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TODAY: A Very 2020 Christmas

LEADS

What now, America?
https://www.dw.com/en/opinion-what-now-america/a-56050640

On Christmas, America Celebrates the Birth of Reverse Jesus
https://theintercept.com/2020/12/24/christmas-america-reverse-jesus/

Mike Pence, Ignoring the Bible, Mocks Democrats for Wanting to Help the Poor
https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2020/12/24/mike-pence-ignoring-the-bible-mocks-democrats-for-wanting-to-help-the-poor/

Pope's Christmas Day plea to world leaders: 'vaccines for all,' not just wealthy
https://www.ncronline.org/news/vatican/popes-christmas-day-plea-world-leaders-vaccines-all-not-just-wealthy

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine causes swelling and inflammation in patients who have cosmetic facial fillers
https://abc7.com/covid-19-pandemic-vaccine-moderna-side-effects/9012113/

Are doctors and nurses in Pittsburgh experiencing side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine?
https://www.wpxi.com/news/top-stories/are-doctors-nurses-pittsburgh-experiencing-side-effects-covid-19-vaccine/YHFV5HKIX5HUFHT7KFRB3FQGHI/

Hospital Workers Start to ‘Turn Against Each Other’ to Get Vaccine
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/24/nyregion/nyc-hospital-workers-covid-19-vaccine.html

Locked Rooms, Tracking Devices And Bulletproof Glass: How Pharmacies Are Securing Covid-19 Vaccines
https://www.forbes.com/sites/leahrosenbaum/2020/12/24/locked-rooms-tracking-devices-and-bulletproof-glass-how-pharmacies-are-securing-covid-19-vaccines/

A pandemic Christmas: Churches shut, borders complicated
https://apnews.com/article/pandemics-beijing-coronavirus-pandemic-holidays-china-38b6dc0bf371ddf6aeda6ad8f69ab2d7

Some Southern California churches set to hold indoor services for the holidays
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/some-southern-california-churches-set-to-hold-indoor-services-christmas-holidays/

Californians are following Newsom's lead and ignoring latest lockdown order
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/californians-are-following-newsoms-lead-and-ignoring-latest-lockdown-order

'We Feel Safe': Americans Keep Visiting Mexico Despite Pandemic Risks
https://www.npr.org/2020/12/25/949557976/we-feel-safe-americans-keep-visiting-mexico-despite-pandemic-risks

U.S. to Require Negative Coronavirus Test for All Travelers From U.K.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/24/us/coronavirus-test-us-travel.html

No cafes, no tourists: Virus empties streets of old Athens
https://www.ekathimerini.com/260643/article/ekathimerini/business/no-cafes-no-tourists-virus-empties-streets-of-old-athens

What I saw in Bethlehem this Christmas: Shuttered shops, an open church door—and hope.
https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2020/12/24/christmas-bethlehem-jerusalem-nativity-church-star-239595

How much longer will the Middle East celebrate Christmas?
https://religionnews.com/2020/12/24/how-much-longer-will-the-middle-east-celebrate-christmas/

In Pakistan, fear of virus forces Christians to curtail Christmas celebrations
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/pakistan-christians-christmas-virus/2020/12/24/67021b74-4570-11eb-ac2a-3ac0f2b8ceeb_story.html

Christmas in a Dark Time
https://www.city-journal.org/christmas-in-a-dark-time

This Christmas, Let’s Rekindle Our Hope for a Better World
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2020/12/christmas-story-eugene-debs-nina-turner

The Forgotten Radicalism of Jesus Christ
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/24/opinion/jesus-christ-christmas-incarnation.html

What Jesus means to me as a Muslim
https://religionnews.com/2020/12/24/what-jesus-and-christmas-mean-to-me-as-a-muslim/

Blasphemy
https://www.courthousenews.com/blasphemy/

POLITICS and FLEAS

Answering Trump, Democrats Try and Fail to Jam $2,000 Payments Through House
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/24/us/politics/stimulus-2000.html

Families on brink of eviction, hunger describe nightmare Christmas as $900 billion relief bill hangs in limbo
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/12/24/trump-congress-stimulus-unemployment-reaction/

Trump golfs in Florida as COVID relief hangs in the balance
https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/trump-golfs-florida-covid-relief-hangs-balance-74905393

GOP senator warns $2K checks can't pass, urges Trump to sign COVID deal
https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/531585-gop-senator-warns-2k-checks-cant-pass-urges-trump-to-sign-covid-deal

Trump Warns Republicans Who Didn't Back Election Fraud Claims: 'I Will NEVER FORGET!'
https://www.newsweek.com/trump-warns-republicans-who-didnt-back-election-fraud-claims-i-will-never-forget-1557273

Youngest Member Of Congress Madison Cawthorn Says He Will Contest Electoral College Votes On January 6th
https://www.lifezette.com/2020/12/youngest-member-of-congress-madison-cawthorn-says-he-will-contest-electoral-college-votes-on-january-6th/

Congresswoman-Elect Boebert Will Object to Electoral College Certification ~ VIDEO
https://www.ammoland.com/2020/12/congresswoman-elect-boebert-will-object-to-electoral-college-certification-video/

Trump leans on QAnon figures in flailing effort to overturn election
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/12/23/trump-qanon-effort-overturn-election-450301

Sidney Powell Wants to Fight for Donald Trump—But His Aides Won't Let Her, She Says
https://www.newsweek.com/sidney-powell-wants-fight-donald-trump-his-aides-wont-let-her-she-says-1557267

Sidney Powell’s secret intelligence contractor witness is a pro-Trump podcaster
https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/sidney-powells-secret-intelligence-contractor-witness-is-a-pro-trump-podcaster/2020/12/24/d5a1ab9e-4403-11eb-a277-49a6d1f9dff1_story.html

Dominion Attorneys Send Brutal Letter to Trump Campaign’s ‘So-Called Star Witness’ Mellissa Carone
https://www.mediaite.com/crosspost/dominion-attorneys-send-brutal-letter-to-trump-campaigns-so-called-star-witness-mellissa-carone/

Trump Defends Maria Bartiromo After Host Takes Fire For Backing His Election Conspiracy Theories
https://www.mediaite.com/trump/trump-defends-maria-bartiromo-after-host-takes-fire-for-backing-his-election-conspiracy-theories/

Animal Activist Has No ‘Guilty Conscience’ for Hoaxing Fox Business’ Bartiromo (Exclusive)
https://www.thewrap.com/maria-bartiromo-punked-direction-action-everywhere-matt-johnson/

FOREIGN ENTANGLEMENTS

EU-UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement: Protecting European interests, ensuring fair competition, and continued co-operation in areas of mutual interest
https://www.eureporter.co/frontpage/2020/12/24/eu-uk-trade-and-cooperation-agreement-protecting-european-interests-ensuring-fair-competition-and-continued-co-operation-in-areas-of-mutual-interest/

The EU knew what it stood to lose and backed down
https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-eu-knew-what-it-stood-to-lose-and-backed-down

With Brexit, the U.K. Finds Sovereignty Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Getting Its Way
https://www.wsj.com/articles/with-brexit-the-u-k-finds-sovereignty-doesnt-necessarily-mean-getting-its-way-11608897659

Brexit Is Finally Done, but It Already Seems Out of Date
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/24/world/europe/brexit-deal-boris-johnson.html

This Brexit deal is the end of the beginning
https://unherd.com/2020/12/this-brexit-deal-is-the-end-of-the-beginning/

Devil in the detail: Here’s the main elements of UK-EU Brexit deal
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/devil-in-the-detail-here-s-the-main-elements-of-uk-eu-brexit-deal-1.4445354

Scotland facing 'hard Brexit' despite deal says Nicola Sturgeon
https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/scotland-facing-hard-brexit-despite-deal-says-nicola-sturgeon-3078847

Foster and O'Neill welcome Brexit deal as other NI leaders warn of future consequences
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/brexit/foster-and-oneill-welcome-brexit-deal-as-other-ni-leaders-warn-of-future-consequences-39898646.html

PANDORA'S BOXCUTTER

Declining Sea Levels in the Caspian Sea Will Lead to 'Genuine Ecocide,' Scientists Warn
https://weather.com/science/environment/news/2020-12-24-caspian-sea-water-levels-falling-climate-change

Sea-level rise from climate change could exceed the high-end projections, scientists warn
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/climate-change-rising-sea-levels-worst-case-projections/

Re-imagining the waterfront as sea-level rise seen as inevitable
https://www.ack.net/news/20201223/re-imagining-waterfront-as-sea-level-rise-seen-as-inevitable

Could Floating Cities Be a Haven as Coastlines Submerge?
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/could-floating-cities-be-a-haven-as-coastlines-submerge/

Working With Nature Is The Best Way To Tackle The Impacts Of Climate Change
https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikescott/2020/12/24/working-with-nature-is-the-best-way-to-tackle-climate-change-impacts/

Hurricane Sandy battered NYC 8 years ago. Since then, how has the city shored up against future superstorms? Oyster castles.
https://thecounter.org/hurricane-sandy-nyc-new-york-city-8-years-inwood-superstorms-oyster-castles/

THE MEDIA SCRUM

A Christmas Hymn for Our Troubled Time
https://time.com/5924628/christmas-hymn-for-troubled-times/

WATCH: Norah Jones Plays a Stirring, Bluesy "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
https://redstate.com/beccalower/2020/12/25/watch-norah-jones-plays-a-stirring-bluesy-have-yourself-a-merry-little-christmas-n299853

‘Christmas in My Soul’: Fifty years ago this season, Laura Nyro delivered a timeless rebuke to racism, militarism, and “the sins of politics.”
https://www.thenation.com/article/society/laura-nyro-christmas/

‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ Yes — So Stop Singing
https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/12/do-they-know-its-christmas-yes-so-stop-singing/

ODDS, ENDS

Black Santa, Latino Jesus: How holiday icons are changing in 2020
https://www.axios.com/black-santa-latino-jesus-holiday-christmas-6326d09d-d3c3-4854-b4c5-3ae3ee41028b.html

Study: children’s belief in Santa Claus is more nuanced than you think
https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/12/study-childrens-belief-in-santa-claus-is-more-nuanced-than-you-think/

8 Ways Magic Mushrooms Explain Santa Claus and the Christmas Tradition
https://thefreethoughtproject.com/santa-clause-mushrooms-christmas/

The many uses of frankincense and myrrh
https://spectator.us/many-uses-frankincense-myrrh/

Marvelous misunderstood mistletoe
https://knowablemagazine.org/article/living-world/2020/marvelous-misunderstood-mistletoe-

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