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14 dead ... The queen's message ... Mountaineer remembered



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ASHLAND, Miss. (AP) — Many residents from Arkansas to Michigan will be spending Christmas Day cleaning up after this week's severe storms that killed 14 people in three states. Seven of those deaths were in Mississippi, where resident Bobby Watkins says he and his neighbors have lost everything. Watkins says four people living on the same street in Benton County were killed. He says, "I may have lost some stuff, but I got my life."

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Christmas preparations have turned to tragedy in Nigeria. A gas tanker truck ignited an inferno at a crowded industrial gas plant Thursday, killing more than 100 people lining up to refill their cooking gas cylinders in time for Christmas. The fire raged for hours before it was put out.

LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth says light can triumph over darkness after a difficult year. In the queen's pre-recorded Christmas broadcast, she notes that there've been "moments of darkness" in the last year, which has been marked by extremist attacks and a migrant crisis that has overwhelmed Europe. But Elizabeth says the Bible offers solace. The 89-year-old queen writes the brief speech herself, often reflecting on her own personal beliefs and stressing the importance of family.

TOKYO (AP) — Mountaineer Kei (kay) Taniguchi is being remembered following a climbing accident this week that took her life. She was 43. Taniguchi climbed Mount Everest in 2007, and became the first woman to win the prestigious Golden Ice Axe mountaineering award in 2009. Taniguchi's climbing companion say she fell while taking a break after reaching the peak of Japan's 6,510 foot-high Mount Kurodake.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Authorities in Utah believe they've found a man who in 2010 shot and wounded a state park ranger, setting off a desert manhunt. Skeletal remains found Thursday in a cave near Moab are believed to be those of Lance Leeroy Arellano, the suspect in the shooting of Utah park ranger Brody Young, who survived, but still carries four bullets. Officers had spent days searching rugged desert canyons and caves for 40-year-old Arellano.

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The Associated Press

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