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KNOW IT ALL: Thursday’s Top 7 Stories at NBC News

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An Arizona Department of Transportation sign gives a hotline number for information on the recent freeway shootings as motorists pass under at the 202/I-10 intersection, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015 in Chandler, Ariz. Authorities are investigating a series of shootings on or near the freeway. Matt York / AP

Good morning. Here are some of the stories we're following today:

1. Progressive Pope Francis Will Address Divided Congress

If Francis' speech at the White House was any indication of what he has planned for his historic address to Congress on Thursday, Republicans may be in an awkward spot. While issues like abortion and gay marriage have traditionally aligned the GOP with the message of the Catholic Church, this new, progressive pope has been at odds with American conservatives on issues such as immigration, income inequality and climate change. Read more in POLITICS.

Pope Francis to address Congress before heading to NYC 3:19

2. Pope Makes Saint of Controversial Missionary

The pontiff on Wednesday made a saint of Junipero Serra, an 18th century missionary who converted thousands of Native Americans to Catholicism in what is now California. But many Native Americans opposed the move, saying Serra destroyed their ancestors' traditions and culture, spreading disease and enslaving converts. Read more in NEWS.

3. More Than 450 Dead, Hundreds Injured in Hajj Stampede

Medical teams were continuing to sort through fatalities and injuries from Thursday's crush in Mina, outside the holy city of Mecca. Images of the chaotic aftermath showed dozens of bodies lying in the streets, some of their faces covered in the white garments traditionally worn for the annual pilgrimage. Read more in NEWS.

Dramatic Aftermath of Hajj Stampede Caught on Camera 0:25

4. Suspect Charged in Four Arizona Freeway Shootings

Charges were filed Wednesday against Leslie Allen Merritt Jr., 21, accused in some of a series of shootings along a freeway that put Phoenix-area drivers on edge. Police are still looking for other suspects in the incidents that occurred throughout the end of August. Read more in NEWS.

5. Dealers, Customers Left in Lurch by VW Scandal

The scandal at Volkswagen — the automaker that rigged emissions tests to allow its diesel cars to pass — led to the company's CEO to resign Wednesday and has left the prospect of an expensive recall looming. Read more in BUSINESS.

6. Colombia, FARC Rebel Group Reach Peace Deal

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the top commander of leftist FARC rebels shook hands on Wednesday and agreed to reach a final peace deal within six months — a sign that Latin America's longest war could finally be coming to an end. Read more in NEWS.

7. How DNA Solved One Mystery and Opened Another

Willa Wertheimer wondered for most of her life what happened to her missing stepbrother, and whether he was one of the victims of 1970s serial killer John Wayne Gacy. Then, the tragic answer came after she gave her DNA to a national database. Read more in NEWS.

Nightly Spotlight

Just about everyone who got to see Pope Francis in Washington will go home with memories lasting a lifetime, including a family with six children who came all the way from Florida.

One Family’s Unforgettable Moment With Pope Francis 1:53