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Updated: 59 min 35 sec ago
President Obama stepped away from his quiet Hawaii vacation for what's become a Christmas tradition: paying tribute to U.S. troops and the sacrifices their families make during the holidays and throughout the year.
The Israeli air force struck the Gaza Strip overnight in response to rockets fired hours earlier into southern Israel, the Israeli military said. The attack was the second by Israel in three days.
Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki says the agency made progress this year in reducing the claims backlog that has regularly caused heat from some veterans groups and lawmakers.
The longest-running humanitarian mission ever undertaken by the U.S. military had added urgency this Christmas season. On sparsely-populated Kayangel Island, part of the Republic of Palau, the immediate need was for food and water rather than the toys and gifts that usually make up the cargo for "Operation Christmas Drop."
The state of Massachusetts is working to get veterans off the streets in the Boston area by using a team of formerly homeless veterans. President Obama's administration has pledged to eliminate homelessness among veterans by the end of 2015.