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10 things you need to know today: December 22, 2013
A massive storm disrupts holiday travel, Target makes amends for a credit-card security breach, and more
 
A 10 percent discount might not satisfy some customers whose credit-card data was hacked.
A 10 percent discount might not satisfy some customers whose credit-card data was hacked. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

1. First family goes to Hawaii for vacation
President Obama and his family — First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters Sasha and Malia — began a 17-day vacation in his native Hawaii this weekend, capping a tumultuous year. The trip will mark the sixth straight year the Obamas have spent Christmas and New Year's in Hawaii with family and friends — provided no major events disrupt Obama's rest and relaxation, and force him to return to Washington early. [Washington Post]
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2. Target offers discount to apologize for security nightmare
Target announced Saturday that it would offer its customers a 10 percent discount in its stores nationwide this weekend to make up for a massive security breach. Hackers stole information on 40 million credit cards used by people who shopped in Target stores from Nov. 27 to Dec. 15. Target CEO Greg Steinhafel apologized for the "stress and anxiety" the incident caused. [MarketWatch]
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3. Aircraft take fire trying to get Americans out of South Sudan
Three U.S. planes had to abort a mission to evacuate Americans from opposition-held territory in South Sudan on Saturday after they were hit by rebel fire. The government blamed opposition forces who had taken over Bor, the capital of contested Jonglei State. An estimated 14,000 civilians have taken shelter at a United Nations base in Bor, but it is surrounded by 2,000 armed youths and in danger of being overrun. [New York Times, CTV News]
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4. Massive storm disrupts early holiday travel
A large storm system pelted the Midwest with freezing rain, snow, ice, flooding, and several tornadoes late Saturday, forcing airlines to cancel 500 flights and delay 7,000 more just as the holiday travel rush was beginning. Meteorologists said the volatile weather was caused by near-record-breaking warm weather in the East clashing with very cold air in the Midwest. [Associated Press]
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5. Teen wounded in Colorado school shooting dies
Colorado high school shooting victim Clare Davis died from her wounds on Saturday. The 17-year-old was shot in the head at point-blank range with a shotgun by a gunman — allegedly a fellow student. She spent eight days in critical condition on life support, but doctors said her injuries were too severe to survive. She died with her family at her side. [Denver Post]
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6. Thai opposition leaders say they will boycott February elections
Thailand's main opposition party said Saturday it would boycott snap February elections called by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in response to demonstrations calling for her to step down. The opposition Democrat Party is aligned with the protesters and led a 2006 election boycott that helped weaken then-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Yingluck's brother, before the military pushed him from power. [Associated Press]
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7. Astronauts start repair job on spacewalk
Two astronauts performed a six-hour spacewalk Saturday to remove a broken ammonia pump, part of the cooling system on the International Space Station. Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins removed the old pump before going back inside after Mastracchio reported feeling "very, very cold." A second spacewalk to install a new pump was bumped from Monday to Tuesday because of a problem with problem with Mastracchio's spacesuit. [USA Today, Associated Press]
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8. Egypt's Morsi faces a third trial
An Egyptian court on Sunday sentenced three protest leaders to three-year prison terms in an escalation of the crackdown on dissent. Prosecutors also filed a new case against deposed president Mohamed Morsi, who already faces charges for inciting violence. Morsi is now also being accused of involvement in a prison break and the murder of officers in a 2011 uprising against the country's former leader, Hosni Mubarak. [Los Angeles Times, AFP]
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9. Khodorkovsky swears off Russian politics after his release
Former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who flew to Berlin after spending 10 years in a Russian prison, said Sunday that he would work to free political prisoners in Russia but won't be "involved in the struggle for power." Khodorkovsky also said he wouldn't try to recover assets he lost when he was jailed. He said he told Russian President Vladimir Putin of his intentions in a letter requesting a pardon, which Putin granted. [Reuters, Associated Press]
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10. Communications executive fired over tweet
Media magnate Barry Diller's IAC — which owns video site Vimeo and dating sites Match.com and OKCupid — has fired its director of communications, Justine Sacco, after she made a racially offensive comment on Twitter as she began a vacation. "Going to Africa," she tweeted. "Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!" The remark made Sacco an instant online pariah. IAC called the comment "outrageous." [Los Angeles Times]

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Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami HeraldFox News, and ABC News.

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