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Each day, we here at "Piers Morgan Tonight" put together the news you need to know – from what happened last night to what will happen today.
For December 21, 2011 -President Barack Obama and John Boehner square off in payroll tax fight, Obama's poll numbers are rising and more snow is expected in parts of the West...
• Obama, Boehner square off in payroll tax fight: "The congressional impasse over extending the payroll tax cut became a showdown Tuesday between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner. After the Republican-controlled House passed a measure calling for more negotiations, Boehner made public a letter to Obama that urged him to order the Senate back from its holiday break to take part in further talks."
• Obama's poll numbers are rising: "The gridlock and partisanship that threatens to ruin Christmas in Washington could be an election year gift for President Barack Obama's campaign. A growing number of voters , 50% compared to 44% in March, trust Obama to solve the nation's problems while the percentage of those with faith in congressional Republicans is slipping, according to a CNN/ORC International Poll."
• Heavy snow threatens parts of West: "A blizzard that roared through much of the southern Rockies and central Plains tapered off Wednesday, but several states were still expected to deal with heavy snow. Winter weather watches, warnings and advisories were in effect Wednesday for much of the West, according to the National Weather Service."
• Defense begins in Manning leaks hearing: "After four days of testimony and 20 prosecution witnesses, PFC Bradley Manning's attorneys began calling people Wednesday to testify in his defense. Manning's Article 32 hearing is part of the military's process of determining whether he should face court martial and on which charges, if any."
• Hugh Hefner had 'mixed emotions' about Lohan doing Playboy: "Hugh Hefner believes Lindsay Lohan's Marilyn Monroe-themed Playboy pictorial will be a keepsake - but the media mogul admits he initially had doubts about featuring the embattled actress on its cover."