Suicide bomber – A powerful explosion tears through a mess tent at a U.S military base near Mosul during lunchtime, taking out 22 people. Officials say it was an inside job.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld makes a surprise Christmas Eve visit to the military base near Mosul – where 14 troops were killed in a suicide bombing.
More Iraq – as heavy fighting is reported in Fallouja – the heaviest fighting in weeks.
President Bush urges Americans to help the neediest among them by volunteering to care for the sick, the elderly and the poor in a Christmas day call for compassion.
An earthquake in the Indian Ocean, triggering tidal waves that has so far, killed 500 (that number would go up to ten’s of thousands.) The earthquake – measuring 9.0 – struck 155 miles off the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
A gang of thieves makes off with at least $39 million in cash from the vaults of a Northern Ireland bank.
The death toll stands at 125,000 in Indonesia from an earthquake and resultant tsunami. At least 80,000 of the dead were from Indonesia.
President Bush says more aid will be sent and defended the U.S. response to the Indian Ocean area disaster.
After a weekend of cancellations and lost luggage – Comair and U.S. Airways resume flights. It was a combination of bad weather and a number of employees calling in sick – including baggage handlers.
A federal judge says that Arizona can enforce a proposition that bars services for undocumented (mostly Mexican) workers. The law requires proof if immigration status from anyone trying to obtain state and local welfare benefits.
A divided Montana Supreme Court declared that the state constitution’s guarantee of equal protection extended to gays and that the state university system must offer same sex couples the same health benefits available to heterosexual ones.
A Texas woman has paid $50,000 to a biotech company to clone her dead cat.
Two Wal-Mart employees in Evansville (Indiana) have been charged with felony animal cruelty after authorities said they followed a manager’s orders to shoot and kill a stray cat.
El Paso – Brandon Moon (43) – who served nearly 17 years for rape is freed from prison after DNA tests determine he was not responsible for the crime.
An unmanned cargo ship (Progress M-51) on a vital supply mission docked at the international space station, carrying badly needed food for a U.S.-Russian crew that has been forced to ration dwindling supplies.
169 die in a nightclub fire during a rock concert in Buenos Aires. The blaze was caused by a flare that was fired into the club’s ceiling.
Olympic swimming champ Michael Phelps is sentenced to 18 months probation after pleading guilty to drunk driving at Salisbury, Maryland.
The FDA approves Prait – a new drug that fights severe pain – an option for patients who no longer benefit from morphine and other traditional pain medications.
Passing – Artie Shaw – one of the king’s of the swing era. He was 94.
Passing – Actor Jerry Orbach (69).
Passing – Author and activist Susan Sontag. She was 71.
Wet Seal says it will close about 150 stores, eliminating some 2,000 jobs.
Sirius Satellite Radio says it has achieved its year-end goal of 1 million subscribers.
Sports – Vancouver Canuck forward Todd Bertuzzi receives a conditional discharge after pleading guilty to assault more than nine months after slugging Colorado forward Steve Moore from behind during a game.
Falcons star quarterback Michael Vick becomes the richest player in the NFL with a new 10-year, $130-million contract
Entertainment news –
Eddie Murphy is selling his NJ estate for $30 million. He owned it for 18 years.
Univision – the largest U.S. Spanish-language TV and radio broadcaster, will purchase TV stations WLII and WSUR in Puerto Rico for about $190 million.
Some top albums –
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb – U2
American Idiot – Green Day
Collision Course – Jay-Z/Linkin Park
Confessions – Usher
Encore – Eminem
Destiny Fulfilled – Destiny’s Child
Loyal to the Game – Tupac
Passing – Freddie Perren (61) – composer, arranger and record producer who wrote a number of disco hits. And worked at Motown with the early Jackson 5 – among other projects. He was 61.
Eric Clapton says that “Cream” (Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce) will reunite – for four shows at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Television news –
Dick Clark plans to watch his New Year’s Eve show from the hospital. “As I always have in the past, at midnight, I plan on kissing my wife, Kari, and wishing her a happy new year.”
The “Apprentice 2” finale scores with 16.93 million viewers.
New Year’s Eve television (Friday night) –
CBS – Joan of Arcadia, JAG, Without a Trace, David Letterman
NBC – Dateline NBC, New Year’s Eve w/Carson Daly, Jay Leno
ABC – 8 Simple Rules, Complete savages, Hope & Faith, Less than Perfect, Dick Clark’s Prime Time New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2005
PBS – Washington National Opera’s Die Fledermaus
Fox – Movie, New Year’s Eve Live Form Times Square With Ryan Seacrest
MTV – New Year’s Bash
Dick Clark prime time – Regis Philbin fills-in for ailing Dick Clark with Catherine McCord and Mike Richards. Ashlee Simpson is the West Coast host.
Carson Daily – Conan O’Brien, Brian Williams, Tina Fey, Amy Phehler, Jill Hennessy, Dule Hill, Kathy Griffin and Donald Trump. With performances by Maroon 5, Avril Lavigne and Duran Duran.
Ryan Seacrest – Hoobastank, Evanescence.
MTV New Year’s Bash – hosted by Damien Fahey, La La Vasquez, Quddus, Hilarie Burton and Vanessa Minnillo. With Green Day, Snoop Dogg, Ja Rule, Fat Joe, Jimmy eat World, Ryan Cabrera, Lindsay Logan, Destiny’s Child, Blink 182, Good Charlotte, Fabolous, Ludacris, Ying Yank Twins, Simple Plan.
At the movies –
Meet the Fockers
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
The Polar Express
The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou
The Phantom of the Opera