Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: “Saddened and shaken” over plans to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople lowered his voice in exasperation. “What can I say as a Christian clergyman and the Greek Patriarch in Istanbul? Instead of uniting, a 1,500-year-old heritage is dividing us. I am saddened and shaken.” The 80-year-old spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide was referring to the Turkish government’s plans to convert Hagia […]

Argentina’s Jorge Mario Bergoglio elected Pope

Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio has greeted crowds in Rome’s St Peter’s Square after his election as the Catholic Church’s new Pope. Appearing on a balcony over the square, he asked the faithful to pray for him. Cheers erupted as he gave a blessing. The first Latin American and the first Jesuit to be pontiff, […]

2012 was in top 10 warmest on record

US scientists say that 2012 was among the 10 warmest years the world has experienced since 1880. Nasa researchers said it was the ninth warmest year while experts from another American agency said it was the tenth. Both teams said that temperatures would have been higher if it hadn’t been for the La Nina weather […]

Picture power: Collapsed bridge

This dramatic photograph shows students hanging on to the side steel bars of a collapsed bridge as they cross the Ciberang River to get to school in the Indonesian village of Sanghiang Tanjung. Flooding had caused a pillar supporting the suspension bridge to break and the alternative route would take the children an extra 30 […]

Dozens missing following wildfire in Australia’s Tasman Peninsula

Australian authorities were searching Sunday for a number of people reported missing in wildfires that destroyed more than 100 homes in southeast Tasmania, officials said. Police and rescue workers were going door to door in the southern Tasmanian towns of Dunalley and Boomer Bay to try to account for dozens missing after the fires hit […]

Curators discover first recordings of Christmas Day

Curators at the National Museum of London have discovered what they believe to be the first ever recordings of a family Christmas. They were made 110 years ago by the Wall family who lived in New Southgate in North London. There are 24 clear recordings on wax cylinders which were made using a phonograph machine […]

Welcome to the most Christmassy places on the planet

If your Christmas is too often one of tacky decorations, over-cooked turkey and bitter family feuds, now may be the time to put the baubles back in the attic and plan yourself a yuletide getaway. To help you along, we offer our top picks for the most Christmassy places around the world. Lapland, Finland While […]