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Tokyo aquarium arranges penguin substitutes for Santa’s elves

An aquarium in Tokyo, Japan has “given Rudolph and the elves a day off” by dressing up a group of penguins in colorful Christmas elf costumes. Aquarium caretaker Shingo Sato said, “We hope to combine the normal joy of seeing animals with Christmas, and by doing so, hope visitors will…

Arson blamed in burning of Brooklyn ‘Occupy Sandy’ church

A two-alarm fire has severely damaged an Episcopal church in Brooklyn, NY that has been serving as a storage and distribution hub for the Occupy Sandy relief effort, just two days ahead of Christmas. According to CBS News New York, fire department officials say that the blaze was intentionally set.…

Threats to family force female squash player to leave Pakistan

A young woman from south Waziristan, in Pakistan, developed a passion and skill for squash — but living in a highly conservative culture that forbade women from sports ultimately forced her to leave the country, reported Al Jazeera English. Maria Toorpakai Wazir played against the boys growing up and even…

New Delhi on lockdown after violent gang-rape riots

India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called for calm on Monday after a weekend of riots left large swaths of New Delhi on police lockdown and all public transportation at a standstill. According to the Wall Street Journal, men and women filled the streets on Saturday and Sunday calling for harsher…

Good Samaritan repairs Sandy-stricken home of disabled 11-year-old

The Troy family of Long Beach, N.Y., is hoping to move back into their home by the end of the year and potentially even by Christmas — a feat considering that a few weeks ago, that seemed impossible, reported the AP. Their home was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy and…

Four firefighters shot, two killed after responding to house fire in Webster, NY

The Webster firefighters who responded to a structure fire in Lake Road early this morning found themselves fired upon by an as-yet-unknown assailant. By the time police secured the scene, two firefighters were dead and two others were hospitalized with gunshot wounds and three structures and a vehicle were engulfed…

North Korean band’s epic performance celebrates Dec. 12 rocket launch

A performance by a North Korean band in honor of the country’s recent rocket launch shows an epic, high-energy celebration of the accomplishment, to say the least. The Moranbong Band performed in celebration of the Dec. 12 launch, which the communist country claims is a weather satellite. The band performed…

Santa dons a snorkel to bring good stingrays their Christmas gifts

This year at the Sunshine Aquarium in Japan, aquarium employees got into the Christmas spirit, as one donned a Santa suit to feed the stingrays to the delight of the visitors and stingrays alike. The unlikely aquatic Santa grinned as he swam among the rays, distributing presents in the form…

MSNBC guest: ‘There’s a clear path’ to turn Georgia blue in 2016

Following a discussion of U.S. Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC), an African American member of Congress recently appointed to replace outgoing Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), the panelists on UP with Chris Hayes discussed the possibility of Georgia turning blue in the next presidential election. “Georgia is a place that, whose demographics…

‘Frankenfish’ close to full FDA approval

Genetically engineered fish, AquaAdvantage salmon, or “frankfenfish,” depending on your viewpoint, are closer than ever to FDA approval, reported Newsy. The salmon, engineered by the company Aquabounty, grow twice as fast as normal fish and “would be the first approved scientifically engineered animal for human consumption,” reported KTTU. The FDA…

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