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In the Nation

Obama, in Hawaii, marks Christmas

HONOLULU - President Obama exchanged gifts with his family, sang carols, and attended church services as he celebrated Christmas in Hawaii.

The president and his family woke up early Sunday to exchange gifts, the White House said, then had breakfast and sang Christmas carols at the multimillion-dollar house they are renting in Kailua Beach, near Honolulu.

Later, the Obamas made the short trip to the chapel at Marine Corps Base Hawaii for Christmas services. The president and Michelle Obama were returning to the base later in the day to visit with service members and their families, as they have done in past years. The president also called 10 service members stationed around the world - two from each military branch - on Christmas Eve and thanked them for their service, the White House said.

The Obamas planned to wrap up their Christmas festivities with dinner at the rental home with friends and family. - AP

Maker of Enfamil says formula safe

WASHINGTON - Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. said that tests it conducted on samples of its Enfamil baby formula tied to a Food and Drug Administration investigation found no presence of bacteria. The company called the product safe.

The samples matched those being tested by regulators and, using their methods, found no Cronobacter, a kind of environmental bacteria that can be fatal, Mead Johnson said in a statement.

Two babies tested positive this month for Cronobacter, including a Missouri newborn who died. That prompted retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Kroger Co., and Walgreen Co., to remove the baby formula from shelves. The other baby became sick but survived. Mead Johnson spokesman Chris Perille said no other "serious" complaints had been reported related to the batch of Enfamil Premium Newborn being tested. - Bloomberg News

5 in Conn. family die in house fire

STAMFORD, Conn. - Five members of the family of a well-known advertising executive died early Sunday morning when fire destroyed their three-story Victorian house in an upscale Stamford neighborhood overlooking Long Island Sound.

Property records show the house was owned by the executive, Madonna Badger, 47; Badger managed to flee from the house, screaming for help, along with a man, according to neighbors who were awakened by the fire.

But Badger's three daughters, all under age 10, died in the predawn blaze, according to a relative who spoke on condition of anonymity. The identities of the two adults who died were not disclosed, but the relative said they were Badger's parents. Mayor Michael Pavia, confirmed that three of the victims were children. "There probably has not been a worse Christmas Day in the city of Stamford," he said. - N.Y. Times News Service


Seven people, ages 18 to 60, who were believed to be related were found shot to death in a Dallas-area apartment Christmas Day, and authorities said they believed the shooter was among the dead.