(Dec. 25) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day - Tucson Local Media: Today's Headlines

(Dec. 25) Today's Top Headlines - The top 10 stories of the day

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Posted: Wednesday, December 25, 2013 12:44 pm

1. The U.N. decides to send more peacekeepers to South Sudan

With evidence of ethnic violence that has killed thousands surfacing in South Sudan, the United Nations Security Council voted Tuesday to expand a peacekeeping force in the country, adding 6,000 international troops to the 7,600-soldier contingent already on the ground. Tens of thousands have sought protection on U.N. compounds — some of which have been attacked or surrounded by armed rebels in the world's newest nation. [New York Times, Fox News]

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2. ObamaCare insurance deadline extended... again

The White House has extended — for the second time — the deadline for some people signing up for health insurance taking effect Jan. 1 using online ObamaCare exchanges. People who tried to enroll for coverage before Tuesday's deadline will be able to contact the marketplace call center for personal assistance so they won't miss out due to problems with the ObamaCare website, which had a record two million visitors on Monday. [Los Angeles Times]

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3. Astronauts finish space station repairs in Christmas Eve space walk

Two astronauts — Mike Hopkins and Rick Mastracchio — completed repairs to the International Space Station's broken cooling system on a seven-hour space walk on Tuesday. They took out the faulty coolant pump several days ago, and wrapped up what was supposed to be a three-day job in just two space walks. "Houston, you got yourself a new pump module. Congratulations," Hopkins said after the final electrical hookup. [Florida Today]

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4. Panel approves postage stamp hike

A panel overseeing the U.S. Postal Service has approved a three-cent increase in the cost of a first-class stamp. The hike, which will take effect on Jan. 26 and boost revenues by $1.8 billion a year, will bring the stamp price to 49 cents. One cent of the increase is meant to keep up with inflation, while the rest is intended to help the cash-strapped Postal Service recover losses it suffered in the recession. [CNN]

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5. The pope tells Catholics to be humble and help others

Pope Francis delivered his first Christmas Eve homily as pope on Tuesday, urging the world's 1.2 billion Catholics and others to shun selfishness and focus on serving others, and God. "If we love God and our brothers and sisters, we walk in the light," said Francis, an anti-poverty campaigner and the first non-European pope in 1,300 years. "But if our heart is closed, if we are dominated by pride, deceit, self-seeking, then darkness falls within us and around us." [CBS News]

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6. Experts claim to find a vulnerability in Samsung security

Israeli cybersecurity researchers say they have identified a hole in Samsung's Knox security software that leaves its Galaxy S 4 vulnerable to hackers. The Knox platform is supposed to protect sensitive work-related information on smartphones that are also used for personal reasons. Security experts at the Ben-Gurion University say that in some cases the hole could let outsiders install malware and disable a company's security network. [Los Angeles Times]

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7. De Blasio's daughter reveals personal troubles

New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's daughter, Chiara, announced in a video released Tuesday, days before her father's inauguration, that she has had problems with depression and substance abuse. The 19-year-old carefully avoided the subject during her father's family-focused campaign, but in the video she spoke candidly, saying that when she left for college in California the problems "became a really huge thing for me." [New York Times]

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8. Iraqi Christians targeted in deadly bomb attacks

Two separate explosions killed at least 37 people in Baghdad on Christmas Day. In the first attack, a bomb tore through an outdoor market in the Christian area of Athorien, and later, a car bomb went off near a church during Christmas Mass in the Dora neighborhood. [AP]

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9. World War II codebreaker gets royal pardon

Queen Elizabeth II granted a royal pardon to Alan Turing, a British mathematician who helped defeat Adolf Hitler by breaking Nazi codes in World War II but was later convicted of homosexuality, then a crime in Britain. The computer pioneer was punished by chemical castration after his 1952 conviction. He died two years later. [Washington Post, Euronews]

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10. Spitzer and his wife split

Former New York governor Eliot Spitzer and his wife announced late Tuesday that they were getting divorced after two decades of marriage. Spitzer resigned in 2008 after admitting to paying prostitutes for sex. He tried to make a political comeback last year by running to be New York City's comptroller, but he lost in the Democratic primary. His wife, Silda Wall Spitzer, didn't campaign publicly on his behalf. [Associated Press]

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