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10 things you need to know today: December 29, 2013
ObamaCare enrollment surpasses 1 million, a bomb kills 13 at a Russian train station, and more
The now-functional Healthcare.gov has allowed at least 1 million Americans to sign up for coverage.
The now-functional Healthcare.gov has allowed at least 1 million Americans to sign up for coverage. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

1. ObamaCare enrollment surpasses 1 million
A December surge propelled ObamaCare sign-ups through the rehabilitated Healthcare.gov past the 1 million mark, the Obama administration said Sunday, reflecting new signs of life for the problem-plagued federal insurance exchange. Of the more than 1.1 million people now enrolled, nearly 1 million signed up in December, with the majority coming in the week before a pre-Christmas deadline for coverage to start in January. [TIME]
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2. Suspected terrorist bomb kills 13 at Russia train station
A Sunday afternoon explosion at the main railroad station in Volgograd, a city about 550 miles south of Moscow, has killed at least 13 people, raising concerns of a potential wave of terrorism ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Dozens of others were wounded by the bomb, meaning the death toll may still rise. If proved to be a terrorist act, as officials initially suspected, it would be the second in Volgograd in barely two months. [New York Times]
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3. New Benghazi report refocuses blame
The deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi last year was not orchestrated by al Qaeda but rather by a local militia leader who was outraged by a video lampooning Islam, according to a new report. An investigation by The New York Times, published Saturday, supports the initial version of events provided by the Obama administration immediately after the Sept. 11, 2012, attack. The paper described the prime suspect in the attack, Ahmed Abu Khattala, as an "erratic extremist" and militia leader with no known ties to al Qaeda. [New York Times]
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4. Lebanese rockets strike Israel
Rockets from Lebanon struck northern Israel Sunday, causing no injuries, but sparking an Israeli reprisal shelling in a rare flare-up between the two countries. The Israel-Lebanon border has remained mostly quiet since a month-long war in the summer of 2006 between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon. [USA Today]
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5. New York prepares for de Blasio's inauguration
A panel on CNN's State of the Union Sunday debated whether New York's mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has fellow Democrat Anthony Weiner to thank for his victory. "I believe you could argue we have Bill de Blasio as the mayor because of Anthony Weiner," said conservative commentator S.E. Cupp. "He really sucked a lot of oxygen out of Christine Quinn's race and allowed Bill de Blasio to come up." Former President Bill Clinton will swear in de Blasio at his Jan. 1 inauguration at City Hall. [Politico]

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6. Separate avalanches kill two in Wyoming
A skier and a snowmobiler died less than two hours apart this week in separate snow avalanches in western Wyoming, according to a National Forest official. The skier, Michael Kazanjy, was buried under four feet of snow on Thursday in back-country near Jackson, Wyoming. The snowmobiler, Rex J. Anderson, died in an avalanche less than two hours later near the Idaho border. Snow conditions were not especially hazardous on Thursday when the deaths occurred. [Reuters]
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7. Florida's population expected to overtake New York's
As the U.S. Census Bureau prepares to release its latest population estimates on Monday, many expect Florida to overtake New York as the nation's third-most populous state. Stan Smith, population program director at the University of Florida's Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR), told CNN that if this has not already occurred, it will likely happen at some point in 2014 or 2015. In last year's census, New York's population was just under 19.6 million, only about 250,000 higher than Florida's. [CNN]
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8. Ice ship stranded in Antarctica awaits second rescue mission
Reports from the Akademik Shokalskiy, a Russian-flagged ship that has been stranded in Antarctica since Christmas Eve, have suggested the ice is cracking around them. A Chinese icebreaker attempted to reach the icebound ship carrying 74 passengers on Friday but failed, and a more powerful ship is due to arrive later tonight for a second attempt to break through the ice. The Akademik Shokalskiy had been retracing Sir Douglas Mawson's Antarctic expedition and conducting scientific research when sea ice closed in. [ABC News]
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9. Mysterious "fireball" proven to be meteor
What was assumed by some to be a giant fireball streaking across Midwestern skies Dec. 26 is most likely a meteor entering and burning up in our atmosphere. Moments after CCTV cameras and people in states including Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas saw the fiery object, the American Meteor Society received hundreds of reports. [NBC News]
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10. Kennedy Center Honors airs tonight
The 36th annual Kennedy Center Honors will air tonight at 9 on CBS. Opera diva Martina Arroyo, virtuoso jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, Oscar-winning actress-singer-dancer Shirley MacLaine, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Billy Joel and Carlos Santana are this year's honorees. [Boston Globe]
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Terri is a freelance writer at TheWeek.com. She's a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, and has worked at TIME and Brides.

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