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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 infection for 21 days, the disease's incubation period, CDC officials said. ...
Pope Francis will celebrate Christmas on Thursday by sending the world's 1.2 billion Catholics and millions of others his traditional "urbi et orbi" message at the close of a year plagued by war and religious fundamntalism. In his second Christmas blessing, the popular Argentine pontiff is expected to call for remedies to the world's woes, in particular the brutal persecution of religious minorities seen this year. At his Christmas Eve mass, he urged Roman Catholics to have greater empathy towards family and friends, saying the world needs "tenderness" and "warmth". On Thursday, his "urbi et orbi" (to the city and the world) message, broadcast to millions the world over, is likely to underline the plight of Christians and other religious minorities suffering persecution in the Middle East, notably at the hands of the jihadist Islamic State (IS) group.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanians nostalgic for the communist era have gathered at the grave of former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, who were tried and executed on Christmas Day twenty-five years ago.