Connect to share and comment

Spain's 'Holy Grail' faces sceptical inquisition

Claims that the Holy Grail has been found after sitting for 1,000 years in a Spanish church face a tough inquisition from doubtful historians. Visitors flocked to the museum of the San Isidro basilica in Leon after a new book said it contained the chalice from which Jesus Christ sipped at the Last Supper. Experts on Tuesday poured doubt on that dramatic claim by two Spanish historians, saying the Grail -- subject of tales from Medieval times to Indiana Jones and Monty Python -- was a myth, not a real drinking vessel.

5 things to know about tracking Santa's journey

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - For kids who can't wait for Santa to arrive, the North American Aerospace Defence Command has a Christmas treat. Visions of sugar plums can be augmented by a check on the fabled fat man's progress around the globe on Christmas Eve. Here are five things to know about the holiday tradition called NORAD Tracks Santa: 1. HOW DO YOU FOLLOW SANTA'S PATH?

Santa cleared for entry to US

Santa Claus was officially cleared for entry into the United States on Monday as federal agriculture officials waived stringent livestock checks on his nine reindeer. The US Department of Agriculture announced in a light-hearted statement that a "Mr. S.Claus" of the North Pole was free to enter the United States with his reindeer from December 24 to December 25. "During this season of giving, USDA wants to do everything in its power to help Santa," said John R. Clifford, USDA's Chief Veterinary Officer.

Museum wants UNESCO listing for German Father Christmas

A German museum has applied for UNESCO heritage status for the country's traditional Father Christmas, saying he is under threat from the cheery version of Santa Claus popularised globally by Coca-Cola. The German Christmas Museum's director Felicitas Hoeptner argues today's Santa Claus is based on a German gift-giver who meted out both treats and punishment, but that knowledge of the figure's origins is fading away.

Critics pan Canadian CF-18s escorting Santa in NORAD tracking video

DENVER - The U.S. and Canadian military will entertain millions of kids again this Christmas Eve with second-by-second updates on Santa's global whereabouts. But there's something new this year: public criticism. A children's advocacy group says an animated video on the NORAD Tracks Santa website injects militarism into Christmas by showing fighter jets escorting Santa's sleigh. It's a rare swipe at the popular program, which last year attracted a record 22.3 million unique visitors from around the world to its website.

New Mexico teacher on leave after telling black student Santa is white

By Zelie Pollon SANTA FE, New Mexico (Reuters) - A New Mexico high school teacher who questioned an African American student's decision to dress up as Santa Claus on the grounds that the mythical North Pole figure was white has been put on paid administrative leave, an official said on Monday.

Ho, ho, holy cow - Santa gets fighter escort on U.S. military site

By Ian Simpson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. military website showing Santa Claus delivering his presents while guarded by warplanes has some children's advocates worried. In a twist to its tradition of tracking an animated version of Santa Claus' sleigh and reindeer as he flies around the globe on December 24, the military is adding the animated fighter plane escort to give a realistic feel to the popular feature, said a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

Nova Scotia Liberal breaks down in discussing photo of blackface character

HALIFAX - A Nova Scotia politician fought back tears Monday as he discussed a photo showing him sitting on the lap of a blackface Christmas character, telling the province's African community he's sorry for any offence and wants to be part of a conversation about whether Zwarte Piet has a place in the Dutch community's holiday celebrations.

'Wild Bill' Hickok's pistol fails to sell at San Francisco auction

By Laila Kearney SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The revolver carried by Old West lawman James "Wild Bill" Hickok on the day he was shot down at a Deadwood saloon failed to sell at an auction in San Francisco on Monday, with bidders failing to meet the steep reserve set by the gun's owners.

Protesters shun 'racist' Black Pete in Amsterdam festival

Tens of thousands of people crowded Amsterdam's streets on Sunday to watch the traditional holiday arrival of Saint Nicholas as a handful joined a silent protest against his sidekick "Black Pete", which they said was a racist symbol. The debate over Black Pete has reached a fever pitch in the last weeks in the Netherlands, highlighting the issue of racism in a country that prides itself on open-minded values. It has even sparked a UN rights probe.
Syndicate content