Pope Francis delivers his Christmas Urbi Et Orbi blessing from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica. Photo: Giulio Origlia / Getty Images

Pope Francis called for a peaceful two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Monday in the face of heightened tensions, according to a Reuters report.

"Let us pray that the will to resume dialogue may prevail between the parties and that a negotiated solution can finally be reached, one that would allow the peaceful coexistence of two states within mutually agreed and internationally recognized borders."

Why it matters: The UN Security Council voted to force President Trump to rescind his declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but the U.S. vetoed the resolution. Francis, in his "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) address, encouraged people to "recognize [Jesus] in the faces of little children" in the middle of the conflict.

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Updated 10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 32,626,165 — Total deaths: 990,134 — Total recoveries: 22,523,822Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 7,040,313 — Total deaths: 203,918 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,488,275Map.
  3. States: U.S. reports over 55,000 new coronavirus cases — "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer — The long-term pain of the mental health pandemicFewer than 10% of Americans have coronavirus antibodies.
  5. Business: Millions start new businesses in time of coronavirus.
  6. Education: Summer college enrollment offers a glimpse of COVID-19's effect.

America on edge as unrest rises

Louisville on Wednesday. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

Rarely have national security officials, governors, tech CEOs and activists agreed as broadly and fervently as they do about the possibility of historic civil unrest in America.

Why it matters: The ingredients are clear for all to see — epic fights over racism, abortion, elections, the virus and policing, stirred by misinformation and calls to action on social media, at a time of stress over the pandemic.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Health

The long-term pain of the mental health pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A less visible but still massive trauma caused by the coronavirus is becoming clear: our mental health is suffering with potentially long-lasting consequences.

Why it matters: Mental health disorders that range from schizophrenia to depression and anxiety exert a severe cost on personal health and the economy. Addressing that challenge may require out-of-the-box solutions.