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Here is the latest news from The Associated Press at 12:40 p.m. EST

December 21, 2018

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had surgery Friday to remove two malignant growths in her left lung. The growths were found during tests Ginsburg had after she fractured ribs in a fall in her Supreme Court office on Nov. 7. Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York found “no evidence of any remaining disease” and scans taken before the surgery showed no cancerous growths elsewhere in her body. It’s the 85-year-old Ginsburg’s third bout with cancer since joining the court in 1993.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A letter obtained by The Associated Press shows that North Carolina’s top elections official issued an urgent plea nearly two years ago for the Justice Department to file criminal charges against those at the center of 2018 ballot fraud allegations. State Board of Elections Executive Director Kim Strach warned in the January 2017 letter that if those involved in illegally gathering absentee ballots in Bladen County weren’t prosecuted the violations would likely recur in future elections.

WOODLAND PARK, Colo. (AP) — Officials say that a missing Colorado woman was probably killed at her home but have declined to speculate on where her body might be. Woodland Park police Chief Miles de Young told reporters Friday that that investigators believe 29-year-old Kelsey Berreth was killed at her home. Her fiance Patrick Frazee was arrested Friday morning at his home in the community of Florissant, Colorado.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is vowing that the Catholic Church will “never again” cover up cases of clergy sex abuse and is demanding that priests who have raped and molested children turn themselves in. Francis has dedicated his annual Christmas speech to the Vatican bureaucracy to abuse, evidence that a year of devastating revelations has shaken his papacy and caused a crisis of confidence in the Catholic hierarchy.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A poll finds more Americans favor familiar Christmas carols over recent Billboard hits like Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas,” while longtime classics and recent comedies are the most preferred to watch during the holiday season. The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll finds 12 percent of Americans named “Silent Night” as their favorite holiday song. The December poll shows the 1946 film “It’s a Wonderful Life” is among the top holiday films.

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