India and Pakistan Opened up a “Peace Corridor.” That’s Pissing Some People Off

As Sikhs around the world celebrate a holiday that’s like their Christmas; the 550th birthday of Guru Nanak, their religion’s founder, they’re also celebrating something surprising — a rare moment of cooperation between India and Pakistan.

Earlier this year, the two nuclear rivals came to the brink of war, launching air raids into each other’s territories, and later suspended ties after India revoked the autonomy of Kashmir, a territory both countries claim. But over the weekend, they briefly set aside their differences to open a corridor where Indian Sikhs can for the first time travel without a visa to Kartarpur Sahib, a temple in Pakistan marking the lands where Guru Nanak lived out his last days as a farmer.

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Christmas window displays: behind the scenes of a longstanding Parisian tradition | AFP

Spectacular Christmas window displays are an annual tradition for Parisian department stores. AFP was treated to a peak behind the scenes at Printemps ahead of the big reveal by Italian blogger and stylist Chiara Ferragni on Thursday.

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Indonesia militia gain power through aid missions

Indonesia’s Islamic Defenders Front is better known for vigilante actions against gays, Christmas decorations and prostitution, but over the past decade and a half it has repurposed its militia into a force that’s as adept at searching for victims buried under earthquake rubble and distributing aid as it is at inspiring fear. (June 11)

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Federal Workers Tell Us How It Feels To Be Shut Down (HBO)

The president’s chief economic adviser is trying to spin the government shutdown as a kind of extended Christmas vacation for federal workers.

“Huge share of government workers were going to take vacation days, say between Christmas and New Year’s. And then we have a shutdown and so they can’t go to work, and so then they have the vacation. But they don’t have to use their vacation days,” Kevin Hassett said in a January 10th interview with PBS NewsHour. “And then they come back. And they get their back pay. Then they’re, in some sense, they’re better off.”

But not all government employees are home on furloughs. Many are still in the office, working without pay. Some expect to receive back pay when the government reopens. But many government workers, like contractors, don’t expect back pay.

Charities in the U.S. are now organizing food donations specifically for people impacted by the shutdown.

On January 12th in the Washington, D.C. area, Capitol Area Food Bank set up five locations where government workers could collect food boxes and produce. At one location, more than four hundred people lined up to pick up food.

VICE News asked some of them to what it feels like to be shut down.

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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.

Christmas lunch, gifts, for Moscow’s poor and homeless

The Community of Sant’Egidio, an international Christian organisation particularly committed to helping people in difficulty, organises Christmas lunch in an Orthodox Church in downtown Moscow. Dozens of volunteers, mostly students, sit for a festive meal with Moscow’s poor and homeless.

Putin fires howitzer on Russian Orthodox Christmas

(7 Jan 2019) For Christmas, Russian President Vladimir Putin got to do something that many children dream of: fire a really big gun. (Jan. 7)

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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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Orthodox Christmas mass in Moscow

#Orthodox #Christmas mass held in #Moscow, Russia

What future for Russia, Ukraine and the West, after the Orthodox Church split yesterday following talks with US Secretary of State Pompeo. Tweet @DanB_RT, who will read yr comments+Qs during the Christmas service at Moscow’s spectacular Christ the Savior Cathedral. Watch 8pm GMT

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Historic split sees Ukraine church granted independence from Russia

Just one day before #Orthodox Christmas, an official decree marking the independence of #Ukraine’s new #church was granted by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I to the head of the Kiev-established entity. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9ltu

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AP Top Stories January 4 P

(4 Jan 2019) Here’s the latest for Friday, January 4th: Democrats, Trump set weekend shutdown talks; US employers went on a hiring spree in December; Powell says he would reject any Trump request to resign; Berlin’s unwanted Christmas trees are a snack for zoo animals.

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AP Top Stories December 30 P

(30 Dec 2018) Here are the top stories for Sunday, December 30th: Trump open to negotiations on funding bill; Suspects in tourist killings head to court; Times Square ball gets a test drop; Russians plant a Christmas tree under water.

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Christmas in ruins: Santas barely find kids to hand presents to in devastated Mosul

Men dressed as Santa Claus walking through a ruined city may seem like a scene from a post-apocalyptic movie, but that’s how Christmas looks in Mosul, a former ISIS stronghold leveled to the ground in a US-backed liberation op. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9lg4

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KKK-Khristmas?: ‘Ghost’ Xmas trees invade St Pete

A simple act of vandalism on dozens of Christmas trees made it appear as if a peculiar Ku Klux Klan chapter had sprung up in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg this week. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9lcl

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Federal employee: ‘We just want to do our jobs’

(26 Dec 2018) Some federal employees affected by the partial government shutdown are facing uncertainty as they return to work after the Christmas holiday. About 420,000 who are considered essential are working unpaid. (Dec. 26)

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The end of Christmas for Brazil’s Santa impersonators

Santa Claus impersonators gather in Rio de Janeiro for an event called “Barbas de Molho” (“Beards at rest”), where they trim their beards to mark the end of the duties after the Christmas celebrations.

US to maintain presence in Iraq ‘to prevent ISIS resurgence &… to watch over Iran’ – Trump

#Trump #Iraq #Syria

During an unannounced Christmas visit of US troops stationed at the al-Asad Air Base in the western Iraqi al-Anbar Governorate Trump said that the United States would maintain a presence in Iraq ‘to prevent an ISIS resurgence… and also to watch over Iran’

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‘We are not the suckers of the world’ – Trump

#Trump #Iraq

US President Donald Trump hailed his ‘America First’ policy during an unannounced Christmas visit of US troops stationed at the al-Asad Air Base in the western Iraqi al-Anbar Governorate on Wednesday.

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The saga of CDU’s struggles: Angela Merkel’s successor faces many ahead

Christmas present has just become Christmas past and Christmas future is still to come.

Inspired by the festive season, RT’s Germany correspondent Peter Oliver – gives his own rendition, of a classic Christmas tale…

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‘Winners’ & ‘losers’ of 2018 as seen by Lionel

Christmas has passed and the end of the year is near… Across the stories that made 2018, is our quirky media analyst, Lionel.

Here’s his personal look back.

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Syrian town celebrates Christmas for first time after years of war

#MerryChristmas #Syria

Residents of the Syrian town of Izraa in the Daraa province celebrated Christmas for the first time since its liberation from militant rule.

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