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⬇ Heartbreaking letters kids wrote to save their town's auto plant

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CNN

Catriona Gray from the Philippines claimed the Miss Universe crown for 2018 on Monday, beating contestants from 93 other countries. The 24-year-old Filipina-Australian pipped South African Demi Leigh Nel-Peters for the top spot, becoming the fourth Filipina to bring home the coveted title. Miss Venezuela, Sthefany Gutiérrez, rounded out the top three at the contest in Bangkok. 📷: Lillian Suwanrumpha/Getty Images


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After a long drought in Central America, crops are failing, turning many farmers into so-called climate refugees—people who are displaced as a result of climate change. The "dry corridor" of Central America, which includes parts of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua, has been hit with an unusual drought for the past five years, prompting thousands to flee or risk starvation.


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For the first time, a resident of "Sesame Street" is experiencing homelessness. Lily, a 7-year-old bright pink Muppet, was introduced in 2011 and originally described as being food insecure because her family lacked consistent access to food. In new online videos, stories and resources, her storyline has expanded to include that her family has lost their home and now must stay with friends. Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind "Sesame Street,” hopes Lily will raise awareness and help children experiencing homelessness feel less alone.
(📸: Richard Termine/Sesame Workshop)


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Photographer Matthew Breiter captured this image of the Geminid meteor shower Friday night in central Minnesota. This phenomenon was first recorded in 1862 and puts on a show each December. @nasa said it would be the last — and strongest — meteor shower of the year. (📷: @mbreiterphoto)


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Behold, a Mars selfie. 🤳 Since landing on Mars on Nov. 26, NASA’s InSight lander has sent back more than 50 photos, mostly of terrain. But this week, the lander used its robotic arm to create a mosaic made up of 11 photos of itself. InSight is expected to spend the next two years investigating what lies beneath Mars’s surface.
(📸: JPL-Caltech/NASA)


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In an effort to fight overcrowding, authorities in Agra, India, are raising ticket prices for the Taj Mahal. Indian citizens will now have to pay $3.50, up from 70 cents, and foreigners will be charged $13.50. The Taj Mahal sees about seven million visitors per year, which has led to overcrowding and structural damage.
(📸: Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images)


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Santa Claus paid a visit to families in the neonatal intensive care unit at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. 🎅
(📸: Paul V. Kuntz/Texas Children’s Hospital)


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Miss Spain, Angela Ponce, is the first transgender contestant to ever compete for the Miss Universe crown. 👑She told CNN that it's a big responsibility, but one that gives her a lot of pride. The Miss Universe organization announced it was ending its ban on transgender contestants in 2012. This year's pageant is on Sunday in Bangkok, Thailand.


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CNN

Three West Virginians were reunited with their families after being trapped for five days in an abandoned mine. The group was rescued and brought to the hospital on Wednesday. ”It's a miracle they were found alive," said Raleigh County Sheriff Scott Van Meter. Authorities suspect the three entered the mine intending to steal copper, but no charges had been filed.


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Merry Christmas from Britain's royal family. 🎄Stylish photos were made public on Friday featuring the royal couples.
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William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, chose an autumnal photo of their family sitting on a tree trunk. The Duchess can be seen smiling broadly as she holds baby Louis, while 3-year-old Charlotte and 5-year-old George hold on to their father.
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Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, released a never-before-seen photo that shows the pair embracing on their wedding night in May.
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And William and Harry's father Prince Charles opted for a romantic shot alongside his wife, Camilla.
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(📸: Matt Porteous/AP, Chris Allerton/AP and Hugo Burnand/AP)


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"Our friend's parents are losing their jobs and are sad and nervous," third-grader Jon writes in a letter to General Motors. 📝 Kids in Lordstown, Ohio, wrote to the CEO of GM, asking that the automaker not shut down a local plant as part of the company's restructuring plan. GM is the largest employer in the northeast Ohio town, and the move would be a devastating blow to the community of 4,000 people. The local branch of the United Auto Workers plans to hand-deliver the letters to GM headquarters in Detroit. Swipe through ➡️ or click the link in our bio to read more letters.


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Watch as Virgin Galactic’s supersonic plane soars into space. The milestone test flight indicates that the company is not far off from sending tourists to space. The rocket-powered plane, VSS Unity, was flown by two veteran pilots to a maximum altitude of 51.4 miles, surpassing the 50-mile mark that the US government recognizes as the edge of space. Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic's founder, told reporters after the flight that it meant "myself and thousands of other people like me" could soon see space for themselves.


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