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White House receives official Christmas tree

WASHINGTON —The White House shifted into Christmas mode on Friday as Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha accepted the gift of an 18-foot Douglas fir from Pennsylvania as the official White House Christmas Tree.

The tree was hauled through the White House gates by horse-drawn carriage and presented to the Obamas by Christopher Botek. It was grown on his family's Christmas tree farm in Lehighton, Pa. —the second time the farm has supplied the White House with its official tree.

Botek, who brought his wife and two daughters to the White House, said, "It doesn't get any bigger than this for us as Christmas tree growers."

FedEx tracks down radioactive shipment

WASHINGTON — A shipment of radioactive rods used in medical equipment that went missing on Thanksgiving Day was found Friday in Tennessee by the shipping company FedEx.

While the materials posed little threat to the public, experts say the misplaced shipment underscores the need to track low-hazard materials that could be used in small-scale terrorist attacks.

The rods are used to calibrate quality control in CT scans and contained little energy and a low concentration of radiation, according to Sandra Munoz, FedEx spokeswoman. The shipment was sent from Fargo, N.D., and was reported missing at its destination in Knoxville, Tenn.

The shipment was found at a FedEx station in Knoxville, Munoz said. The shipping label was missing from the outer box. All the rods were intact and no FedEx employees were exposed to radiation.

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