Vatican Uses Donations for the Poor to Plug Its Budget Deficit.

VATICAN CITY—Every year, Catholics around the world donate tens of millions of dollars to the pope. Bishops exhort the faithful to support the weak and suffering through the pope’s main charitable appeal, called Peter’s Pence. https://www.wsj.com/articles/vatican-uses-donations-for-the-poor-to-plug-its-budget-deficit-11576075764

FAA Review Saw High Risk of Boeing 737 MAX Crashes.

U.S. regulators decided to allow Boeing Co.’s [US:BA] 737 MAX jet to keep flying after its first fatal crash last fall despite their own analysis indicating it could become one of the most accident-prone airliners in decades without design changes. https://www.wsj.com/articles/internal-faa-review-saw-high-risk-of-737-max-crashes-11576069202

Aramco Shares Rise 10% After World’s Biggest IPO.

The trading debut caps a four-year drive by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to deliver the listing of state-backed Aramco. The public offering of the world’s most profitable company is part of a sweeping overhaul of the kingdom’s economy to invest in non-oil industries and create jobs for young Saudis. https://www.wsj.com/articles/aramco-shares-rise-10-after-worlds-biggest-ipo-11576050635

Afghan bomber targets medical facility near US base

A powerful suicide bombing targeted an under-construction medical facility near Bagram airbase north of the capital Kabul, the US military has said.

While there were no US or coalition casualties, a medical base being built for locals was badly damaged, Resolute Support, the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan, said in a statement on Wednesday.

The US airbase remains secure, the statement said.

Earlier reports suggested a US military convoy might have been the target.

Dr Sangin, a physician, said that the hospital near the perimeter of the base was on fire. It was not immediately clear if any people were inside the hospital.

General Mahfooz Walizada, police commander of northern Parwan province, confirmed the attack but offered no details on casualties.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/12/afghan-suicide-attack-targets-military-convoy-kabul-191211035259697.html

New Jersey Kosher Store Target of Deadly Attack.

JERSEY CITY, N.J.—Two gunmen went on an hourslong shooting rampage Tuesday, targeting a Jewish grocery store and getting into a firefight with police that ended in six deaths, including a police officer and the two suspects, officials said. https://www.wsj.com/articles/jersey-city-police-respond-to-reports-of-active-shooter-11576004552

Trump called for Seoul evacuation at height of North Korea tensions, new book says

Donald Trump called for the population of Seoul to be moved during an Oval Office meeting when tensions between the US and North Korea were at their height, according to a new book about the president’s relations with the US military.

In Trump and his Generals: The Cost of Chaos, the national security and counter-terrorism expert Peter Bergen also gives new details of Trump’s demands that the families of US service members in South Korea be evacuated, which the North Korean regime would have interpreted as a clear move towards war. In both cases, Trump’s impetuous diktats were ignored by his top officials.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/dec/09/trump-seoul-evacuation-north-korea-book

Justice Watchdog Highlights FBI ‘Failures’ in Russia Probe.

The FBI made significant errors in 2016 when it sought to monitor a former Trump campaign adviser, an internal watchdog said, as part of what it found to be a justified probe into links between the Trump campaign and Russia. https://www.wsj.com/articles/watchdog-report-set-to-detail-fbi-surveillance-of-trump-adviser-11575892802