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Pope's plea ... Mayor calls for calm following police shooting ... 'The Interview' available

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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis says the world needs "God's tenderness." The pope celebrated Christmas Eve with a late-night Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. Earlier, he took time to make a phone call to Iraqi Christian refugees forced from their homes by Muslim militants. He compared their plight to that of the infant Jesus.

BERKELEY, Mo. (AP) — Protesters have turned out again Wednesday night at a suburban St. Louis gas station where a white police officer shot a black 18-year-old late Tuesday. Police say the officer fired after Antonio Martin pointed a gun at him. The mayor of Berkeley, which is near Ferguson, says security video appears to show Martin pointing a weapon.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Moviegoers who want to check out Christmas Day movie releases will have the option of watching "The Interview," if they head to several hundred independent theaters. Those who want to watch it at home will have that option. Sony announced Wednesday that the parody of North Korea will be available on a variety of digital platforms, including Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft's Xbox Video and a separate Sony website.

HOUSTON (AP) — A spokesman says former President George H.W. Bush had a "good day" on Wednesday, but it's not clear if he'll be released from a Houston hospital on Christmas Day. Bush was taken there on Tuesday after experiencing shortness of breath. Bush, who is 90, is said to have a prognosis that "remains positive."

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Missouri firm is recalling its Happy Apple brand caramel apples because of the potential that they could be contaminated with listeria. The recall comes after at least three deaths and at least 29 illnesses in 10 states. The recall covers 31 states. Safeway pulled prepackaged caramel apples from its shelves after the family of an 81-year-old woman who died of the bacteria filed suit Monday.

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