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Christian officials accuse Israel of holiday discrimination

Bethlehem Manger Square Christmas tree

Jerusalem, IsraelAP A spokesman for Christian churches in the Holy Land on Wednesday accused Israel of discriminating against Christian tourists during the normally busy Christmas holiday season. Israel last month closed its borders to foreign tourists in response to the outbreak of the omicron coronavirus variant. But this week, Israeli officials decided to make an exception […]

Under scrutiny, North Korea tries to restrict news about executions – group

North Korean flag and barbed wire

Seoul, South KoreaReuters North Korea has changed the way it carries out capital punishment in response to greater international scrutiny of its human rights, holding executions away from prying eyes to stop information filtering out, a rights group said on Wednesday. The Seoul-based Transitional Justice Working Group analysed satellite imagery and conducted interviews with 683 […]

Haiti truck blast death toll rises to 75 as doctors scramble to treat wounded

Haiti Cape Haitien truck explosion

Cap-Haitien, Haiti Reuters The death toll from a fuel truck explosion in Haiti rose to 75 on Wednesday as doctors scrambled to treat the wounded from an incident that officials say was made more deadly by residents approaching the vehicle in a desperate search for fuel.  Rescue workers recovered 61 bodies at the site of […]

Hong Kong fire traps 150 people on roof of 39-storey building

Hong Kong fire

Updated: 8.20pm (AEDT)Hong Kong, ChinaReuters A fire broke out on Wednesday in Hong Kong’s World Trade Centre, trapping about 150 people on its roof, and 13 people were injured before firefighters put out the blaze, police and the fire department said. The 39-floor World Trade Centre is home to restaurants, offices and shops in the […]

Christmas a time of financial stress for two-fifths of Australians, say Salvos

Salvos help at Christmas

Sydney Australia More than 40 per cent of Australian families are suffering financial stress and emotional pressure this Christmas, according to the Salvation Army. And 83 per cent of families seeking assistance from the Christian organisation say they cannot afford Christmas presents for their children, survey results across NSW and the rest of Australia show. […]

The Mexican town where making Christmas baubles is a way of life

Christmas baubles

Tlapujahua, Mexico Reuters In Tlalpujahua, Mexico, the spirit of Christmas is baked into the small town’s very existence. While people around the world prepare to decorate Christmas trees and buy gifts to celebrate the holiday, in Tlalpujahua thousands of workers do the delicate work of blowing glass into Christmas ornaments that are then hand-painted. A […]

Poll: America growing more secular by the year

Couple in church

RNS Christmas is just 10 days away, and most Americans will celebrate the birth of Jesus. But a new poll from Pew shows the share of US adults who consider themselves Christian is falling. Only 63 per cent of Americans self-identify as Christian this year, a marked drop from 75 per cent 10 years ago. The declining […]