5 Things to Know This Morning

PHOTO: Firefighters go door-to-door on North Carlen Street in the Midtown section of Mobile, Ala. after a tornado touched down Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012.

Your look at the five biggest and most buzz-worthy stories of the morning.

1. Tornadoes Tear Through Southern U.S.

Tornadoes tore through the deep south, wrecking houses and unearthing down trees from Texas to Alabama, even trapping people in their homes. Tens of thousands of Mobile, Alabama residents are without power this morning.

2. Obama Cuts Vacation Short

President Barack Obama is cutting his Christmas vacation short, returning to Washington from Hawaii today. Back in the nation's capital, the President will focus on talks with congressional Republicans to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.

3. Taliban Claims Responsibility for Kabul Bombing

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at a US military base in Kabul, Afghanistan. The explosion killed three Afghan security guards and wounded as many as seven others.

4. South Africa President Visits Mandela

President Jacob Zuma of South Africa visited Nelson Mandela on Tuesday and said the former president was "looking much better." Mr. Mandela has been in the hospital for more than two weeks suffering from a lung infection and gallstones.

5. 'Les Miserables' Tops Xmas Box Office

"Les Miserables" topped the holiday box office on Christmas. The big screen adaptation of the Broadway musical is estimated to have earned $17.5 million on its first day in theaters.

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