The Rock of Talk 'Daily Blast' for Friday, December 25th, 2020

The Conservative Calendar, Top 10 Clips of the Day, Top 10 Links of the Day, Morning Local News Briefing, US and Global News Briefing and The 'Rock of Talk' Debate of the Day

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Charlie Brown: Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?
Linus Van Pelt: Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.
[moves toward the center of the stage]
Linus Van Pelt: Lights, please.
[a spotlight shines on Linus]
Linus Van Pelt: "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not:"
[Linus drops his security blanket on purpose]
Linus Van Pelt: "for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'"
Linus Van Pelt: [Linus picks up his blanket and walks back towards Charlie Brown] That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

THE CONSERVATIVE CALENDAR

Forecast at The KIVA: High 44 Degrees at 3pm (Will feel like 44) Low 19 Degrees at 7am (Will feel like 10). Winds get to 4MPH at 6:00pm. Partly Cloudy. *Weather is from the KIVA Weather Station.

Today is Friday, Dec. 25, the 360th day of 2020. There are six days left in the year. This is Christmas Day.

In A.D. 336, the first known commemoration of Christmas on Dec. 25 took place in Rome.

In 1066, William the Conqueror was crowned King of England.

In 1776, Gen. George Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River for a surprise attack against Hessian forces at Trenton, New Jersey, during the American Revolutionary War.

In 1818, "Silent Night" was publicly performed for the first time during the Christmas Midnight Mass at the Church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorf, Austria.

In 1926, Hirohito became emperor of Japan, succeeding his father, Emperor Yoshihito.

In 1989, ousted Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, were executed following a popular uprising.

In 1990, the World Wide Web, the system providing quick access to websites over the Internet, was born in Geneva, Switzerland, as computer scientists Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau created the world's first hyperlinked webpage.

In 1991, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev went on television to announce his resignation as the eighth and final leader of a communist superpower that had already gone out of existence.

Today's Birthdays: Singer Jimmy Buffett is 74. Pro and College Football Hall-of-Famer Larry Csonka is 74. Country singer Barbara Mandrell is 72. Actor Sissy Spacek is 71. Singer Annie Lennox is 66.

UPCOMING LOCAL EVENTS

Merry Christmas! Infowars with Alex Jones will replace “The Rock of Talk” for Thursday and Friday

TOP 10 CLIPS OF THE DAY

  1. Biden-Harris Transition Releases Christmas Video Starring Biden’s Dogs Champ and Major

  2. Fox News: More than 1 Million Americans Have Received Covid Vaccine

  3. Rep. McCarthy Shares Christmas Message: My Favorite Christmas Movie Is ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

  4. President-Elect Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden Sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Dr. Fauci

  5. Terminally Ill Rush Limbaugh Chokes Up Thanking Fans and Contemplating ‘When the Day Comes’

  6. First Responders Serenade Dr. Anthony Fauci for His 80th Birthday

  7. Fox News: U.K. Travelers To Be Fined $1,000 Per Day for Breaking NYC Quarantine

  8. President Trump Golfs at His Club in West Palm Beach, Florida

  9. Michael Cohen: Prosecutors Have ‘Mounting’ Evidence for Potential Charges when Trump Leaves Office

  10. President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump’s Christmas Message

TOP 10 LINKS OF THE DAY

  1. Fauci: Herd immunity could require 90 percent of country to be vaccinated

  2. 'We are struggling': A bleak Christmas for America's jobless

  3. Brewery owner says thief steals outdoor heater, can't operate back patio for business

  4. New Mexico woman facing felony charge for coughing on health care worker says she’s wrongly accused

  5. Joe Biden's continued 'Russian misinformation' defense of Hunter is conspiracy-level laughable

  6. Methane report prompts state to ‘call for action’ on oilfield rules

  7. Towns Are Banning Sledding Because Parents Sue When Kids Get Hurt

  8. Snowden allies see opening amid Trump clemency blitz

  9. Australia Faces an Angry China: What Should America Do?

  10. Disgraced Kevin Spacey draws fire for Christmas Eve video

MORNING LOCAL NEWS BRIEFING

FBI cold case posters being translated into Navajo language

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Federal authorities are incorporating the Navajo language in a bid to find leads in cold cases on or near the country's largest Native American reservation. KOAT-TV in Albuquerque reported Thursday that the FBI has begun a new initiative to release posters on decades-old homicides and missing persons cases that are translated into Navajo. The posters include details of an incident, physical descriptions of victims and photos. FBI spokesman Frank Fisher says the agency is hopeful that seeing details in their own language may jog people's memories. This initiative has been in the works for the past year.

New Mexico governor urges safety during holiday season

SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is making another plea for people to be safe this holiday season. She said in a tweet Thursday afternoon that her thoughts were with every New Mexican grieving the loss of a loved one. State health officials reported an additional 29 deaths Thursday, bringing the state's tally to 2,272 since the pandemic began. More than 1,900 confirmed COVID-19 infections also were reported for the day, pushing the overall statewide total to nearly 135,200. New infections had tapered off over the last week, but health officials were concerned that Christmas gatherings would lead to another surge. 

Woman denies felony charge that she coughed on health worker

SANTA FE, N.M. — A New Mexico woman charged with felony battery after being accused of coughing on a health care worker in a medical center has denied the allegation and said she only lifted her mask at the time. A criminal complaint filed with the Santa Fe Police Department by the worker claimed defendant Joy Ebel refused to wear a mask, verbally harassed employees at La Familia Medical Center in Truchas and coughed into the worker's face. Ebel has said she did not cough on anyone intentionally and she does not have COVID-19. She claimed the incident started because workers at the clinic did not like how she was wearing her mask.

Decade-long study reveals resilience of New Mexico acequias

ALCALDE, N.M. — Researchers from the state's two largest universities and a prominent national laboratory are detailing their findings from a decade-long study of New Mexico acequias. They say the traditional irrigation systems are as much about culture and community as they are about hydrology. Their 90-page publication was presented during the New Mexico Acequia Association's recent annual meeting. The researchers learned that the acequia system creates a responsive mechanism for the entire community to interact with the landscape and develop a specific water management approach depending on conditions. The researchers hope the publication will serve as a tool for legislators and others when making decisions about acequias.

New Mexico Rail Runner Express route gets new safety system

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Federal regulators have certified that the New Mexico Rail Runner Express has met a year-end deadline to install a federally required safety system on the state-owned passenger service. The Positive Train Control System is designed to prevent train collisions, high-speed derailments and incursions into track work zones. The passenger service's operator, the Rio Metro Regional Transit District, began installing the $60 million system on the 100-mile route between Santa Fe and Belen south of Albuquerque in April 2019. In addition to Rail Runner commuter trains, the route is also used by Amtrak long-distance passenger trains and Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight trains.

Navajo Nation reports 272 new COVID-19 cases, 7 new deaths

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation has reported 272 new coronavirus cases and seven more deaths. The latest figures reported Wednesday by the Navajo Department of Health bring the total number of cases on the reservation that extends into Arizona, New Mexico and Utah to 21,833. The death toll from the pandemic now stands at 762. The Navajo Nation remains in a three-week lockdown requiring all residents to stay home except for emergencies, shopping for essentials like food and medicine or traveling to an essential job. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez says residents must not become complacent just because frontline health care workers on the reservation have started receiving recently approved vaccines.

Texas company opts to settle case over New Mexico fuel spill

CIMARRON, N.M. — The state Office of Natural Resources Trustee has reached a proposed settlement with a Texas-based company over a fuel spill along a northern New Mexico river. A tanker truck carrying more than 1,000 gallons of fuel overturned in icy conditions in 2016 and spilled its liquid cargo into the Cimarron River near a wildlife management area. State officials said fish and invertebrates were killed and surrounding soil and sediment was contaminated. A portion of the river had to be closed to public access for several months. Under the settlement, Fronk Oil Co. will pay $150,000 toward restoration projects.

New Mexico to meet deadline for sending out relief checks

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Around 15,000 residents previously ineligible for pandemic stimulus checks have started receiving payments from the state. The group includes immigrants in the country without work authorization. Officials with the New Mexico Human Services Department said the $465 relief payments began arriving this week via direct deposit or checks. The Legislature allocated $5 million to the fund for those who hadn't received federal payments in April. Agency officials say they were able to identify an additional $2 million on top of that. COVID-19 cases have been declining in New Mexico, but the economic fallout from the pandemic continues.

US AND GLOBAL NEWS BRIEFING

MOSCOW — Russian authorities have ordered those arriving from the U.K. to quarantine for two weeks.

Earlier this week, Russia suspended direct flights from the U.K. after a variant of the coronavirus that is 70% more transmissible has spread across London and parts of England.

The order from the Rospotrebnadzor sanitary safety agency posted Friday on the portal of official information obliges all those traveling from the U.K. to remain in isolation for 14 days after their arrival in Russia. The measure is effective starting Saturday.

Dozens of countries have barred flights from the U.K. or announced travel restrictions. The United States will require airline passengers from Britain to get a negative COVID-19 test before their flight starting Monday.

___

— Curfews, quarantines and even border closings complicated Christmas celebrations, but ingenuity and determination helped many keep the day special

— Canceled and scaled-back holiday magnifies the solitude for the elderly isolated from their families, friends by virus concerns

— China's vaccines are poised to fill a gap for poorer countries, but past scandals and secrecy raise doubts about effectiveness

— British soldiers worked to clear the backlog of truck drivers stranded after France's brief border closure over virus variant

___

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he wants to make the government's coronavirus measures more effective by seeking legislation that will make business restrictions legally binding, punish violators and include economic compensation.

Suga said many people in Tokyo are dining out and partying despite the authorities' repeated requests to avoid the risks. He said the spread of the virus in the Tokyo region is spilling over to the rest of the country and the government needs a law to make its measures more effective.

Japan had a state of emergency in April and May with non-binding requests for people to stay home and business to close. But government taskforce chief Shigeru Omi said people have become complacent about the pandemic and less cooperative to the government requests.

Tokyo confirmed 884 new cases on Friday, following a record 888 the day before. Japan has about 209,980 cases, with 3,105 deaths as of Thursday, the health ministry said.

___

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has made a passionate appeal to nations to ensure COVID-19 vaccines for all.

In his Christmas Day message on Friday, he urged that the vulnerable and the needy be first in line. Francis said the laws of the markets and patents can't come before the "laws of love and health of humanity" and he called on leaders of nations, international organizations and businesses to "promote cooperation, not competition" in the distribution of the vaccines.

___

ATLANTA — The United States will require airline passengers from Britain to get a negative COVID-19 test before their flight.

The U.S. is the latest country to announce new travel restrictions because of a new variant of the coronavirus that is spreading in Britain.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says airline passengers from the United Kingdom will have to get negative COVID-19 tests within three days of their trip and provide the results to the airline. The agency says the order will be signed Friday and go into effect on Monday.

The CDC says because of travel restrictions in place since March, air travel to the U.S. from the U.K. has been cut by 90%.

Last weekend, Britain's prime minister said a new variant of the coronavirus seemed to spread more easily than earlier ones and was moving rapidly through England. Dozens of countries have since barred flights from the U.K.

___

BEIJING — Authorities in China's northeastern port city of Dalian are testing millions of residents after seven new coronavirus cases were reported there in the last 24 hours.

The cluster that has emerged in recent days has grown to 12 cases. In five neighborhood divisions, authorities have shut schools and public spaces and are restricting anyone but essential workers from leaving their residential compounds.

Beijing is also on high alert after two asymptomatic cases were reported Thursday, in addition to two confirmed cases last week.

The city began mass testing in the neighborhood and workplace of one of the asymptomatic cases, a restaurant employee who worked handling cold chain.

___

SEOUL, South Korea — Christmas Day has brought South Korea its biggest daily increase in coronavirus infections of the pandemic as officials urged for citizen vigilance to help curb a viral surge that has worsened hospitalization and deaths.

The 1,241 new confirmed cases reported Friday raised the country's total to 54,770. Officials said 17 more people had died from COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 773.

The country has been expanding its mass testing program to slow the rate of transmissions and more than 118,000 tests were conducted Thursday alone. Officials are also clamping down on private social gatherings through Jan. 3, shutting down national parks and ski resorts and setting fines for restaurants if they serve groups of five people or more.

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RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has used his Christmas message to cast more doubt on a coronavirus vaccine purchased by one of the country's states from the Chinese biopharmaceutical firm Sinovac.

In his live broadcast on social media Thursday, Bolsonaro said "the efficacy of that vaccine of Sao Paulo seems to be very low," though he gave nothing specific.

Sao Paulo health authorities have not presented complete trial results a week after announcing that there were encouraging phase three studies on the shot's effectiveness.

Brazil so far has no agreements to import vaccine made by American companies Pfizer or Moderna, which have been approved by U.S. and other nations. It has a deal to secure up to 100 million doses of the potential vaccine produced by AstraZeneca.

___

NEW YORK — The number of passengers screened for flights in the U.S. topped nearly 1.2 million Wednesday for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic outbreak, but it's still about 38.5% below the same Wednesday last year, by far the smallest percentage decline since March.

The Transportation Security Administration said Wednesday's tally of 1.19 million was the most since mid-March.

It's the third straight daily gain.

On the same weekday a year ago, 1.94 million passengers were screened. However, that was Christmas 2019 when travel was lighter than normal. On several days in early April after the pandemic broadsided the U.S. economy, fewer than 100,000 people were screened to board planes.

The bump comes as the CDC warns that holiday travel may increase one's chances of getting and spreading the virus. It recommends staying home and postponing travel as the best way to protect oneself from COVID-19.

___

JERUSALEM — The Israeli government says it will be imposing its third nationwide lockdown on Sunday to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Cabinet approved the movement restrictions for two weeks. It includes the shutdown of most non-essential businesses, limitations on gatherings and movement from people's homes and reduced public transit. At the same time, classes for high school, kindergartens and some grade school students will continue.

Israel, a country of 9 million people, started rolling out coronavirus vaccinations this week and has already inoculated over 140,000 people, according to the health ministry. Netanyahu said Thursday that Israel aims to increase vaccinations to 100,000 people per day by next week.

Israel has recorded over 385,000 cases of the coronavirus since March, and 3,150 deaths. But the infection rate has shot up in recent weeks after the government started easing restrictions put in place in September.

ROCK OF TALK’ DEBATE OF THE DAY

This is going to be a challenging Christmas for us all. “Health experts” begged us not to travel. They're warned us not to get together. Our options for going out are already pretty limited anyway, given all the closings of restaurants, clubs, theaters and family attractions. 

  • How are you and your family coping?

  • What are you not doing, or doing differently, this year?

  • What traditions are you going ahead with in spite of it all?

  • Are you secretly relieved that the pressure is off to do some holiday-related activities?

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