Difficult repairs...Egypt acts against Brotherhood...Israel to announce settlements

LITCHFIELD, Maine (AP) — Frigid temperatures from the Great Lakes to New England are making repair work more difficult as utility crews try to restore power to hundreds of thousands in the U.S. and Canada. Crews have been working around the clock and making progress, but the cold means ice isn't melting off lines and limbs. And wind gusts of more than 20 miles an hour threaten to bring down more branches. Forecasts call for two to 6 inches of snow in places tomorrow, and that could further hamper line crews trying to get to remote spots.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Even non-believers have been given a mention by Pope Francis in his first Christmas message as pope. Speaking to a crowd gathered in St. Peter's Square today, the pontiff -- in an off-the-cuff remark -- said he was inviting non-believers to join their desire for peace with everyone else. Francis stuck to Italian for his Christmas greetings -- abandoning the tradition in which popes have offered those greetings in dozens of languages.

CAIRO (AP) — It looks like there's no chance of any reconciliation between Egypt's government and the Muslim Brotherhood. The interim government, which is backed by the military, today declared the Brotherhood to be a terrorist organization. The 85-year-old organization saw one of its members, Mohammed Morsi, reach Egypt's highest office in the country's first democrat election, only to be ousted in a coup in July. The government says the decision to label it a terrorist group is in response to a bombing yesterday that killed 16 people. But officials offered no proof the group was behind the attack.

JERUSALEM (AP) — Peace talks between Israeli and Palestinians could be facing a new hurdle. An official in Israel says the government there will probably announce new plans next week for construction in Jewish settlements. An Israeli TV station says the project could involve 1,000 to 2,000 new homes. The announcement is expected to generate international uproar.

BAGHDAD (AP) — The U.S. Embassy in Iraq calls it another "senseless" attack on the country's Christian community. Militants today targeted Christians in three separate Christmas Day bombings in the capital, killing at least 37 people. A church leader says a car bomb near the Catholic church went off after Christmas Mass, and that no worshippers were hurt.