Review Category : Top Stories

George HW Bush Remains Hospitalized on Christmas

Bob Levey/Getty Images(HOUSTON) — Former President George H.W. Bush remained at a Houston hospital for a third day in a row on Christmas after experiencing shortness of breath earlier this week.

The former president, age 90, had “another terrific day,” said his spokesman, Jim McGrath. His wife visited him in the hospital, along with his son Neil and daughter-in-law Maria Bush.

Bush was admitted Tuesday as a precaution.

Houston Methodist is the same hospital were Bush spent nearly two months for a bronchitis-related cough and other health issues before he was released in January 2013 after treatment.

Bush’s most recent public appearance was in November at an event at Texas A&M University that he attended with his son, former President George W. Bush.

He celebrated his 90th birthday in June by making a tandem parachute jump near his summer home in Maine. He also celebrated his 75th, 80th and 85th birthdays the same way.

Bush began experiencing health problems in 1991 when, as president, he entered the hospital with an irregular heartbeat.

Doctors diagnosed him as having Graves Disease, a thyroid condition that, by coincidence, his wife also had.

Bush experienced a recurrence of the irregular heartbeat in February 2000, when he was attending a reception in Naples, Fla. He spent a night in the hospital, but smiled and joked with reporters the next day.

In November 2012, he was admitted to a Houston hospital for bronchitis and a chronic cough. He was expected to return home well before Christmas, but remained hospitalized after the holiday, with officials saying he had a high fever and had been placed on a liquids-only diet.

His family has said publicly the former president was no longer able to walk unassisted, a frustration for a man who enjoyed an active lifestyle of golf, fishing, jogging, and power walks on the beach near his summer home in Maine.

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Stranger Gives Defendant $983 in Courtroom so He Doesn’t Become Felon

iStock/Thinkstock(PORTLAND, Ore.) — A Portland man received $983 from a stranger with a big heart so that a court wouldn’t declare him to be a felon.

Though the two were strangers to each other, civil attorney Colin Murphy overheard a defense attorney and prosecutor talking about a different case that was 15 minutes before his last week, the Oregonian reported.

“I’ve never experienced anything like this, not for even a smaller amount,” the defendant’s attorney Lawrence Taylor told ABC News today. “This is unique and I’ve been practicing for 22 years.”

Murphy typically covers business disputes, but he still understood that the defendant was about to miss a plea deal that would allow him to be sentenced with a misdemeanor instead of a felony.

Defendant Castor Majuro Conley bought a Nissan pickup truck from a thief, then sold it to someone else who sold it to a scrap yard, police reports allege. Conley, married with a 17-month-old child, couldn’t come up with the $983 required to pay restitution to the car’s owner. So, Murphy decided to step in, as the Oregon State Bar prohibits an attorney from giving or loaning money to a client.

While Murphy wanted to make sure that giving Conley $983 would be permitted, Taylor told the judge, “I think we’ve worked it out.”

“He handed a personal check to me that day,” Conley’s attorney Taylor said of Murphy. “I had never seen or heard of him.”

As for Conley, he was “stunned and in disbelief,” Taylor said.

Conley has one misdemeanor conviction on his record, a fourth-degree assault in 2011, the Oregonian reported. A more serious felony charge could have cost Conley his job and future employment prospects, plus rental housing.

“He teared up a little bit during the sentencing and when he spoke to the judge. Only time will tell if it had the response that he needs — that is whether he will do something with his life that will justify it,” Taylor told ABC News.

Will Conley pay Murphy back?

“He’s not guaranteed anything except an enormous amount of unwanted attention, though the judge told my client that he ought to pay him back,” Taylor told ABC News.

Conley and Murphy could not be reached for comment.

“All of us sometime in our lives have done something we would rather not have done,” Murphy told The Oregonian. “And the time will come when perhaps we are going to be held accountable. And I think at that point we would like to have somebody show us mercy.”

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Xbox Live, PlayStation Network Suffer Outages on Christmas

Chesnot/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Microsoft’s Xbox Live and Sony’s PlayStation Network both suffered outages on Christmas Day as a hacking group claimed responsibility for the problems.

The networks, which allow users to play video games with a wider audience online, suffered problems throughout Thursday, angering thousands of gamers, many who tried using their brand-new consoles on Christmas.

The hacking group “Lizard Squad” took credit for the outages. The group previously claimed responsibility for cyber-attacks that briefly knocked the Vatican’s website, Battle.net and League of Legends offline.

Neither Microsoft nor Sony blamed the problem on hackers. Both companies said they were investigating the problems.

We’re aware users are having issues logging into XBL & are actively working to resolve. Please visit http://t.co/99xfLNN0o8 for updates ^JX

— Xbox Support (1-5) (@XboxSupport) December 25, 2014

We’re aware that some users are having issues logging into PSN – engineers are investigating

— PlayStation (@PlayStation) December 25, 2014

Earlier this month, the Lizard Squad claimed it hacked Sony’s PlayStation Store.

Sony has faced several hacks this month, with U.S. officials linking North Korea to one that disrupted the company’s computer system and leaked confidential information online believed to be retaliation for Sony’s original plans to release The Interview, a comedy that featured a fictional assassination attempt against North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

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Look at the Obamas’ Throwback Christmas Photo

Theo Wargo/WireImage(WASHINGTON) — The first family woke up to a partly cloudy Christmas morning in Hawaii and celebrated by opening presents and singing carols, a White House spokesman said Thursday.

First Lady Michelle Obama was apparently in the sharing spirit, as she posted a throwback photo to her Instagram account of herself and Barack in what had to have been one of their first Christmases together.

The undated photo was captioned simply “Merry Christmas!” and shows the smiling couple standing next to a decorated tree.

Merry Christmas!

A photo posted by First Lady Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on Dec 12, 2014 at 10:22am PST

Though she is not wearing a ring, Barack’s wedding band is visible, so the photo was likely taken after their October 1992 wedding.

While Michelle looks strikingly similar to her present self, a no-gray Barack looks much younger than the commander-in-chief we know today.

Later on Christmas Day, Obama will visit with service members at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay to thank them for their service.

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Go Inside Kris Jenner’s Christmas Party

Charles Sykes/Bravo(LOS ANGELES) — Every year, Kris Jenner throws an extravagant Christmas party, and 2014 was no exception.

The Kardashian matriarch hosted a black-tie party at her California home to celebrate the holiday.

“Christmas at @krisjenner!!!! Wow!!!!” wrote Khloé Kardashian of the tented bash, which featured tons of twinkle lights.

Guests, including Kardashian, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, and TV personality Maria Menounos, sipped Belvedere cocktails and hit the dance floor. There was also a vintage photo booth, complete with Christmas-themed props, and yes, a visit from Santa.

Here are some photos from the event:

just killin it on the dance floor with the kids

A photo posted by Kendall Jenner (@kendalljenner) on Dec 12, 2014 at 9:51pm PST

hi Santa!

Uma foto publicada por Kendall Jenner (@kendalljenner) em Dez 12, 2014 at 9:44 PST

her

A photo posted by Kylizzle (@kyliejenner) on Dec 12, 2014 at 8:46pm PST

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Go Inside Kris Jenner’s Christmas Party

Charles Sykes/Bravo(LOS ANGELES) — Every year, Kris Jenner throws an extravagant Christmas party, and 2014 was no exception.

The Kardashian matriarch hosted a black-tie party at her California home to celebrate the holiday.

“Christmas at @krisjenner!!!! Wow!!!!” wrote Khloé Kardashian of the tented bash, which featured tons of twinkle lights.

Guests, including Kardashian, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, and TV personality Maria Menounos, sipped Belvedere cocktails and hit the dance floor. There was also a vintage photo booth, complete with Christmas-themed props, and yes, a visit from Santa.

Here are some photos from the event:

just killin it on the dance floor with the kids

A photo posted by Kendall Jenner (@kendalljenner) on Dec 12, 2014 at 9:51pm PST

hi Santa!

Uma foto publicada por Kendall Jenner (@kendalljenner) em Dez 12, 2014 at 9:44 PST

her

A photo posted by Kylizzle (@kyliejenner) on Dec 12, 2014 at 8:46pm PST

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In Christmas Message, Queen Elizabeth Emphasizes Reconciliation

Chris Jackson/Getty Images(LONDON) — For her traditional Christmas message Thursday, Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth addressed the importance of reconciliation.

The Queen called Jesus Christ a role model of reconciliation and forgiveness.

“For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, whose birth we celebrate today, is an inspiration and an anchor in my life,” she said. “Christ’s example has taught me to seek to respect and value all people of whatever faith or none.”

Queen Elizabeth also recalled an event 100 years ago, during World War I, when British and German troops put aside the conflict to celebrate Christmas.

“Without any instruction or command, the shooting stopped and German and British soldiers met in no man’s land. Photographs were taken and gifts exchanged. It was a Christmas truce,” Queen Elizabeth said.

She said the lessons learned then can be applied to modern challenges.

“In Scotland, after the referendum, many felt great disappointment while others felt great relief; and bridging these differences will take time.”

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In Christmas Message, Queen Elizabeth Emphasizes Reconciliation

Chris Jackson/Getty Images(LONDON) — For her traditional Christmas message Thursday, Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth addressed the importance of reconciliation.

The Queen called Jesus Christ a role model of reconciliation and forgiveness.

“For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, whose birth we celebrate today, is an inspiration and an anchor in my life,” she said. “Christ’s example has taught me to seek to respect and value all people of whatever faith or none.”

Queen Elizabeth also recalled an event 100 years ago, during World War I, when British and German troops put aside the conflict to celebrate Christmas.

“Without any instruction or command, the shooting stopped and German and British soldiers met in no man’s land. Photographs were taken and gifts exchanged. It was a Christmas truce,” Queen Elizabeth said.

She said the lessons learned then can be applied to modern challenges.

“In Scotland, after the referendum, many felt great disappointment while others felt great relief; and bridging these differences will take time.”

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Families Give Up Shopping for ‘Buy Nothing’ Christmas

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Shopping and the holiday season seem to go hand in hand, but one group is trying to show people another option with the “Buy Nothing” Christmas.

The project is part of the grassroots “Buy Nothing” project, which aims to connect people who either can’t afford or don’t want to buy new presents.

Molly Hodges said she joined the group after hearing about it from a friend and thought she could help give away some unneeded baby items.

“There are a lot of people who don’t have a ton of money to spend,” she told ABC News. “It takes a big dent out of the wallet.”

Hodges said she originally hoped to give away unneeded items taking up space in her house, such as an extra treadmill and baby clothes. But when she decided to stay home with her 1-year-old daughter, she started to use the group to help people get in the Christmas spirits without breaking the bank.

She estimated she normally spent between $500 to $1,000 on Christmas but spent just $50 this year.

The “Buy Nothing” project started small on Bainbridge Island, Washington, but has now grown to nine countries with 80,000 members, according to the project’s website.

Each “Buy Nothing” group centers around a specific neighborhood and people can join by simply giving the administrators their address. In Hodge’s group centered in Ballard, Washington, there are over 700 members, according to the Facebook page. Members can either post an item they’re willing to give up or a post an item they’re looking for.

Hodges said she was able to get a digital camera for her teenage daughter and plenty of stocking stuffers for her daughter’s friend who was also coming for the holiday.

“I didn’t have any money and I found out I had an extra teenager for Christmas,” she said. “[I posted] I need stocking stuffers, stat.”

She said people immediately responded with items they were willing to give away, including a scarf and earrings.

“We’re all willing to come to each other’s rescue if we can,” Hodges said.

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Eliza Coupe Marries Darin Olien In New Zealand

Isabella Vosmikova/USA Network(NEW YORK) — Eliza Coupe had a very merry Christmas.

The actress married her fiancé, Darin Olien, while on vacation in New Zealand, they announced on social media.

“Why not get married on Christmas Eve in New Zealand? Happy Holidays! Love, The Oliens @superlifeliving #SuperLife #NewZealand #love,” she wrote on Instagram, along with a photo of their rings.

“My SuperBride @theelizacoupe and I enjoying the Holidays New Zealand style!” he added, along with a selfie. “#Married #BeautifulWife #XmasEve #SuperLife #NewZealand #LOVE”

Coupe, 33, announced their engagement last month. This is the second marriage for the Benched actress, who split from Randall Whittinghill last year.

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