Holiday TV brings new movies, specials — and Charlie Brown

Supply-chain woes are this year's Grinch, threatening to steal gifts and good cheer. But TV is overstocked with holiday specials and rom-coms — including the Food Network's first movie and the rebranded GAC Family channel's Christmas debut. Old favorites such as 1965's “A Charlie Brown Christmas” may require a measure of strategy to watch. The classic Peanuts special will air on PBS and, for a three-day window, be available free on Apple TV+. The twist for the Food Network's film is its debut on corporate sibling discovery+ which, as with other streaming services, offers a free-trial option. Like Santa Claus scoring courtesy cookies, enjoy the gift while it lasts. Here's a sampling of what to watch while sipping nog and nibbling on roasted chestnuts — if available on store shelves. 

Racial disparities in kids' vaccinations are hard to track

The rollout of COVID-19 shots for elementary-age children has exposed another blind spot in the nation’s efforts to address pandemic inequalities: Health systems have released little data on the racial breakdown of youth vaccinations, and community leaders fear that Black and Latino kids are falling behind. Only a handful of states have made public data on COVID-19 vaccinations by race and age, and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not compile racial breakdowns either. Despite the lack of hard data, public health officials and medical professionals are mindful of disparities and have been reaching out to communities of color to overcome vaccine hesitancy. That includes going into schools, messaging in other languages, deploying mobile vaccine units and emphasizing to skeptical parents that the shots are safe and powerfully effective.

Alex Jones liable for defamation in Sandy Hook 'hoax' case

A Connecticut judge found Infowars host Alex Jones liable by default Monday in a defamation lawsuit brought by parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting over the conspiracy theorist's claims that the massacre was a hoax. The ruling by the judge, who cited Jones' refusal to abide by court rulings or turn over evidence, means a jury will determine how much in damages Jones should pay to the families. Shortly after the judge’s decision, Jones went on his show and said he’d been deprived of a fair trial. “These individuals, again, are not allowing me to have a jury trial because they know the things they said I supposedly did didn’t happen,” he said. “They know they don’t have a case for damages. And so the judge is saying you are guilty of damages, now a jury decides how guilty you are. It’s not guilty until proven guilty.”

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