President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump had a prepared video to the American people wishing a happy holiday and a salute to U.S. troops.

Highlights:

President Trump: “Together, we must strive to foster a culture of deeper understanding and respect—traits that exemplify the teachings of Christ. ... We give thanks to the millions of Americans who come together to care for others with compassion and bring the warmth and bliss this holy season to our families, our friends, our neighbors and to those in need."
First Lady Trump: "As we gather with loved ones this holiday, Americans across this land, are grateful for all the men and women in uniform who keep us safe — our military, our police and everyone in law enforcement."
President Trump: "We say a special prayer for those military service members stationed far from home. And we renew our hope for peace among nations and joy to the world. On behalf of our entire family we wish everyone a joyous and merry Christmas and a very happy happy new year."
Go deeper... Pope Francis at Christmas Eve mass: God loves even the worst of us

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7 hours ago - World

China-Iran deal envisions massive investments from Beijing

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

China and Iran have negotiated a deal that would see massive investments flow into Iran, oil flow out, and collaboration increase on defense and intelligence.

Why it matters: If the proposals become reality, Chinese cash, telecom infrastructure, railways and ports could offer new life to Iran’s sanctions-choked economy — or, critics fear, leave it inescapably beholden to Beijing.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 13,048,249 — Total deaths: 571,685 — Total recoveries — 7,215,865Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,353,348— Total deaths: 135,524 — Total recoveries: 1,031,856 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. World: WHO head: There will be no return to the "old normal" for foreseeable future — Hong Kong Disneyland closing due to surge.
  4. States: Houston mayor calls for two-week shutdownCalifornia orders sweeping rollback of open businesses — Cuomo says New York will use formula to determine if reopening schools is safe.
  5. Education: Los Angeles schools' move to online learning could be a nationwide tipping point.

House Judiciary Committee releases transcript of Geoffrey Berman testimony

Geoffrey Berman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday released the transcript of its closed-door interview with Geoffrey Berman, the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan who was forced out by Attorney General Bill Barr last month.

Why it matters: House Democrats have seized on Berman's testimony, in which he claimed the attorney general sought to "entice" him into resigning so that he could be replaced by SEC chairman Jay Clayton, to bolster allegations that the Justice Department has been politicized under Barr.