The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson—Getty Images
By TIME Staff
December 25, 2014

The Interview Goes Live

Sony Pictures released its beleaguered Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy on several streaming sites Wednesday, in a move that sidesteps concerns about online threats made against theaters that show the film, but hundreds of theaters are still screening it

West Awakes to White Christmas

Western parts of the U.S. awoke to a white Christmas as much of the nation was drenched by a storm front that snarled holiday travel plans for millions

Possible Ebola Exposure in Atlanta

Up to a dozen workers at the CDC’s Atlanta campus may have been exposed to a misplaced sample of the Ebola virus, the agency said

Protest Over Teen’s Police Death Shuts Missouri Highway

A small group of demonstrators shut down an interstate highway and marched through the town of Berkeley, Missouri, to protest the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Antonio Martin, who authorities said pointed a gun at an officer

What the Waves Did to Aceh

On Dec. 26, 2004, the Asian tsunami destroyed much of the restive Indonesian province of Aceh. But it also paved the way for its resurgence and autonomy. Now, as it embraces hard-line Islam, its people are asking “What next?” while the threat of conflict is never far away

Pope Francis Wishes Iraqi Refugees a Merry Christmas

Pope Francis placed a phone call to an Iraqi refugee camp on Wednesday to inform families displaced by the conflict that they were in his thoughts this Christmas. “Dear brothers, I am close to you,” the Pope told refugees outside of the Kurdish city of Erbil

Listeria Fears Prompt Caramel Apple Recall for 31 States

A Missouri firm is recalling its Happy Apple brand caramel apples because of the potential that they could be contaminated with listeria. The recall comes after at least three deaths and 29 illnesses in 10 states have been linked to an outbreak

This Is the Most Popular Christmas Song Ever

TIME crawled the records at the U.S. Copyright Office, which offers digitized registrations going back to 1978, and collected data on every Christmas album recorded since then. We crunched the merry numbers to find the most popular Christmas songs of the modern era

Alan Gross to Get $3.2 Million After Being Freed From Cuba

Alan Gross, who was freed last week after serving five years in a Cuban prison is to receive $3.2 million from the U.S. government. His release came as the U.S. announced it was seeking to restore ties with Cuba

Sierra Leone Declares 5-Day Lockdown in Ebola-Hit North

The northern parts of Sierra Leone will be locked down for five days as a measure to contain the Ebola epidemic, with Christmas celebrations being the only exception. Sierra Leone recently overtook Liberia as the country with the highest number of Ebola infections

Second Batch of Madonna Songs Leaks Online

Fourteen more songs by the Material Girl found their way online Wednesday, only days after 13 demos appeared online without the performer’s permission. The singer already released six songs from her upcoming album in response to the earlier leak

Roman Polanski’s Bid to Dismiss 1977 Sex Case Denied

The Oscar-winning director lost his latest bid to have a California court dismiss his case when a judge rejected a motion for a new hearing on the grounds that Polanski remains a fugitive from the U.S. after pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a minor in 1977

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