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Three years after the quake, Haitian refugees fight Christmas misery

While people around the world celebrate the arrival of Christmas, residents of a refugee camp in Haiti say hunger and want will mark the holiday, like every other day of the year. “There are no wreaths, no Christmas trees,” said Titelma Cherival, 54, still living in a makeshift refugee camp…

‘Lost tribe’ members migrate from India to Israel

Fifty members of an Indian community believed to be descendants of one of the lost tribes of Israel arrived on Monday in the Jewish state, completing their immigration. Linking up with family members who have already settled in Israel, they are among the first wave of the 7,200-strong Bnei Menashe…

Muslim scholars and clerics plan January trip to Kabul to condemn suicide bombings as un-Islamic

Suicide bombers in Afghanistan have shown little restraint: Wedding parties and even mosques and children have witnessed gruesome targeting by the Taliban against civilians. But as attacks soared in the summer and fall, killing scores of civilians every week – including at least 40 Muslim devotees…  …

Ongoing preservation of Lenin’s body stirs debate on remains

The mausoleum for Russia’s revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin must undergo major repair work after its foundation suffered water damage, the Kremlin said Monday. The communist icon’s body will also undergo preservation work, a move that adds fuel to a debate in Russia about whether his remains should be buried. The…

Iran to citizens: avoid U.S. travel due to ‘targeted Iranophobia’

Iran has issued a travel warning to its citizens against visiting arch-foe the United States, an official said, after the death of an Iranian national reportedly following a grilling by US customs officials. “Iranian citizens are advised to avoid non-essential travels to the US and, in case of visit, to…

Iraq calls for Arab action on climate change

Iraq’s most senior energy official called for coordinated Arab action on climate change while Egypt’s environment minister proposed a regional green fund at a conference in Baghdad on Monday. Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs Hussein al-Shahristani warned of the risk of flooding, and also pointed to desertification and sandstorms…

Santa dons a snorkel to bring good stingrays their Christmas gifts

This year at the Sunshine Aquarium in Japan, aquarium employees got into the Christmas spirit, as one donned a Santa suit to feed the stingrays to the delight of the visitors and stingrays alike. The unlikely aquatic Santa grinned as he swam among the rays, distributing presents in the form…

South Korea’s ‘battle of the singles’ flooded by men

South Korea’s “battle of the singles” — a highly-anticipated mass dating event organised on Facebook — fizzled out Monday, with thousands of lovelorn men at the venue but few women in sight. The event was triggered last month after two young men jokingly floated the idea on the social networking…

Hundreds of anguished notes found at new Colombian ‘Wailing Wall’

Hundreds of visitors have tucked handwritten notes into the enormous stone slab at the new center adjacent to Bogota’s main cemetery, which many think of as Colombia’s “Wailing Wall.” The structure is the centerpiece of Colombia’s new Center for Remembrance, Peace and Reconciliation where visitors can pay their respects to…

Swaziland bans ‘rape-provoking’ miniskirts

Police in Africa’s last absolute monarchy Swaziland have banned women from wearing miniskirts and midriff-revealing tops saying they provoke rape, local media reported on Monday. Offenders face a six-month jail term under the ban, which invokes a colonial criminal act dating back to 1889. “The act of the rapist is…

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