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US: IS didn't shoot down jet...Another police shooting in Missouri... 1 dead in Louisiana mall shooting

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States says Islamic State militants didn't shoot down a Jordanian F-16 warplane as they've claimed. A military statement says the plane crashed in northern Syria and confirmed that a pilot was taken captive by Islamic State forces. The head of U.S. Central Command says the U.S. will support efforts to recover the pilot.

BERKELEY, Mo. (AP) — The mayor of the St. Louis suburb of Berkeley is urging calm after a white police officer killed a black 18-year-old, reigniting tensions that have lingered since the death of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson. Hundreds of people gathered at a gas station where Antonio Martin was shot late Tuesday, throwing rocks and bricks. But the town's mayor, who is black, says surveillance video appears to show Martin pulling a gun on the officer as he was questioning Martin about a store theft.

GRETNA, La. (AP) — Christmas Eve shoppers at a suburban New Orleans mall are trying to make sense of a deadly shooting at a shoe store this afternoon. Authorities say the victim had just bought something and turned from the cash register when a man walked up and shot him. It took place less than two hours before the mall in Gretna was to close for the holiday. A man is in custody.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Two people are dead after a small plane crashed not far from an airport in the Sierra Nevada foothills in Northern California. An Amador County undersheriff tells The Sacramento Bee a call was received shortly after noon today about a plane crash near Sutter Creek, located about 40 miles southeast of Sacramento. Crews found the Cessna 172 and the bodies.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is preparing for his traditional world view speech to the faithful who will be gathering in St. Peter's Square on Christmas Day. He celebrated Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter's Basilica hours after he spoke on the phone to Iraqi refugees at a tent camp in northern Iraq. He told the refugees they were like Jesus, forced to flee because there was no place for them.

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