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Help for storm victims...South Asia earthquake...Washington's balmy crossing



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HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) — Some of the jolly fellows passing out toys in Holly Springs, Mississippi, today were in military fatigues, not red. The head of the American Red Cross of North Mississippi's disaster program says members of the Marine Corps helped turn a community center into a substitute Santa's Workshop. The troops passed out bundles of toys and other items to families whose homes were destroyed in Wednesday's deadly storms. Parts of Mississippi remain under flood warnings.

ISLAMABAD (AP) — An early Saturday earthquake has rattled nerves and a large swath of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Emergency officials say dozens of people have been injured, primarily by collapsing houses and walls in the northwestern Pakistan in the city of Peshawar (puh-SHAH'-wuhr). The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake measured at magnitude 6.2 and was centered in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — An engine-related problem has forced a plane bound for Washington, D.C., to return to Rochester, New York. The Federal Aviation Administration says Commutair Flight 3585 declared an emergency shortly after takeoff and returned safely. There's been no comment from Commutair. The FAA is investigating.

MT. ARLINGTON, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey convenience store executive is proving once again that he's no Scrooge. QuickChek Senior Vice President Mike Murphy worked today at a store in Mount Arlington where shoppers came in mostly for coffee and batteries. Murphy says he's always felt like he should work since most of his employees have to work on Christmas. It's his 40th consecutive year behind the counter.

WASHINGTON CROSSING, Pa. (AP) — The location is historically accurate but re-enactors of George Washington's Christmas Day crossing across the Delaware River could have won T-shirts. Instead of an ice-choked river during a snow storm, it was about 65-degrees and foggy today. The annual Christmas tradition drew families and fans of history to both the Pennsylvania and New Jersey sides of the river.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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