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Heavy weather rumbles through the South...Big Australia wildfire...Glum poll



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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Heavy rain, flooding and tornadoes have pounded the South, with the latest twister hitting a Birmingham, Alabama neighborhood Christmas Day. Police say there could be people trapped inside wrecked houses. Alabama Power says some 10,000 customers are without power. At least 14 people have been killed in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi since Wednesday.

SYDNEY (AP) — Fire officials in Australia's Victoria state say cooler weather on Saturday has eased the immediate threat from a wildfire that destroyed more than 100 homes on Christmas Day. The fire tore through a stretch of coastline popular with tourists in southern Australia and officials warn it could continue burning for weeks. Hundreds of firefighters spent Christmas battling the blaze.

NEW YORK (AP) — A new Associated Press-Times Square Alliance poll finds Americans a little gloomy as the year draws to a close. Fifty-seven percent of those polled say this year was worse than the last year for the world as a whole, up from the 38 percent asked that question a year ago. Only 10 percent believe 2015 was a better year than 2014, while 32 percent think there wasn't much difference. A string of mass shootings, including the attacks in San Bernardino and Paris weighed heavily.

EDGEWATER, N.J. (AP) — Authorities in New Jersey tell WCBS TV a man shot his wife, his 8-year-old daughter and himself in an apparent murder-suicide. Officials say the bodies were found Friday night in a luxury high-rise apartment building in Edgewater. Authorities believe the incident may have happened Dec. 22 or early Dec. 23.

BEIRUT (AP) — Opposition activists in Syria are reporting the death of the head of one of the most powerful Saudi-backed insurgent groups fighting against President Bashar Assad's government. They say an airstrike near the Syrian capital, Damascus, killed Zahran Allouch. Activists say the airstrike hit an Army of Islam meeting, also killing several other rebel commanders.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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