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Pope urges 'tenderness' as millions celebrate Christmas

Thursday, 25 December 2014 02:46
Vatican City (AFP) - Pope Francis led Christmas Eve mass in the Vatican calling for "tenderness" and "warmth" after a violence-plagued year as millions of Christians began marking the holiday. The Argentine pontiff's brief homily was replete with Gospel references in his Christmas Eve mass, broadcast live in 3D for the first time. "Do we have the courage to welcome with tenderness the difficulties and problems of those who are near to us?" the pope…
Four shot, one fatally, in downtown St. Louis
Wednesday, 24 December 2014 23:42
(Reuters) - A shooting at a downtown St. Louis convenience store on Wednesday left one person dead and three others badly wounded, police said. Police said no suspects were in custody some five hours after the shooting, which was reported shortly after 5:30 p.m. local time. A St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman, Schron Jackson, said she was unable to provide any details about the victims, any assailants or circumstances of the shooting.
Chinese university bans Christmas, calls it 'kitsch'
Wednesday, 24 December 2014 21:40
BEIJING (Reuters) - A university in northwestern China has banned Christmas, calling it a "kitsch" foreign celebration unbefitting of the country's own traditions and making its students watch propaganda films instead, media said on Thursday. The state-run Beijing News said that the Modern College of Northwest University, located in Xian, had strung up banners around the campus reading "Strive to be outstanding sons and daughters of China, oppose kitsch Western holidays" and "Resist the expansion…
Former President Bush, 90, remains in Houston hospital: spokesman
Wednesday, 24 December 2014 20:39
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, 90, remained hospitalized near his home in Houston on Wednesday as a precaution after experiencing shortness of breath, a spokesman for the 41st president said. "President Bush had a good day and his prognosis remains positive," spokesman Jim McGrath said in a brief statement issued Wednesday evening, a day after Bush was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital. McGrath added that Bush would remain at the…
CDC worker monitored for possible Ebola exposure in lab error
Wednesday, 24 December 2014 20:39
By Steve Gorman (Reuters) - A laboratory technician for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been placed under observation for possible exposure to the deadly Ebola virus due to an apparent mix-up in lab specimens, the Atlanta-based agency said on Wednesday. The technician, who was working on Monday with Ebola specimens that were supposed to have been inactivated but which may instead have contained live virus, will be monitored for signs of…
A glance at key police shootings in St. Louis area
Wednesday, 24 December 2014 17:37
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The shooting death of 18-year-old Antonio Martin marks the third fatal shooting of a young black man by a white police officer in the St. Louis area since Michael Brown was killed in August. Here's a glance at the circumstances in each case: ___ MICHAEL BROWN Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old, was shot and killed shortly after noon Aug. 9 following an apparent scuffle in the middle of the street with…
Former U.S. President Bush, 90, remains in Houston hospital: spokesman
Wednesday, 24 December 2014 15:35
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, 90, remained in a Houston hospital on Wednesday as a precaution after experiencing a shortness of breath, a spokesman for the 41st president said. "No new news to report so far," spokesman Jim McGrath wrote in an email. Two years ago Bush spent seven weeks in a Houston hospital for bronchitis and related ailments before his discharge in mid-January of 2013.
US stocks boosted by jobs report
Wednesday, 24 December 2014 13:34
US stocks have closed mostly higher a day after the Dow Jones industrial average finished above 18,000 for the first time. Trading ended early ahead of the Christmas holiday. Markets will reopen on Friday. Traders were encouraged by the latest positive news on the US economy. The government reported before the market opened that the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits is the lowest it has been in almost two months. That is a…
Where and when you can watch 'The Interview'
Wednesday, 24 December 2014 12:33
Sony's The Interview will become available today on a variety of online platforms including YouTube Movies, Google Play, Microsoft's Xbox Video and Sony's own dedicated website www.seetheinterview.com, the studio has announced. The movie, which will go online at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, can be rented for $5.99 and purchased in HD for $14.99. “It has always been Sony’s intention to have a national platform on which to release this film,” Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO…
Burwell: Obamacare enrollment is off to "an encouraging start"
Wednesday, 24 December 2014 11:32
Open enrollment season in the government's health insurance program has begun--6.4 million people have signed up on healthcare.gov for health insurance that goes into effect Jan. 1. The administration called it "an encouraging start" but said there is still a lot of work to be done before the enrollment period ends on Feb. 15. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said in a press conference Tuesday that of those who signed up, 1.9 million…

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