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Pope criticizes excesses... Sad Christmas for many... DraftKings sues Illinois AG

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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is rebuking what he calls societies' intoxication with consumerism, pleasure, abundance and wealth. In his Christmas Eve homily at St. Peter's Basilica, Francis noted the simplicity of Jesus' birth. The pope said Jesus "calls us to act soberly, in other words, in a way that is simple, balanced, consistent, capable of seeing and doing what is essential."

ASHLAND, Miss. (AP) — Families in parts of the South are spending Christmas Eve taking stock of their losses after an unusual outbreak of December tornadoes and other violent weather killed at least 11 people and damaged or destroyed dozens of homes. Authorities confirm seven deaths in Mississippi alone. Three more died in Tennessee and one person was killed in Arkansas.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A long-standing dispute among people who knew each other is being blamed for a shooting today at a crowded shopping mall in Charlotte, North Carolina. An off-duty police officer fatally shot a man who authorities say pointed a gun in the officer's direction. No one else was injured. The shooting happened this afternoon at Northlake Mall.

CHICAGO (AP) — DraftKings is suing Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan a day after she declared daily fantasy sports betting illegal in the state. The lawsuit was filed today in Cook County Circuit Court. DraftKings is asking the court for an expedited opinion declaring that fantasy games do not constitute gambling within the meaning of Illinois law and nullifying Madigan's opinion letter.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Bristol Palin is a mother for the second time. Palin, who launched an abstinence campaign after giving birth as an unwed teenage mother, posted on Instagram today that she gave birth to a girl, Sailor Grace, on Wednesday. It's the second child out of wedlock for the 25-year-old daughter of 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

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