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Istanbul nightclub massacre kills 39 including foreigners, attacker on the run

ISTANBUL: Thirty-nine people, including many foreigners, were killed Sunday when a gunman went on a rampage at an exclusive nightclub in Istanbul where revellers were celebrating the New Year. As police launched a dragnet for the assailant, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the carnage sought to sow chaos and undermine peace, but Turkey would never bow to the threat. The attack on the waterside Reina nightclub began when 2017 in Turkey was just 75 minutes old, after a year of unprecedented bloodshed that saw hundreds…

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.…

Haute cuisine? Santa serves up sleigh-borne dinner in the sky

BRUSSELS: Not waiting at home for Santa Claus, gourmets in Brussels are flying off aboard his sleigh to dine with him above the city's rooftops and twinkling Christmas lights. "Santa in the Sky" is a novel twist on the Belgian capital's "Dinner in the Sky" venture, where diners and the chefs cooking for them are lifted high in the air on an open platform suspended from a construction crane. This weekend on the city's chic Sablon square shopping district, a bell-ringing Santa Claus is welcoming people aboard the…