:47

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Armored car driver arrested in Colorado
Thursday, 25 December 2014 03:47
trent cook.jpg

Police are searching Trent Michael Cook, 24, a driver for the Rochester Armored Car Co., who was charged with first-degree felony theft for stealing over $200,000 from his truck. (Amarillo PD)

The driver of an armored car who was charged with first-degree felony theft of more than $200,000 was arrested Wednesday in Colorado.

Trent Michael Cook, 24, a driver for the Rochester Armored Car Co., and another suspect were found by the  Colorado Springs Police Department.

U.S. officials confirmed reports Wednesday that a Jordanian fighter jet was shot down in the fight against Islamic State militants in northern Syria and that the pilot had been captured.

But officials denied claims made by the terrorist organization that it was responsible for the downing.



In a statement, U.S. Central Command said a Jordanian F-16 was shot down in the vicinity of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, or ISIL.


Dec. 24, 2014: Pope Francis kisses a statue of Baby Jesus as he celebrates the Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. (AP)

Pope Francis celebrated Christmas Eve Mass late Wednesday night in St. Peter’s Basilica and made a phone call to Iraqi refugees who were forced to leave their homes because of Muslim militants.

Francis compared the refugees to Jesus’ situation in the Bible as he was forced to flee because there was no place for him.

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