AP Top Stories January 6 P

Here’s the latest for Monday, January 6: Huge crowds gather in Tehran for Qassem Soleimani funeral; Harvey Weinstein is indicted on new sex crime charges in Los Angeles; A 5.8-magnitude earthquake rocks Puerto Rico; Christians celebrate the Epiphany.

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AP Top Stories December 25 P

Here’s the latest for Wednesday December 25th: Police and protesters clash in Hong Kong; Protests in India continue; Christians in Bethlehem mark Christmas; Swimmers brave cold waters for Christmas plunge.

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Bethlehem welcomes pilgrims for Christmas celebrations | AFP

Pilgrims from around the world gather in the biblical city of Bethlehem, revered by Christians as the birthplace of Jesus, to celebrate Christmas in the Holy Land.

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Santa Claus floats to Tel Aviv on his standup paddleboard | AFP

Harout Torossian, an Israeli lifeguard from the Armenian Orthodox Christian minority dressed up as Santa Claus, standup paddleboards along a beach in the Mediterranean coastal Israeli city of Tel Aviv as Christians around the world prepare to celebrate the holy day.

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Pastor speaks on Christian magazine’s Trump stance

A major evangelical Christian magazine published an editorial on Thursday calling for President Donald Trump’s removal from office. But one pastor is confident evangelical Christians will again throw their support behind Trump in 2020. (Dec. 20)

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Sri Lanka Muslims fear backlash after Easter Sunday attacks

Muslims in Colombo fear a backlash after the Easter Sunday attacks which killed more than 350 people. Sri Lanka has a population of 21 million, of which the majority are Sinhalese-speaking Buddhists. Muslims account for 10 percent of the population and are the second largest minority after Hindus. Just over six percent are Christians.

DISTURBING: Bloody aftermath at St. Anthony’s Church, where one of 6 blasts struck in Sri Lanka

Six explosions rocked Catholic churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka as Christians began Easter Sunday celebrations, with at least 140 killed and hundreds more injured.

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Sri Lanka blasts: People gather outside Colombo hospital demanding answers about their relatives

Six explosions rocked Catholic churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka as Christians began Easter Sunday celebrations, with more than 40 killed & hundreds injured, local authorities confirmed. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9sq1

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GONZO: Street poets and beignets in Nola (E8)

GONZO heads into the home of fracking, Denton, Texas, to chat to Dr. Adam Briggle, author of ‘A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking’. The idea of field philosophy is to take ideas about ethics and justice and bring it to the real world. Fracking is a justice issue and both the politics and the economics of the alleged bonanza turned out to be a big dud and a land use planning nightmare. They talk about the philosophy of hubris and narcissism and find that fracking is about the lesson of Frankenstein – we create something without considering the wider ramifications and without plans to deal with the out of control nature of our inventions. Denton voted to ban fracking but the state government then intervened with legislation to prevent citizens from having the democratic right of local self-determination on such matters related to Big Oil. We are waiting for a tech fix but fracking was a tech fix to declining oil reserves. Max and Dr. Briggle ride their bike off into the distance with plans to go form the church of no fracking.

Max and Stacy leave Texas on the way to New Orleans while discussing the frackers versus ranchers battle brewing in Texas as each vie for limited water resources. In Nola, they discuss the aftermath of about Hurricane Katrina which Obama’s education secretary considered the best thing to ever happen to public education in America as it opened up an entire city to the charter school movement which, in turn, opened the city up to privatisation and gentrification. They also discuss the legacy of Huey Long and how we now dismantle public infrastructure rather than build it. Blumenthal mentions ‘Cancer Alley’ in one of the first town of freed persons where cancer rates now are so high due to industrial pollution. They also ask, “How did we end up with Trump?” And the role of John Hagee and the evangelical Christians in putting him in power in order to get them the Supreme Court, which they now effectively own. Finally, Stacy and the two Maxes eat beignets, talk about the swamp expanding, the legacy of Bourdain and then talk to some street poets who compose a poem for GONZO.

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Darwin v Christians: Play about English naturalist dropped after parents complain

The English school has found itself in the spotlight after it decided to drop a play about Charles Darwin following complaints from Christian parents.

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People queue for tickets for papal mass ahead of historic visit

Christians queue outside the St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Abu Dhabi for tickets to the papal mass ahead of Pope Francis’ historic three-day visit to the United Arab Emirates, the first by a pope to the Arabian peninsula.

Xmas trees gifted to animals at Moscow zoo

Because Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas two weeks after December 25, Russians usually keep their decorations around a bit longer than Western Europeans. But now, as these festivities come to a close, people in Moscow are hurrying to get rid of their trees. With some being gifted to the elephants, monkeys, bears and other animals of Moscow zoo, that enjoy playing with or simply eating them.

Patriarch Kirill delivers Orthodox Christmas message

Head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia, delivers Christmas message to all Orthodox Christians.

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Christians celebrate Epiphany with swim in Istanbul

The Patriarch of Constantinople celebrates the Epiphany Mass before blessing the waters of the Golden Horn with a cross that young Greek Orthodox Christians recovered by diving into the icy water. The winner this year is Mihalis Vosnakiris.

In South-East Turkey, all Christians pray under one roof

In Diyarbakir, the main Kurdish city of South-East Turkey, there were once 46 churches. But today, only one remains open. The others are either destroyed or were closed by the government during clashes between Turkish army and the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party, the PKK. Chaldeans, Armenians, Assyrians and even some Muslims, all come together to celebrate Christmas mass in the Holy Virgin Mary church.

China Cracking Down on Christians

(7 Aug 2018) Amid the atheist ruling Communist Party’s ambitious new effort to dictate — and in some cases displace — the practice of faith in China, Christians have seen their churches raided, their Bibles confiscated and their pastors arrested. (Aug. 7)

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Coptic Christians battle prejudice in Egyptian football

Youth members of “Je Suis” football academy, an initiative to protect the rights of Christians in sport, sit together on a pitch in the country’s second city of Alexandria. Under the name “Je Suis” in French, or “I am”, the academy’s founder Mina Bendary started the initiative after being told by football club officials to use a different name to conceal his religion if he was to play professionally in the majority-Muslim country.

This Is Why Evangelical Christians Love Israel (VICE on HBO, Full Segment)

Thomas Morton joined a group of born again Christians as they toured the Holy Land and found out the real reason why they support Israel. This is the episode from Season 2 of VICE on HBO.

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