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UK Queen stresses reconciliation after bruising Brexit year

Queen Elizabeth will stress the value of harmony and reconciliation in her Christmas message this year, Buckingham Palace said on Tuesday, after a year in which the tortuous Brexit process aggravated..
Reuters - Published

Carols and bells in Bethlehem as Christmas draws near

Christmas cheer rang out through Bethlehem's Manger Square on Monday as pilgrims and worshippers flocked to the city revered as Jesus's birthplace and locals made final preparations for this year's..
Reuters - Published

Hong Kong gears up for Christmas holiday protests

Hong Kong is gearing up for demonstrations over the Christmas week with protesters planning to gather in districts across the city, including in prime shopping malls, the latest in more than six months..
Reuters - Published

Tesco suspends Chinese supplier after suspected prisoner message

British supermarket giant Tesco suspended a Chinese supplier of Christmas cards on Sunday after a press report said a customer found a message written inside a card saying it had been packed by foreign..
Reuters - Published

Australia prepares for post-Christmas extreme bushfires

Scorching heat baking Australia eased on Monday bringing relief from extreme bushfires, which destroyed around 180 houses and killed one person over the weekend, allowing firefighters to prepare for..
Reuters - Published

Firefighters across NSW face an 'enormous amount of work' this Christmas

The NSW bushfire crisis is taking its toll on fatigued volunteers, who will spend the days before Christmas strengthening containment lines.
SBS - Published

'Massive' workload for firies through Xmas

The NSW bushfire crisis is taking its toll on fatigued volunteers, who will spend the days before Christmas strengthening containment lines.
SBS - Published

Israel reverses ban, Gaza Christians can visit Christmas sites

Christians in the Gaza Strip will be allowed to visit holy cities such as Bethlehem and Jerusalem at Christmas, Israel authorities said on Sunday, reversing a decision not to issue them permits.
Reuters - Published

All the lonely people: Aged care residents at risk of neglect at Christmas

With a loss of regular activities and visits from family rare, this time of year can be sad for the elderly.
The Age - Published

Berlin police give all-clear after closing Christmas market

Berlin police gave the all-clear on Saturday after earlier evacuating a Christmas market that was the scene of a fatal attack three years ago to investigate a possible suspicious object, which they did..
Reuters - Published

Macron calls for Christmas truce in French pension strikes

French President Emmanuel Macron called on transport unions to suspend strikes over pension reform during the Christmas holidays to avoid travel disruption.
Reuters - Published

Survey finds two-thirds of Australians back a Newstart Christmas boost

A majority of Australians would welcome a cash bonus for Newstart recipients over the Christmas holidays to ease their financial stress.
SBS - Published

Two in three back Newstart Christmas boost

Two out of three Australians would welcome a cash bonus for Newstart recipients over the Christmas holidays to ease their financial stress.
SBS - Published

For all its commercialism, Christmas still means something

Strip away the cultural and commercial accretions, and the story of Christmas is one of the most beautiful and moving that we can encounter.
The Age - Published

Hong Kong protesters face off with police in mall protests

Hong Kong riot police swept into several shopping malls on Saturday, chasing off and arresting some anti-government Hong Kong demonstrators who had gathered to press their demands in the peak shopping..
Reuters - Published

Retailers put hopes on 'Super Saturday' after a soft week

Shoppers were out in force picking up last-minute Christmas presents on the second biggest shopping day of the year.
The Age - Published

British PM Johnson wins vote on Brexit deal in time for Christmas

Prime Minister Boris Johnson won approval for his Brexit deal in parliament on Friday, the first step towards fulfilling his election pledge to deliver Britain's departure from the European Union by..
Reuters - Published

Let it snow? Poets can do as they please with our hot, dry, smoky Christmas

Whether you celebrate a religious or secular Christmas, there is a rich vein of poetry for inspiration.
The Age - Published

UK PM Johnson promises to wrap up parliament Brexit vote for Christmas

The British parliament will vote on Boris Johnson's Brexit deal on Friday, a move the prime minister described as delivering on his promise to "get the Brexit vote wrapped up for Christmas" after his..
Reuters - Published

French PM, unions fail to break pension strike deadlock as Christmas looms

The French government failed to break the deadlock over a planned overhaul of the pension system on Thursday, prompting union leaders to reaffirm the continuation of strikes over the Christmas holiday..
Reuters - Published

Woodside's weighty Browse papers finally drop – just in time for Christmas

If you're not busy Christmas shopping, defending your home from a bushfire or sheltering from a heatwave, you might want to check out this light summer reading.
The Age - Published

Annus horribilis II? UK's Queen Elizabeth will reflect on another tough year

When Britain's Queen Elizabeth addresses her nation on Christmas Day it will mark the end of one of the most difficult years of her long reign.
Reuters - Published

Car crash, rifts, and scandal: A tough year for the British royals

Britain's Queen Elizabeth will deliver her Christmas Day address to Britons next week after a tumultuous year for her royal family.
Reuters - Published

French unions refuse Christmas truce in pensions protests

French trade unions failed on Tuesday to achieve the big surge in support they had hoped for in street protests to pressure President Emmanuel Macron to ditch his pension reform, and said there would..
Reuters - Published

French unions fail to gain new momentum in pension protests

French trade unions crippled transport and shut schools on Tuesday but failed to achieve the big surge in support they had sought to increase pressure on President Emmanuel Macron to ditch a planned..
Reuters - Published

Where is France's public sector strike being felt the hardest?

French trade unions paralyzed transport and gathered for mass protests on Tuesday, stepping up a campaign to force President Emmanuel Macron to ditch a planned pension reform by Christmas.
Reuters - Published

CBD MELBOURNE: Room at Grill'd for a Christmas bash

When Westpac found itself in Austrac’s firing line last month - courtesy of allegations the bank contravened anti-money-laundering laws 23 million times - its then chief executive Brian Hartzer..
The Age - Published

Strikes, protests as French unions seek momentum to halt pension reform

French trade unions crippled transport and gathered for mass protests on Tuesday, in a redoubled effort to force President Emmanuel Macron to ditch a planned pension reform by Christmas.
Reuters - Published

'We can celebrate later': Hong Kongers pen Christmas cards to protesters

Hong Kong residents have been gathering across the city on weekends and in lunch breaks to write Christmas cards to injured protesters and those in detention as anti-government demonstrations grind on..
Reuters - Published

Biloela Tamil family to spend second Christmas in detention limbo

A Tamil family will remain in detention on Christmas Island until a Federal Court hearing in their deportation fight.
SBS - Published

Boris Johnson eyes parliament vote before Christmas to 'get Brexit done'

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will "get Brexit done" by Jan. 31 and then agree on a new trade deal with the European Union by the end of 2020, cabinet office minister Michael Gove said on..
Reuters - Published

Brexit law to return to parliament before Christmas: deputy FM Sunak

Prime Minister Boris Johnson intends to bring back Brexit legislation to parliament before Christmas, deputy finance minister Rishi Sunak said on Sunday, adding that shortly thereafter the government..
Reuters - Published

French union calls for break in transport strikes over Christmas

France's CFDT union is opposed to transport strikes over the Christmas period but will call for new actions in January if the government does not drop a pension reform proposal that would encourage..
Reuters - Published

Queen Elizabeth to set out UK PM Johnson's agenda on Thursday

Queen Elizabeth will set out on Thursday Prime Minister Boris Johnson's legislative agenda following his election victory, including a pledge to bring the EU Withdrawal Agreement bill back to..
Reuters - Published

Faith column Dec 15

The festivities of Christmas herald an opportunity for joy and merriment, an oasis of goodwill and peace for humankind.
The Age - Published

Israel bars Gaza's Christians from visiting Bethlehem and Jerusalem at Christmas

Christians in the Gaza Strip will not be allowed to visit holy cities such as Bethlehem and Jerusalem to celebrate Christmas this year, Israeli authorities said on Thursday.
Reuters - Published

Join my Christmas ban-wagon ... first up, price hikes on puddings

Tis the season to be jolly-well turned off by grating tunes, work parties and general unnecessary excess.
The Age - Published

No Christmas retail cheer but hopes for the new year

Retailers are expecting a tough Christmas but pin their hopes on a better 2020.
The Age - Published

It's that time of year ... the left are trying to steal Christmas!

Can you believe that Naomi Wolf tried to kill Christmas? It depends how much weight you give to Angus Taylor's word, I suppose.
The Age - Published

Police armed with assault rifles to patrol Australian airports over Christmas

Anti-terror officers armed with assault rifles will patrol Australian airports this Christmas.
SBS - Published

Anti-terror cop squads to patrol airports

Bomb-detection dogs and anti-terror officers armed with assault rifles will patrol Australian airports this Christmas.
SBS - Published

Morrison plays Santa in a merry start to festive season break

How good is Christmas? Overdue actually, according to some 300 Coalition MPs and staff who arrived at the Prime Minister's Courtyard in Parliament House on Wednesday for the annual Christmas knees-up.
The Age - Published

Lachlan Murdoch's smoky Christmas drinks attracts a who's who of Sydney elite

The rich list and political inner circle gathered for Lachlan Murdoch's Christmas drinks, including the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader and other business and media heavyweights.
The Age - Published

Melania Trump hands out Christmas presents to London children

U.S. First Lady Melania Trump was greeted by dozens of school children in northeast London on Wednesday when she attended a Salvation Army event to hand out Christmas presents and decorate the tree.
Reuters - Published

Canadian fireys volunteer to help battle Australian bushfires over Christmas

Canadian firefighters will leave freezing conditions in their homeland to help fight bushfires in Australia, giving up Christmas with their families to do so.
SBS - Published

Bethlehem set for a Happy Christmas: more rooms, more inns and part of its manger back

As the Christmas decorations go up in Manger Square, Bethlehem is preparing for its best Christmas for two decades, the town's mayor and hoteliers say.
Reuters - Published

North Korea says up to U.S. to decide what 'Christmas gift' it will get: KCNA

North Korea's foreign ministry warned again that its year-end deadline for the United States to change it "hostile policies" is approaching and said it was up to Washington to decide what "Christmas..
Reuters - Published

Samoa in Christmas lockdown as measles deaths top 50

The small Pacific island nation of Samoa has closed schools and is restricting travel ahead of the Christmas holiday season as the death toll from a measles outbreak tops 50, in the latest flare-up of..
Reuters - Published

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, pope condemns 'virus' of consumerism

Pope Francis on Sunday urged people to resist the excesses of consumerism in the period leading up to Christmas, calling it a virus that attacks faith and offends the needy.
Reuters - Published

A relic of Jesus' manger, Christmas gift from pope to Bethlehem

A fragment of wood reputed to be from the manger where Jesus was laid after his humble birth arrived in Bethlehem as a gift from the Vatican on Saturday, kicking off Christmas season at the town..
Reuters - Published

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