Dec 25, 2018

Pope Francis calls for mending of differences in Christmas message

Pope Francis delivers his Christmas 'Urbi et Orbi' blessing message. Photo: Alessandra Benedetti - Corbis/Getty Images

Pope Francis encouraged people in his Christmas message to see differences as a "source of richness" rather than a reason for fear, Reuters reports.

The big picture: The message seemed to reference the rise in populism and political unrest with immigration across the world. He called for reconciliation in places torn apart by conflict and for “fraternity among people with different ideas, yet capable of respecting and listening to one another."

Go deeper: Pope vows Catholic Church will "never again" cover up sex abuse

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 6 hours ago - Health

SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.