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KABUL, Afghanistan – A single-file line of school children walked past a military checkpoint Sunday as a bomb-loaded truck veered toward them and exploded, ending the lives of 14 young Afghans in a heartbreaking flash captured by a U.S. military security camera.

  Israeli warplanes retaliating for rocket fire from the Gaza Strip pounded dozens of security compounds across the Hamas-ruled territory in unprecedented waves of airstrikes Saturday, killing more than 200 people and wounding nearly 400 in the single bloodiest day of fighting in years.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave Channel 4’s annual alternative Xmas message this year. In the video he congratulated Barack Obama for becoming the 44th President of the USA and urged Muslims and Christians to work together for brotherhood and unity.

President-elect Barack Obama made clear to his aides that he wanted to spend the Christmas holiday in Hawaii, as he had done in years past: There is no more campaign, this will be a true family vacation.

  President-elect Barack Obama and his family planned a Christmas Day that includes opening presents in the morning and sharing a traditional turkey and ham dinner in the evening.

Merry Christmas, “bullying, ill-tempered and expansionist powers.” Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will deliver a Christmas Day broadcast on Britain’s Channel 4 television, occupying a slot used to provide an often controversial counterpoint to Queen Elizabeth II’s traditional annual message, the station said Wednesday.

At overflowing garbage dumps in Zimbabwe’s capital, desperate vagrants pounced on trash bags and fought over chicken bones and scraps of discarded food. Sewage clogged streets and most shopkeepers didn’t even bother with holiday decorations.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu said Wednesday that the international community must use the threat of force to oust Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe from office.

In a new report from Esquire magazine, the writer speculates that Obama may decriminalize marijuana. Esquire is saying that decriminalizing marijuana will help the economy and has a video in which Obama advocates the decriminalization of marijuana.

From Politico: On January 20th, President-elect Barack Obama will take the oath of office using the same Bible upon which President Lincoln was sworn in at his first inauguration.

Reuters has a new report in which they say the UNICEF has estimated that there are 6,000 child soldiers in Darfur, either fighting with the government or with rebels.

A pair of 4,300-year-old pharaonic tombs discovered at Saqqara indicate that the sprawling necropolis south of Cairo is even larger than previously thought, Egypt‘s top archaeologist said Monday.