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BC-,ADVISORY

December 24, 2013

TOP STORIES:

HEALTH OVERHAUL

CHICAGO — The Obama administration extends Monday’s deadline for signing up for health insurance by a day, giving Americans in 36 states more time to select a plan. It was the latest in a series of pushed-back deadlines and delays that have marked the rollout of the health care law, the signature legislative achievement of Obama’s first term. By Medical Writer Carla K. Johnson. AP Photos.

SEVERE WEATHER

TORONTO — Fewer than 200,000 customers in Canada’s largest city are now without power following a weekend ice storm that wreaked havoc through Ontario to the Atlantic coast, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says. By Rob Gillies. AP Photos. AP Video.

With: FORD-WYNNE-STORM.

OBAMA-NATIONAL SECURITY AIDE

WASHINGTON — Last year, while Jake Sullivan was traveling with his boss, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he quietly disappeared during a stop in Paris. He showed up again a few days later, rejoining Clinton’s traveling team in Mongolia. In between, Sullivan secretly flew to the Middle Eastern nation of Oman to meet with officials from Iran, people familiar with the trip said. The July 2012 meeting is one of the Obama administration’s earliest known face-to-face contacts with Iran and reveals that Sullivan — who moved from the State Department to the White House earlier this year — was personally involved in the administration’s outreach to the Islamic republic far earlier than had been reported. AP Photo.

NSA-SNOWDEN

WASHINGTON — National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden said his “mission’s already accomplished” after revealing NSA secrets that have caused a reassessment of U.S. surveillance policies. AP Photo.

UNITED STATES-SOUTH SUDAN

WASHINGTON — The U.S. is moving additional Marines and aircraft from Spain to the Horn of Africa to provide embassy security and help with evacuations from violence-wracked South Sudan. By Pauline Jelinek and Lolita C. Baldor.

UN-INDIAN DIPLOMAT

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations says it has processed the Indian government’s request to register the country’s deputy consul general, who is accused of lying on a visa form about how much she paid her housekeeper, as a member of the country’s mission to the United Nations.

BRAZIL-POLICE VIOLENCE

RIO DE JANEIRO — Six years ago, Elizabeth Martin’s nephew Joseph was shot to death by an off-duty police officer while out celebrating his 30th birthday. Now, Martin has a message for the hordes of foreigners set to descend on Brazil for next year’s World Cup: The next Joseph Martin could be you. Brazilian police are notorious for links to criminals, heavy-handed tactics and even summary executions. By Jenny Barchfield. AP Photos.

GAY MARRIAGE-UTAH

SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge on Monday allows gay marriage to continue in Utah, rejecting a request to put same-sex weddings on hold as the state appeals a decision that has sent couples flocking to county clerk offices for marriage licenses. By Brady McCombs and Paul Foy. AP Photos.

With: GAY MARRIAGE-OHIO.

HOLIDAY HEARTS

CHICAGO — Not to dampen any holiday spirits, but studies show heart troubles rise this time of year. It’s not just a Western phenomenon. Recent research in China found the same thing. The increase includes fatal and nonfatal heart attacks and a less serious condition dubbed “holiday heart syndrome” — an irregular heartbeat caused by too much alcohol. By Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner. AP Photos.

VEGAS-CHRISTMAS

LAS VEGAS — Las Vegas has mostly shelved its attempt to rebrand itself as a family-friendly wonderland. But there’s one exception: the dreaded holiday season, when visitor numbers crater and room vacancies soar. In an attempt to lure tourists, Las Vegas casinos are staging increasingly elaborate holiday events. By Hannah Dreier. AP Photos.

MORMON FOOD STORAGE

SALT LAKE CITY — Storing away enough food and water in case of disaster, job loss or something worse is part of the fundamental teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and now the idea is catching on across the U.S. It’s also big business. A large majority of food storage companies that do Internet sales are based in Utah, where the church is based. By Brady McCombs. AP Photos.

BUSINESS:

APPLE-CHINA MOBILE

SAN FRANCISCO — A long-sought deal to sell the iPhone through China Mobile should enable Apple to boost its profits and build customer loyalty in an important, growing market. By Business Writers Michael Liedtke and Joe McDonald. AP Photo.

HOLIDAY-SHOPPING

NEW YORK — After a strong start to the holiday shopping season, sales at stores have fallen for the third consecutive week as Americans continue to hold back on spending during what is traditionally the busiest buying period of the year. By Anne D’Innocenzio. AP Photo.

With: HOLIDAY SHOPPING-ELECTRONICS.

FED’s 100th ANNIVERSARY

WASHINGTON — The press called it an early Christmas present for President Woodrow Wilson: On Dec. 23, 1913, Congress passed legislation creating the Federal Reserve. Hours later, Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act into law. No one at the White House ceremony that day could foresee what the Fed has become: A titanic institution with power over people and economies worldwide. Its actions shape loan rates and job growth. They affect trade, stock prices, bank rules, financial systems. Economic decisions are made with the Fed in mind. Retirement savings hinge on its policies. By Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger. AP Photos.

TARGET-SECURITY BREACH

NEW YORK — Target Corp. said on Monday that the Department of Justice is investigating the credit and debit card security breach at the retailer that’s being called the second largest incident in U.S. history. By Retail Writer Anne D’Innocenzio. AP Photos.

YE-WALL STREET-2014-PREVIEEW

NEW YORK — 2013 was a great year for the average investor, but few market strategists believe that 2014 will be anywhere near as good. The simple strategy of buying U.S. stocks, selling bonds and staying out of international markets isn’t going to work as well as it has, they say. By Markets Writer Ken Sweet. AP Photos. AP Video.

With: YE-WALL STREET-2014-STOCK MARKET PREDICTIONS.

KIDS AND TABLETS

NEW YORK —Tablet computers are so easy to use that even a 3-year-old can master them. Children as young as toddlers can quickly learn how to stream Netflix movies, scroll through family photos or play simple games. While many parents bought tablets for themselves this holiday season, a growing number purchased the gadgets for their kids. Tablet makers, app designers and toy makers are taking notice, but so are some experts who question the educational value of tablets. By Bree Fowler. AP Photos.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:

FILM-REVIEW

LOS ANGELES — Digging into deep-pocket gluttony, Martin Scorsese’s dark comedy “The Wolf of Wall Street” highlights a world rich in drugs, fast cars and private jets. The American dream is amplified, yet those indulging in it are never satisfied. By Film Writer Jessica Herndon. AP Photos.

FILM-Q&A-BEN STILLER

NEW YORK — Ben Stiller’s commonality with the hero of his new film hasn’t gone unnoticed. “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” starring and directed by Stiller, is adapted from James Thurber’s classic short story that first appeared in The New Yorker in 1939. Since then, Walter Mitty (a mild-mannered man who enlivens a mundane day with a series of fantasies) has been synonymous with daydreaming and flights of imagination. Stiller, too, hopes for something a little different for his life: He wants to direct more movies and make films outside of the comedies he’s best known for. By Film Writer Jake Coyle. AP Photos.

YE-ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

LOS ANGELES — The battle for AP entertainer of the year came down to the Girl on Fire and the Queen of Twerk. Jennifer Lawrence edged out Miley Cyrus by one vote in The Associated Press’ annual survey of its newspaper and broadcast members and subscribers for Entertainer of the Year. By Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen. AP Photos.

With: YE-POP CULTURE MOMENTS.

FEATURES:

PANCHO CLAUS

HOUSTON — He usually has black hair and a black beard, sometimes just a mustache. Like Santa, he wears a hat — though often it’s a sombrero. He dons a serape or a poncho and, in one case, a red and black zoot suit. And he makes his grand entrance on lowriders or Harleys or led by a pack of burros instead of eight reindeer. Meet Pancho Claus, the Tex-Mex Santa. By Ramit Plushnick-Masti. AP Photos. AP Video.

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