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Christmas Comes Early in Ukraine, but Not a Moment Too Soon
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Christmas Comes Early in Ukraine, but Not a Moment Too Soon

Christmas lights flickered on ahead of schedule. Families sang carols a little sooner. And the first presents of the season — by tradition hidden under a pillow or in a boot — appeared two weeks early.Of Ukraine’s many Western-oriented changes, put in place bit by bit since independence and accelerated during the war, one brought special joy this year: Christmas came early.After centuries of marking the holiday on Jan. 7 under the Julian church calendar, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church this year formally switched to celebrating on Dec. 25 with most of the rest of Europe — and pointedly not with Russia.For 6-year-old Drynka, that meant practicing carols early and enjoying the excitement of receiving gifts like a Rainbow High doll and a paint set two weeks earlier she did than last year.“I lov...
The Best of Canada in 2023
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The Best of Canada in 2023

Read: The 10 Best Books of 2023Best TV ShowsNathan Fielder, the Canadian actor known for his deadpan delivery, is back with a dark comedy called “The Curse.” Here’s a trailer. It’s streaming on Paramount+ Canada. (Mr. Fielder was an executive producer on “How To With John Wilson,” another show that critics say is worth your time.)Read: Best TV Shows of 2023Best Movies“Past Lives,” the debut film by the South Korean-Canadian director Celine Song, is “an examination of destiny, chance, love and the invisible thread that binds one soul to the next,” writes Alissa Wilkinson, a movie critic at The Times. (I enjoyed watching this film at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, which has made it available for rent. You can also catch it on streaming platforms in Canada.)An honorable mention on the lis...
Strike Halts Eurostar Channel Tunnel Service Between London and Europe
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Strike Halts Eurostar Channel Tunnel Service Between London and Europe

Rail traffic under the English Channel was gradually returning to normal on Thursday after the end of an unexpected walkout by railway workers that had blocked the Channel Tunnel, stranding passengers and causing several hours of travel chaos just days before Christmas.Clément Beaune, France’s transportation minister, announced at 7:30 p.m. in Paris that the Channel Tunnel closure had been lifted. Mr. Beaune had previously called the blockage “unacceptable.”“Traffic can resume,” Mr. Beaune said on social media. “I salute the spirit of responsibility of all those involved.”Eurostar, the high-speed passenger train line that runs under the English Channel, said that traffic would resume on Friday “with a normal timetable out of London, Paris and Brussels.”Eurostar also said in a statement tha...
Ukraine Aid Bill Delayed as Border Talks Drag On
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Ukraine Aid Bill Delayed as Border Talks Drag On

The prospects for passing legislation to speed military aid to Ukraine this year are fading, as Republicans balk at striking a quick deal on immigration policy changes they have demanded in exchange for allowing the bill to move forward.After a weekend of intensive bipartisan border talks yielded progress but no breakthrough, Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, acknowledged on Monday that negotiators were still far from completing a deal.“It’s going to take some more time to get it done,” he said on the Senate floor on Monday afternoon, laying out plans for the week that made no mention of any votes on the aid package for Ukraine.That was a reversal from last week, when Mr. Schumer announced he would delay the Senate’s holiday break and keep the chamber in ...
Israel Shares More Details of Hostage Deaths as Pressure to Curb War Grows: Live Updates
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Israel Shares More Details of Hostage Deaths as Pressure to Curb War Grows: Live Updates

Roman Catholic church officials said an Israeli military sniper shot and killed a mother and daughter on Saturday inside a church compound in northern Gaza where many Palestinian Christian families have taken refuge.The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem said that “one was killed as she tried to carry the other to safety” in the compound of the Holy Family Church in Gaza City. Seven more people were shot and wounded while trying to protect others there, the patriarchate said in a statement on Saturday.“No warning was given, no notification was provided,” the patriarchate said. “They were shot in cold blood inside the premises of the parish.”The patriarchate said Israeli rockets were fired at a convent in the church compound earlier on Saturday, destroying the building’s sole generator and fue...
Brazil’s Congress Weakens Protection of Indigenous Lands, Defying Lula
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Brazil’s Congress Weakens Protection of Indigenous Lands, Defying Lula

Brazilian officials served up an array of plans and figures at the recent COP28 climate summit in Dubai, presenting itself as a world leader, on track to protect its forests and the people who live there.But on Thursday, Brazil’s Congress approved a law that threatens Indigenous people’s rights to most of the land they inhabit or claim, potentially opening vast territories to deforestation, farming and mining.The new law requires that Indigenous people must provide concrete evidence that they occupied the land they claim on Oct. 5, 1988, when the country’s current Constitution was enacted — a requirement that many of them have little or no hope of meeting.Under the new rule, not only can Indigenous land claims currently going through the legal process be thrown out for lacking such documen...
Biden Adviser Heads to Israel to Meet With Netanyahu: Live Updates
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Biden Adviser Heads to Israel to Meet With Netanyahu: Live Updates

The main reason Israel’s heavy bombardment of Gaza for nine weeks has not pushed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians into Egypt is that country’s heavily fortified border and Cairo’s ironclad determination to keep it closed.But pressure is building. Israel has been pushing Gaza’s 2.2 million residents relentlessly south as its forces seek to destroy Hamas’s military wing and its infrastructure, and about 85 percent of the population has been displaced. Hundreds of thousands of displaced people are now living in squalid, cramped conditions in Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost region, right along the border with Egypt.The bleak conditions have increased fears that the border with Egypt could be breached, allowing large number of Palestinian refugees to enter Egypt, potentially destabilizing an Ar...