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Festive mood

Christmas decorations in the garden of a private house in Meyreuil, southern France.

Ravaged by war, Syria's Homs relishes Christmas spirit

The metallic green Christmas tree towers over the bombed-out heart of Syria's third city Homs, where residents are relishing a holiday cheer they haven't felt in years.

Christmas decorations

Shoppers walking under Christmas decorations along a street in central Moscow.

North Korea's 'Ever Victorious' firms face China axe

From restaurants with singing waitresses, to secluded traders in back alleys, North Korean businesses in Beijing face a precarious start to the New Year with a looming, sanctions-linked January deadline to shut up shop.

Window cleaning

Window cleaners in Santa Claus and reindeer costumes cleaning windows outside a shopping mall along Tokyo's waterfront.

Egypt struggles against population catastrophe

Ali Abdelaziz sees children as a "gift from God", so much so that he has 10 of his own, even as Egypt's government struggles to stem a "catastrophic" population boom.

Star's suicide highlights dark side of the K-pop dream

Known for its ultra-competitive, pressure-cooker society, South Korea has one of the world's highest suicide rates. And this week the even higher stresses in the country's lucrative showbiz industry took their toll on a K-pop superstar.

Of Cabbages and Kims: Korea's changing kimchis

North and South Korea are radically different societies, one ruled by the same family for decades and the other a freewheeling democracy and thrusting economy. But one thing unites them -- their love of fermented cabbage.

Festive decorations

A woman crossing a public square decorated for the holidays in downtown Moscow.

Santa Run

People taking part in a Santa Run event in Shenyang in China's northeastern Liaoning province.


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