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WASHINGTON (AP) — Even though Islamic State militants are claiming to have shot down a Jordanian warplane, U.S. officials say that's not the case. The Pentagon confirms that a Jordanian plane did crash in northern Syria, and that its pilot was taken captive by Islamic State forces. But a statement says evidence indicates it wasn't shot down. The statement didn't indicate a cause for the crash. Either way, the Jordanian is the first foreign military member to fall into the hands of the extremists since an international coalition began a bombing campaign against the group months ago.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Pope has marked Christmas Eve with a phone call to some Iraqi refugees who had been forced to flee their homes by Muslim militants. He told the refugees at the tent camp in northern Iraq that they were like Jesus -- forced to flee because there was no place for them. The camp houses mostly Christian refugees who fled the onslaught by militants of the Islamic State.
BERKELEY, Mo. (AP) — Police in a St. Louis suburb have released a surveillance video from the scene of last night's fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old by a white police officer. One of the two people being questioned by a police officer is seen raising his arm -- though it's difficult to tell what he's holding. Police say it was a 9-milimeter handgun -- and that the officer then fired three shots, one of which killed Antonio Martin. The community of Berkeley is near Ferguson, where the August shooting of Michael Brown sparked months of demonstrations, some of them violent.
NEW YORK (AP) — After closing above 18,000 for the first time yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has added a few more points today, in a holiday-shortened trading session. It's the sixth straight gain for the blue-chip index. Investors welcomed Labor Department data showing that applications for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in seven weeks. The news came a day after the Commerce Department estimated that the economy grew in the July-September quarter at the fastest pace in 11 years.
UNDATED (AP) — The reviews are starting to come in, from people who have paid to rent or purchase the film "The Interview" online today. One 11-year-old boy in Washington, DC, says it's "pretty funny" -- but that he can understand why the North Korean government wouldn't like it. A Detroit woman who's a fan of the film's stars, Seth Rogen and James Franco, says she's disappointed, calling the movie "kind of a mess overall." The movie was made available online today, and it will be in more than 300 theaters tomorrow. Sony Pictures had been criticized for its initial decision to cancel the Christmas release of the film, after the studio was targeted by hackers.
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