POPE FRANCIS USING CHRISTMAS ADDRESS TO BRING ATTENTION TO PLIGHT OF REFUGEES, HOSTAGES AND ALL THOSE SUFFERING IN CONFLICTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST, AFRICA AND UKRAINE *

THE POPE CALLING FOR AN END TO THE "GLOBALIZATION OF INDIFFERENCE," APPEALING FOR PEACE AND FOR THE WORLD TO AID THOSE IN NEED *

PONTIFF ALSO DENOUNCING THE "BRUTAL PERSECUTION" OF CHRISTIANS AND OTHER MINORITY GROUPS IN IRAQ AND SYRIA *

TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE IN ST. PETER'S SQUARE LISTENED TO THE POPE DELIVER THE CATHOLIC CHURCH'S TRADITIONAL "URBI ET ORBI" - "TO THE CITY AND TO THE WORLD" - CHRISTMAS MESSAGE *

SPOX: FMR PRES GEORGE H.W. BUSH WILL REMAINING HOSPITALIZED THROUGH CHRISTMAS AFTER HE EXPERIENCED SHORTNESS OF BREATH TWO DAYS AGO *

FAMILY SPOX SAYS 90-YR-OLD BUSH "HAD ANOTHER TERRIFIC DAY AND IS IN GREAT SPIRITS" AND WILL REMAIN AT HOUSTON METHODIST HOSPITAL THIS EVENING *

SPOX: "HE ASKED THAT HIS SINCERE WISHES FOR A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS BE EXTENDED TO ONE AND ALL" *

ISRAEL'S MILITARY SEARCHING FOR ATTACKER WHO THREW FIREBOMB AT CAR CARRYING YOUNG ISRAELI GIRL AND HER FATHER *

GIRL SUFFERED SEVERE BURNS AND HER FATHER WAS LESS SERIOUSLY HURT IN ATTACK NEAR PALESTINIAN VILLAGES IN WEST BANK *

IT FOLLOWS EARLIER ATTACKS AGAINST ISRAELIS THIS MONTH IN WEST BANK, WHICH ISRAEL CAPTURED FROM JORDAN IN 1967 WAR, AND WHICH PALESTINIANS DEMAND AS PART OF THEIR FUTURE STATE *

FATHER OF JORDANIAN PILOT CAPTURED BY ISLAMIC STATE GROUP IN SYRIA PLEADS FOR SON'S RELEASE, REMINDING MILITANTS "WE ARE ALL MUSLIMS" *

1ST LT. MU'ATH AL-KASEASBEH IS FIRST KNOWN MILITARY MEMBER TO BE CAPTURED FROM INTL COALITION THAT'S BEEN BOMBING ISLAMIC STATE GROUP FOR MONTHS *

PHOTOS SHOW AL-KASEASBEH BEING DRAGGED AWAY FROM SITE WHERE HIS WARPLANE CRASHED ON WED *

U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND DENIES ISLAMIC STATE'S CLAIMS THAT IT SHOT DOWN THE JET *

GUNMEN ATTACK AFRICAN UNION'S MAIN BASE IN SOMALI CAPITAL MOGADISHU, KILLING THREE SOLDIERS AND A CIVILIAN CONTRACTOR *

FIVE GUNMEN WERE KILLED AND THREE OTHERS WERE CAPTURED *

SOMALI EXTREMIST GROUP AL-SHABAB CLAIMING RESPONSIBILITY, SAYING THEY WERE TARGETING A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE BASE, WHICH ALSO HOUSES WESTERN EMBASSIES AND U.N. OFFICES *

AFRICAN UNION TROOPS ARE BOLSTERING SOMALIA'S WEAK GOVT AGAINST AN INSURGENCY FROM AL QAEDA-LINKED AL-SHABAB *

MEMORIALS BEING HELD IN INDONESIA, THAILAND AND SRI LANKA FOR DEC 26, 2004 TSUNAMI THAT KILLED MORE THAN 220,000 PEOPLE *

IN INDONESIAN PROVINCE CAPITAL BANDAH ACEH, THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE GATHERED AT THE GREAT MOSQUE, ONE OF FEW STRUCTURES TO SURVIVE *

MOSQUE'S IMAM SAYS TSUNAMI TAUGHT "VALUABLE LESSON" TO ACEH, WHICH BEFORE DISASTER HAD BEEN SCENE OF ARMED CONFLICT FOR NEARLY 30 YEARS *

FIREFIGHTERS IN HAWAII RESCUE 62 HIKERS STRANDED BY RAIN-SWOLLEN STREAMS ON ISLAND OF KAUAI *

ALL 62 PEOPLE WERE AIRLIFTED OFF KALALAU TRAIL WED, WITH ONE HIKER FLOWN TO HOSPITAL WITH NON-LIFE-THREATENING INJURY *

KAUAI FIRE DEPT SAYS GROUP IGNORED TRAIL CLOSURE *

PRES OBAMA HONORS TROOPS AT MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII *

VISIT COMES AS U.S. PREPARES TO MARK END OF COMBAT OPERATIONS IN AFGHANISTAN NEXT WEEK, AFTER 13 YRS, 2,213 U.S. MILITARY DEATHS AND HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS *

OBAMA: "BECAUSE OF THE EXTRAORDINARY SERVICE OF THE MEN AND WOMEN IN THE AMERICAN ARMED FORCES, AFGHANISTAN HAS A CHANCE TO REBUILD ITS OWN COUNTRY. WE ARE SAFER. IT'S NOT GOING TO BE A SOURCE OF TERRORIST ATTACKS AGAIN" *

KOSOVO POLICE SAY THEY'VE FOILED ATTEMPTED CAR BOMBING IN CAPITAL CITY OF PRISTINA *

POLICE SAY THEY ACTED ON INTEL AND STOPPED SUSPECT LATE THURS AS HE DROVE TOWARD AREA WHERE MOST WESTERN EMBASSIES ARE LOCATED, INCLUDING U.S. EMBASSY *

AUTHORITIES HAVE WARNED OF POTENTIAL BACKLASH FROM ISLAMIC RADICALS AFTER DOZENS OF THEM WERE ARRESTED EARLIER IN YEAR ON SUSPICION OF FIGHTING ALONGSIDE EXTREMISTS IN SYRIA AND IRAQ *