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Russian officials say they are no longer considering terrorism a focus in their investigations into a military plane crash on Sunday morning.

"The Russian transportation agency considers technical problems or pilot error the most likely causes for the crash," NPR's Lucian Kim reports.

Search efforts in the Black Sea have recovered fragments of the Russian military jet. Eleven bodies were also recovered as of Monday morning; all 92 people on board the plane are believed to have died.

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It can take decades for a country build up a name as a good place to do business, and the U.S. consistently ranks among the best. But some economists say its reputation for trustworthiness could be challenged if President-elect Trump makes good on threats to rip up international agreements.

In remarks at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed "anger and frustration" over the U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Pope Francis gave the traditional Christmas Day blessing on Sunday, calling for peace in Syria and other countries "scarred by war."

An estimated 40,000 tourists and Romans gathered in St. Peter's Square to hear the message, which was delivered from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, "Urbi et Orbi": to the city and the world.

The pope offered his message of peace to the "war-torn land of Syria, where far too much blood has been spilled." He said it is time that weapons "be still forever," so that "civil coexistence" might be restored to the country.

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In Syria, forces loyal to President Bashar Assad this month retook the last rebel bastion of Aleppo after weeks of intensive bombing and tens of thousands of people displaced. But Syrian officials say there are other areas where local truces have averted deadly military takeovers, and which offer the only way forward for the country.

One of those areas is the Damascus suburb of Qudsaya.

There, a government-sanctioned "reconciliation" was brokered with the help of local religious leaders, activists and the rebels themselves.

Pope Francis turned 80 this month, at the end of what has been a busy year.

He made six foreign trips and oversaw many events and ceremonies with millions of pilgrims throughout what he proclaimed the Holy Year of Mercy. The year was also marked by the pope's efforts to heal divisions within the Christian world and tackle dissension within Catholicism.

The thrust of Francis' international outreach this year was ecumenism — what's known as Christian unity.

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The church marking the traditional site of Jesus' birth is getting an estimated $19 million makeover.

A layer of grime collected over the centuries has now been cleaned off, revealing dazzling mosaics from the 12th century.

The U.S. State Department issued travel warnings for Egypt and Jordan on Friday, citing terrorist threats in both countries.

Most restaurants close their doors for Christmas day, but one is leaving their's wide open: Shish Restaurant in southeast London.

On Dec. 25, they will be serving free, three-course meals to the homeless and elderly.

The idea came after an emotional encounter between two of the managers and an elderly woman.

In a victorious statement on Saturday, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari announced the "long-awaited and most gratifying news of the final crushing of Boko Haram terrorists in their last enclave," declaring, "the terrorists are on the run, and no longer have a place to hide."

The president congratulated Nigerian troops for "finally entering and crushing the remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents at Camp Zero," deep in the Sambisa Forest in northeast Nigeria.

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It's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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His name is Thembinkosi Fanwell Ngwenya. He's 18. And when you look at his portrait, he seems to be looking right back at you.

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