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SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Russia's transport minister says investigators are looking into all possible causes for the crash of Russian military plane, including terror. The aircraft went down in the Black Sea shortly after taking off from Sochi this morning. The plane was heading to Syria, carrying members of the Russian army choir to a New Year concert at the Russian military base. All 92 people aboard are believed to have died. So far rescuers have recovered 10 bodies.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel is pressing forward with promises of retaliation and damage control following the U.N. Security Council's passage of a resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The U.S. abstained, allowing the measure to go through. Today, Israel's Foreign Ministry summoned the ambassadors of countries who voted in favor of the resolution as well as the U.S. ambassador. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet that Israel is considering a "plan of action" against the U.N.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran says it will only pay half of the announced price for 80 new planes it's buying from Boeing. The official IRNA news agency reports the deputy transport minister says reductions in purchasing options mean the contract is "worth about 50 percent" of the original $16.8 billion. He did not elaborate.
SANDRINGHAM, England (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II is praising ordinary people for pitching in to do good works this Christmas. In her annual message televised throughout Britain and much of the Commonwealth, she said she draws strength from volunteers, caregivers, community organizers and good neighbors who she described as "unsung heroes whose quiet dedication makes them special." The queen skipped the traditional Christmas morning church service near her Sandringham estate because of a heavy cold.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Jennifer Lawrence has been spending time this holiday weekend visiting the Norton Children's Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. The Courier-Journal reports the Oscar-winning actress has visited the hospital every year since 2013, but previous trips have been kept secret. In February, Lawrence donated $2 million to establish the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.
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