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Pope calls for compassion...Top Trump supporter turns down job... Stormy holiday in parts of the West



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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is urging Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus by thinking about the plight of many children. He bemoans how some of them must escape bombs or flee in migrant boats and how others are prevented from even being born. Francis celebrated a somber Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. It was the first major event of the Christmas season for Francis, which will include his noon blessing on Christmas day.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — One of Donald Trump's senior communications staffers says he will not take the job of White House communications director after all. Jason Miller says he wants to spend more time with his family. He and his wife are expecting their second daughter in January and, as he puts it, "this is not the right time to start a new job." Sean Spicer as will serve as both communications director and press secretary.

CHICAGO (AP) — It'll be a white Christmas for the northern Plains and some Western states. It's likely to cause troublesome travel. In the coming days, a large swath of the Dakotas is under a blizzard warning, with forecasters calling for heavy snow and strong winds Sunday and Monday. To the east, parts of central Minnesota are under an ice storm warning. To the west, snow is also forecast for much of Idaho, Montana, Utah and northeast Colorado.

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A powerful typhoon is heading for a Christmas Day collision with the central Philippines. Nock-Ten is now a super typhoon with maximum sustained winds of 108 miles per hour and gusts of up to 133 mph. It's heading for landfall over Cataduanes Island in the central Bicol region. Heavy rainfall, damaging winds and battering waves are threatening heavily populated areas. The storm is equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane in the Atlantic.

NEW YORK (AP) — Joey Boots is dead. The popular member of "The Howard Stern Show" was found dead in his New York apartment last night. Joseph Bassolino was 49. A police spokesman says it appeared Bassolino died of natural causes. Joey Boots gained fame on Stern's talk show for his photobombing and other antics. Those connected to the show are paying tribute on social media to the man who popularized the phrase "Baba Booey" on the air.

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The Associated Press

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