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Christmas

Germany frees Tunisian suspect in Christmas market attack

BERLIN: German police Thursday freed a Tunisian man initially believed to be an accomplice in the Christmas market attack, as details emerged of how security services underestimated the threat posed by suspect Anis Amri. Before ploughing a truck into the Christmas market killing 12 people, the 24-year-old Anis Amri had reportedly sent a selfie and a chilling text message reading: "My brother, all is well, according to God's will. I am now in a car, pray for me my brother, pray for me." Investigators had thought the…

Suspects held after Christmas moonshine death toll rises to 43

TOBA TEK SINGH: Police on Wednesday caught three men accused of preparing home-made liquor mixed with ‘aftershave’ that so far killed 43 people including a fourth suspect after they consumed the toxic brew on Christmas Eve. More than a hundred people were also sickened in the incident, one of the country's deadliest cases of mass alcohol poisoning, which happened in a Christian neighbourhood in the town of Toba Tek Singh some 340 kilometres (211 miles) south of Islamabad. "Four people have been identified who prepared…

Bilawal calls for making nation envisioned by Quaid-e-Azam

KARACHI: Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Sunday called on coordinated efforts to make Pakistan as the nation envisioned by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.  Bilawal visited the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam and laid a floral wreath and offered fateha. Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and other cabinet members were also present on the occasion. In a message by the PPP media cell, Bilawal had pledged to uphold the vision of founder of the nation, and said that we are fortunate for having a visionary…

Obamas send final Christmas message from White House

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama sent their final Christmas salutations from the White House on Saturday, highlighting common values uniting Americans of all faiths. "The idea that we are our brother's keeper and our sister's keeper. That we should treat others as we would want to be treated," Michelle Obama said. "Those are values that help guide not just my family's Christian faith, but that of Jewish Americans, and Muslim Americans; nonbelievers and Americans of all backgrounds,"…

PM Sharif felicitates Christian community on Christmas

ISLAMABAD: The Christian community in Pakistan and the rest of the world is celebrating Christmas to mark the birth of Jesus Christ.  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Mamnoon Hussain have extended heartiest felicitations and wished Merry Christmas to the Christian community in Pakistan. The Prime Minister in his message on the occasion said that Jesus Christ was sent to this world as a symbol of peace, brotherhood and respect for the entire humanity. “This day reminds us of the values that Jesus Christ…

Murad felicitates Christmas to Christians, Quaid’s birth anniversary to nation

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has felicitated Christmas to Christian community living all over Pakistan, particularly in Sindh. In a message to the Christian Community, the chief minister said that this day reminds us the teaching of love, forgiveness and brother hood among the people without any prejudice as taught by Jesus Christ. He said his government would continue to struggle for the rights of minorities. Quaid's Birthday Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has also felicitated the…

Fatwa bans Muslims from wearing Santa hats

JAKARTA: A religious council in Indonesia has issued a fatwa (religious ruling) telling Muslims not to wear Christmas clothing, as ‘it is not permitted in the religion’. The Indonesian Ulema Council stated that people should respect Christians’ right to celebrate, but should not join in because it is ‘haram’ i.e. not permitted in Islam. The fatwa issued on December 14 says that the government should ‘prevent, monitor, and punish’ businesses who force Muslims to wear clothing which they feel goes against their religion.…

Pakistan Railways launches special train on Christmas

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Railways on Thursday launched a special purpose train from Islamabad on the occasion of Christmas. The train is adorned with Christmas lights and mock snowmen, and with carriages that have portraits and tributes to notable Christian Pakistanis, the government says it hopes to change mindsets in Pakistan. It set off on Thursday afternoon from Islamabad to Peshawar, and will travel to Lahore on Christmas day before leaving for Karachi on January 1. Minister for Railways Saad Rafique, addressing…

German police seek Tunisian in hunt for Christmas market attacker

BERLIN: German police are looking for a Tunisian man after finding an identity document under the driver's seat of the truck that ploughed into a Berlin Christmas market, killing 12 people, on Monday evening, security sources said. The document was in the name of Anis A., born in the southern city of Tataouine in 1992, the sources said, using a convention whereby suspects are identified by their first name and initial. The man was also believed to use false names. A spokesperson for Tunisia's foreign ministry said it was…

Twelve killed as lorry ploughs into Berlin Christmas market

BERLIN: A lorry ploughed into a busy Christmas market in Berlin on Monday, killing at least 12 people and injuring dozens more in what police said was a suspected terror attack. Ambulances and heavily armed police rushed to the area after the vehicle mounted the pavement of the market in a square popular with tourists, in horrific scenes reminiscent of July's deadly truck attack in the French Riviera city of Nice. "I don't want to use the word 'attack' yet, although there are many things pointing to one," Interior…