Mom, three kids killed in fire at home

Three children and their mother were killed in a Southern California mobile home fire on Christmas morning, while the family's father survived the fast-moving blaze. When the first deputy arrived, the home was fully engulfed and the family's injured father was outside. The father said his family was still inside but he couldn't get in because of the extent of the fire. The children were a 6-month-old girl, a 3-year-old boy and an 8-year-old girl, said sheriff's Capt. Kevin Lacy.


Severe weather continues with tornado

A Christmastime wave of severe weather continued Friday as a tornado touched down in Jefferson County, Ala., including through the southwest portion of Birmingham, the state's largest city. Lt. Sean Edwards, a Birmingham police spokesman, said trees were down and people were trapped inside damaged houses but there were no immediate reports of injuries or deaths.


3 wounded in bombing at mosque

A suicide bomber detonated an explosives belt during the Friday prayer at a mosque in a remote northern village in Bangladesh, witnesses and officials said, wounding three members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a tiny religious minority. Saiful Islam, president of the Ahmadiyya community in the village of Mochmoli, said the bomber was the only person killed.


Jailed journalist has holiday meal with family

Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post correspondent who has been held captive by the Iranian government for more than 500 days, was granted a small reprieve Friday when his captors allowed a Christmas Day visit from his wife and mother. "After several efforts, Yegi and I were able to secure permission from the court to meet with Jason for several hours today, Christmas," Rezaian's mother, Mary, said in an e-mail. Yegi is Rezaian's wife, Yeganeh Salehi, an Iranian citizen.

Outer space

British astronaut dials wrong digits

Timothy Peake, a former British Army Air Corps officer and current European Space Agency astronaut aboard the International Space Station, phoned home to a wrong number on Thursday. After failing to connect, he took his flub to Twitter, posting: "I'd like to apologise to the lady I just called by mistake saying 'Hello, is this planet Earth?' — not a prank call…just a wrong number!" It was not clear if the person who answered understood how long-distance the call actually was.

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