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Track Santa: NORAD is up and running

It’s Christmas Eve, and the U.S. military squadron charged with protecting the airspace for North America is already on duty to track Santa Claus.

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The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will be tracking St. Nick and his eight reindeer as they trek across the country Sunday night.

NORAD said in a statement that the public can access its official Santa Tracker, which went live at 2:01 a.m. ET on Sunday. The public can track Santa’s position and access NORAD's “Santa Cams” in anticipation of Christmas morning.

Starting at 6 a.m. ET on Christmas Eve, the public also can call 1-877-HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) and speak live with NORAD trackers. 

The Santa Tracker program began in 1955 because of a mistake in a Colorado Springs newspaper advertisement from Sears Roebuck & Co. The Sears ad misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa, CNN reported. The phone number published was actually for the commander in chief's operations hotline at the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD), which was NORAD's predecessor.

On Dec. 24, 1955, Air Force Col. Harry Shoup was on duty, and instead of hanging up on countless children that night, Shoup checked the radar and updated Santa Claus’ “location.” That 1955 misprint and Shoup's actions started a 62-year tradition that is made possible today by volunteers and corporate sponsors who bear the expense, CNN reported.

Dozens feared dead in Philippines mall fire

At least 37 people were reported as missing Sunday, with “zero chance of survival,” in the aftermath of a fire that broke out at a shopping mall in the Philippines, CNN reported.

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The fire, which occurred on the third floor of the New City Commercial Center in the southern Philippine city of Davao, started at 9:40 a.m. Saturday, the Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office reported.

On Sunday, a Philippine official said firefighters have recovered one body so far.

President Rodrigo Duterte, a native and former mayor of Davao, said during a meeting with the families of the missing that there was "zero chance of survival," according to the state-run Philippines News Agency (PNA).

PNA also reported that most of the missing people were employees of SSI Philippines, an outsourcing company located on the fourth floor of the mall.

Authorities have not provided a cause of the fire, CNN reported.

UN votes to condemn US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

The U.N. General Assembly voted in favor Thursday of a resolution that implicitly condemned President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite the president's threats to cut funding to countries that oppose his decision.

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>> Related: President Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital

SUV plows into crowd in Melbourne, injuring 19

A man is in police custody after authorities said he drove an SUV into a crowd of Christmas shoppers in Melbourne, Australia.

Victoria police called the attack a “deliberate act,” but authorities were unsure of the motive.

The attack happened around 4:30 p.m. local time outside the Flinders Street station, CNN reported.

Flinders Street is one of the city’s busiest pedestrian roads. It connects a train station with the city center and was crowded as commuters traveled to and from work and as shoppers finished their Christmas shopping.

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'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' has blockbuster opening weekend

The Force was with theater box offices this weekend, as “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” had the second-biggest opening weekend in North America’s history, CNN reported.

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The eighth installment of the “Star Wars” saga pulled in an estimated $220 million, according to Disney, which released the film. That is second only to the previous “Star Wars” movie, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which raked in $248 million in December 2015, CNN reported.

The film has made $450 million worldwide since opening overseas Wednesday. It will premiere in China, the world’s second-biggest film market, on Jan. 5, CNN reported.

Critics apparently like the film, too. The film scored 93 percent on the review site Rotten Tomatoes.

The film, which opened in more than 4,200 theaters, starred Daisy Ridley as Rey, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa. Fisher filmed her scenes before she died last December.

When Harry met Barry: Prince interviews Obama for BBC radio

Prince Harry and former President Barack Obama had some fun banter before their interview on BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program, the BBC reported.

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“Do I have to speak faster? Because I am a slow speaker,” Obama asks the prince before an interview that will be aired Dec. 27.

“No, not at all,” Harry responds.

“Do I need the British accent?” Obama asks.

He did not, but the prince warned Obama that he would get “the face” if he paused too long between answers.

“I don’t want to see that face,” Obama says after Harry demonstrates his glare.

Obama, meanwhile, offered to interview Harry, who declined.

“Let’s keep it this way, I’d much prefer that,” the prince said.

Kensington Palace said Sunday the interview was recorded in Toronto in September during the Invictus Games, a sports event for injured military personnel.

The palace said the conversation featured Obama discussing his plans to cultivate the next generation of leadership through the Obama Foundation.

Suicide bomber kills 7 in Pakistani church

Seven people were killed and more than two dozen were injured Sunday when a suicide bomber attacked a church packed with more than 400 worshippers during a service in Pakistan, CNN reported.

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A Methodist church in Quetta was targeted by two attackers, but only one was able to denonate his vest, according to Sarfaraz Bugti, the interior minister of the Balochistan province. The second attacker was shot by a church security guard before he could detonate his explosives, Bugti said.

The civilians were killed during the blast and in the intense firefight that followed, according to Moazzam Jah Ansari, the provincial police chief. 

US Marine helicopter window falls from sky, injures child

A 20-pound window of a US Marine Corps helicopter fell off in mid-flight onto a school playing field Tuesday, slightly injuring a child on the Japanese island of Okinawa, CNN reported. 

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US Forces Japan said in a statement that the window of a CH-53 transport helicopter fell onto a sports field at an elementary school outside Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

"We take this report extremely seriously and are investigating the cause of this incident in close coordination with local authorities," the statement said. "This is a regrettable incident and we apologize for any anxiety it has caused the community."

The child was not seriously injured, CNN reported.

Kremlin says it views Trump tweets as ‘official statements’

President Donald Trump is a prolific user of Twitter, and his tweets are read by millions of people.

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Including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Reuters reported. 

The Russians view Trump’s tweets as an “official statement,” a Kremlin spokesman said Tuesday.

“Everything which is published from his authorized Twitter account is perceived by Moscow as his official statement,” said Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov, who added that it was not his place to comment on Trump’s tweets.

Peskov also said that Putin does not use Twitter, Reuters reported.

“Naturally, (Trump’s tweets are) reported to Putin, along with other information about official statements by politicians,” Peskov said.

WWE wrestler Paige contemplated suicide after photos, videos leaked

Professional wrestler Paige revealed on a podcast that she considered suicide after personal photos and an explicit sex video were leaked, Bleacher Report reported.

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Paige, 25, whose real name is Saraya-Jade Bevis, stars for the WWE. Speaking on the “Chasing Glory With Lilian Garcia” podcast that was aired Monday, the British-born wrestler said she considered taking her life as she was “at a really, really bad place.”

“I was so sad to the point I was contemplating suicide. I was on the floor, I was so low,” Paige told Garcia. “I got so skinny I ended up collapsing with exhaustion in (a) hospital in England. They told me at the time it was kind of like stress-induced anorexia.”

Paige said she has had to deal with people staring and talking.

“I was out yesterday with my friend … and this guy goes up to my friend and goes ‘that’s the porn star,’” Paige told Garcia. “And I just went in the toilet, and I cried in the toilet.”

The wrestler said she went bald and considered suicide after the tape was released in March, The Sun reported.

“I was dumb, and that’s the kind of thing I want to tell girls. Social media is a big thing these days,” Paige told Garcia. “Cameras are big thing. Just be careful what you do with it, because you never know what you’re going to be doing in your future.”

Paige told Garcia that there was “a ton of people destroying me.”

“Cyberbullying is a real thing. Fifty percent of that is what made me want to kill myself. These people don't have a life,” she told Garcia. “I usually just snap out of things, but a girl wrote to me who told me I was her biggest inspiration.

“Just having that support system made me kick out. I do have the best fan base.”

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