Atrocities and amends

 In a post for Yahoo News, freelance journalist Hannah McNeish describes how South Sudanese witnesses recount massacre, murders and rapeAndrew Beatty with the AFP quoted from the piece, "'To survive you had to cover yourself with the bodies of dead people' @HannahMcNeish documents horrors in SouthSudan." Fellow freelancer Tristan McConnell entreated followers, "Read @HannahMcNeish's dispatch from Juba, #SouthSudan, on atrocities and killings while 'the world watches.'" Tom Whipple at The Times added the warning, "But don't read comments after."

Meanwhile, 59 years after his suicide, the enigmatic World War II codebreaker Alan Turing has received a posthumous royal pardon, The Guardian reports. He took his own life after being convicted of "homosexual activity" and, therefore, forcibly chemically castrated. "When Turing was convicted in 1952, he was sentenced to chemical castration by injection of female hormones," NYT's Jonathan Weisman explained, also noting, "Seriously? In 2009, Gordon Brown issued a formal apology to Mr. Turing. But Cameron denied him a pardon." Melissa Hogenboom with the BBC responded, "About time."

Speaking of the BBC, they also had that story, as did the New York TimesLaurie Penny with the New Statesman observed, "Alan Turing was hounded to his death by bigotry. Pardon or no pardon, that will stand as a stain on British history."

And after months of revelations, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has declared his mission "accomplished." The piece yielded a wealth of memorable quotes. Ahmed Shihab-Eldin at HuffPost Live shared one: "I didn’t want to change society. I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself.” Tim O'Brien with Bloomberg News tweeted another: “If I defected at all ... I defected from the government to the public.” And Wall Street Journal's Lisa Fleisher tweeted the humdinger: "I already won."

Lastly, early this morning while most of us were snug in our beds with visions of sugar plums in our heads, high above us in space astronauts spent their holiday very differentlyMere Censullo with ABC Action News Tampa summed it all up for us: "Christmas Eve in space! @NASA tweeting today's #spacewalk, which got underway at 6:53."

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