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Snow going ... Pope's Christmas message ... Russian airliner crashes


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CHICAGO (AP) — Some people may be dreaming of a white Christmas, but for travelers in the northern Plains and some Western states, it could turn into a nightmare. Snow that's already on the ground or in the forecast is prompting forecasters to caution drivers to keep alternate routes in mind and prepare for possible delays.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis will be delivering his Christmas Day "Urbi et Orbi" blessing to the city and the world. In a Christmas Eve message, the pope urged Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus by thinking about the plight of today's children.

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Defense Ministry says rescuers have found fragments of the T-u-154 plane that disappeared from radar shortly after taking off from Sochi (SOH'-chee). The airliner was carrying 91 people to the Russian military base in Syria. The fragments were spotted in the Black Sea less than a mile from shore.

BEIJING (AP) — China's first aircraft carrier has set off for the Western Pacific for an open-sea training exercise. State media say it is the first time that the Liaoning, which was commissioned by the Chinese navy in 2012, is headed to "distant sea waters."

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump says the decision by the U.N. Security Council to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem "will make it much harder to negotiate peace." The move by the Obama administration to abstain from Friday's vote brushed aside Trump's demands that the U.S. exercise its veto power.

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