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Overnight News Digest, aka OND, is a community feature here at Daily Kos. Each editor selects news stories on a wide range of topics.

The OND community was founded by Magnifico.

Guns pour in at L.A. buyback events

Mall parking lots were packed with after-Christmas shoppers. But nowhere were the lines longer than at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena and the Van Nuys Masonic Temple, where thousands of people came to exchange their guns for Ralphs gift cards.
Cars queued up for blocks at the drive-through events, with the city giving cards worth up to $100 for handguns, shotguns and rifles, and up to $200 for assault weapons. There was a bit of haggling involved, but the guns were all taken.
"What do you got?" an officer in Van Nuys asked a man in his late twenties as he pulled up in a green Mazda.

Justice Sotomayor refuses to block contraceptives mandate

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has refused to block enforcement starting next week of a requirement in President Barack Obama's 2010 healthcare overhaul that some companies provide insurance coverage for contraceptive drugs and devices.
In an order issued on Wednesday, Sotomayor said two for-profit companies controlled by Oklahoma City billionaire David Green and his family did not qualify for an injunction while they challenge the requirement in court.
Hobby Lobby Stores Inc, an arts and crafts chain with more than 500 stores, and Mardel Inc, a chain of 35 Christian-themed bookstores, said it violated their religious beliefs to require that their group health plans cover treatments that could induce abortions.

Chicago Mobster Calabrese Dies in Federal Prison

Chicago mobster Frank Calabrese Sr., a hit man who strangled victims and then slashed their throats to be sure they were dead, has died in a federal prison in North Carolina, authorities said.
Calabrese, 75, died Tuesday at the Butner Federal Medical Center, said Ed Ross, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Ross had no information on the cause of death, though Calabrese claimed at his sentencing in 2009 that he suffered from a host of ailments, including an enlarged heart.
"It's very emotional right now because there were two sides to my dad, and I miss the good side," Calabrese's son Frank Calabrese Jr. told the Chicago Sun-Times. He had helped put his father behind bars by secretly recording him boasting about mob killings.


Craft beer sales help rebuild centuries-old Trappist monastery in Northern Calif

Monks in a small Northern California town are rebuilding a centuries-old Spanish monastery with help from what may seem an unlikely source: beer.
The first phase of the building’s decades-long restoration project in the Sacramento Valley town of Vina has been completed, with the Chapter House of Ovila now standing, the San Francisco Chronicle reported (http://bit.ly/...) on Tuesday.
In the 1930s, newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst bought the former Trappist monastery— the Santa Maria de Ovila — and imported it from Spain for an estate that was never realized. He had planned to use parts of the church for an indoor swimming pool changing room.

Once that project was scrapped, Hearst donated the monastery’s pieces to the city of San Francisco, but the dismantled building sat forgotten in Golden Gate Park for more than 60 years.


1,000 travelers were stranded by flight cancellations Christmas night at D/FW Airport

Some 1,000 travelers were stranded Christmas night at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport as winter storms caused 414 flights to be canceled, an airport official said.
“We kept the concessions open until midnight,” said airport spokeswoman Cynthia Vega. “We brought in cots, blankets, toiletries and vouchers for those who wanted to go to a nearby hotel. We turned down the lighting and the music to make for a peaceful night.”
The flights were affected by bad weather in North Texas as well as a winter storm in the Midwest, which was headed toward the Northeast on Wednesday.

Google lists best Android apps of 2012

With Apple recently releasing a list of what it considers to be the best iOS apps of 2012, we’ve been waiting with bated breath for Google to reveal its own list. The wait is over, as today Google named the best apps to land on the Google Play Store in 2012. The apps range to ones that probably everyone has installed on their Android device to ones that will be relatively unknown to the mainstream crowd, so you could potentially use Google’s list to discover your new favorite app.

Imminent threat of labor unrest averted at Northwest ports

The threat of imminent labor unrest at four U.S. Pacific Northwest ports was averted on Wednesday as the dockworkers union said its members would stay on the job despite "substandard" contract terms being imposed unilaterally by grain shippers.
Both sides in the stalemate left open the door to further negotiations. A spokesman for the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service told Reuters the agency was in contact on Wednesday with the parties.
The shipping companies declared a formal impasse in stalled contract talks with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) days after nearly 3,000 rank-and-file union members voted overwhelmingly to reject management's "last, best and final" offer.

Nicaragua volcano spews ash cloud, residents evacuated

Nicaragua's tallest volcano has belched an ash cloud hundreds of meters (feet) into the sky in the latest bout of sporadic activity, prompting the evacuation of nearby residents, the government said on Wednesday.
The 5,725-foot (1,745-meter) San Cristobal volcano, which sits around 85 miles north of the capital Managua in the country's northwest, has been active in recent years, and went through a similar episode in September.
The latest activity began late on Tuesday.

Russia passes bill banning Americans from adopting Russian children

Russia's parliament voted unanimously to pass a bill Wednesday that prevents Americans from adopting Russian children. The bill, which will now be sent to President Vladimir Putin for approval, is Russia's response to a bill just passed in the United States that would punish Russians accused of human rights violations.This new anti-adoption law drastically affects 46 Russian children who were in the process of being adopted by American families, as well as the estimated 1,000 Russian children a year who are adopted by new U.S. parents. Russia has roughly 650,000 children who live "without parental supervision."

Mental illness, poverty haunted Afghan policewoman who killed American

The Afghan policewoman suspected of killing a U.S. contractor at police headquarters in Kabul suffered from mental illness and was driven to suicidal despair by poverty, her children told Reuters on Wednesday.
The woman was identified by authorities as Narges Rezaeimomenabad, a 40-year-old grandmother and mother of three who moved here from Iran 10 years ago and married an Afghan man.
On Monday morning, she loaded a pistol in a bathroom at the police compound, hid it in her long scarf and shot an American police trainer, apparently becoming the first Afghan woman to carry out such an attack.


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