The broadsheets all go with the news that the family of a Mexican special forces hero, killed battling a drug cartel, were gunned down hours after his funeral. But in cheerier news, one story does feature the words "Christmas miracle."

The healthcare debate — or features on the topic — make the front in the New York Times and LA Times. There are some heartwarming Christmas tales too, from the Washington Post and Daily News mainly. Here's the best of the rest:

  • The New York Times reports delays on the jail chosen to house Guantanamo detainees.
  • The Wall Street Journal says house prices are up! And sales are up! But so are foreclosures!
  • And the LA Times says food banks are getting healthy this year.

Disclosure: I freelance write and report for newspapers that are included in this roundup. Where there is a direct conflict of interest I will make it clear.

The New York Times: it's all well and good to examine the issues of the day. But this story, about end-of-life care (balanced and well-reported though it is) will just be used by crackpots screeching about death panels. In other problems for the Obama administration; there are delays with the Illinois jail they chose to move Guantanamo detainees to. On the plus side, Latino evangelist churches are encouraging illegal immigrants to be counted in the census. Mexican drug wars claim more casualties, Republicans engage in some shady electoral practices upstate and airlines are starting ever more elite levels of airmiles memberships to keep loyal customers.

The Washington Post: have mitigated the slowness of holiday news with an Obama interview. There's a look at Republicans wheeling Senator Byrd, who is 173 years old, in to vote on the healthcare bill and some of those scoundrels at AIG haven't returned their bonuses like they said they would. The government can't find hackers to stop other hackers and DC area parents are still buying their kids expensive presents.

The LA Times: continues its run of form — Toyota, reports the paper, are being less than nice to customers when it comes to safety issues. They have the best headline on the drug wars story that the family of a special forces soldier in Mexico was gunned down just hours after he was buried. There's a moving feature on the trials of a man with mental health issues abandoned by insurers, a piece on food banks and Governor Schwarzenegger is going to the Federal government for money.

The Wall Street Journal: says house prices and sales are up! Although foreclosures mitigate that news. They have the drug wars story too, warring doctors and a feature on the impact and history of tinsel.

The New York Post: thinks the Jackson FBI files are "explosive." And talk of 'antics' with a young boy. Which is surely too jovial a word for what they're hinting at.

The Daily News: follows up on the girl accidentally shot in the Bronx. And get "Christmas miracle" into the story.

Herald and News: finds the best Santa in all the land! Look at him!

Kleine Zeitung (Austria): they have holidays in other countries too. but theirs feature hot blonde women looking seductively over their shoulders.