Latest Christmas News

FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2021, file photo, more than a dozen ambulances queue waiting to hand over their COVID-19 patients to medics at the Santa Maria hospital in Lisbon. In its fight against COVID-19, Portugal lifted restrictions on gatherings and movements for four days over Christmas so that people could spend the festive season with family and friends. Soon after the holiday, the pandemic quickly got out of hand. (AP Photo/Armando Franca, File)

COVID-19 variant brings new dimension to Europe's pandemic

Jan. 26, 2021 1:49 PM EST

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — In the first week of December, Portugal’s prime minister gave his pandemic-weary people an early Christmas gift: restrictions on gatherings and travel due to COVID-19 would be lifted from Dec. 23-26 so they could spend the holiday season with family and friends. Soon after...

FILE - In this May 29, 2009 file photo, music producer Phil Spector sits in a courtroom for his sentencing in Los Angeles. Spector, the eccentric and revolutionary music producer who transformed rock music with his “Wall of Sound” method and who was later convicted of murder, died Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, at age 81.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, Pool, File)

Phil Spector, famed music producer and murderer, dies at 81

Jan. 17, 2021 10:46 PM EST

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Phil Spector, the eccentric and revolutionary music producer who transformed rock music with his “Wall of Sound” method and who later was convicted of murder, has died. He was 81. California state prison officials said he died Saturday of natural causes at a hospital. ...

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven speaks during a coronavirus news conference, in Stockholm, Friday, Dec. 18,2020. The Swedish government is tightening nationwide coronavirus restrictions by lowering the number of people who can gather in a restaurant and making face masks mandatory on public transportation. Sweden has stood out among European nations for its comparatively hands-off response to the pandemic. (Jessica Gow/TT News Agency via AP)

Swedish leader defends trip that defied his own virus advice

Jan. 8, 2021 10:55 AM EST

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven on Friday defended his visit to a mall to buy a Christmas present for his wife — in breach of his own repeated appeals for the public to shun shopping centers to avoid spreading COVID-19. Lofven, whose mall trip didn’t actually...

A cat walks through a closed street market in Ivano-Frankivsk, Western Ukraine, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. Ukraine imposed a wide-ranging lockdown beginning Friday, closing schools and entertainment venues and restaurant table service through Jan. 25. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Ukraine imposes virus lockdown that many say came too late

Jan. 8, 2021 9:27 AM EST

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine on Friday imposed a broad lockdown aimed at containing surging coronavirus infections, but some cities appeared to be largely ignoring the restrictions and critics said the move was worrisomely tardy. The government had made plans for the lockdown in December, when...

An ethnic Hutsul man, an ethnic group spanning parts of western Ukraine, plays a violin as others, all wearing traditional colorful clothes, sing a kolyada song during the Orthodox Christmas celebration near the Holy Trinity church in Iltsi village, Ivano-Frankivsk region of Western Ukraine, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7, in accordance with the Julian calendar. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Ukraine: Few masks for Christmas, despite virus pressure

Jan. 7, 2021 2:57 PM EST

LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — Although Ukraine is struggling to contain the coronavirus pandemic that has inundated its overburdened medical system with patients, Thursday's Orthodox Christmas celebrations occurred widely without masks or social distancing. In the mountain village of Iltsy, unmasked worshippers...

A police officer issues fines on vehicles that violate the odd and even license plate rule on alternating days as the country began a three-week lockdown to limit the spread of coronavirus amid a post-holiday surge in the past 10 days in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

Lebanon begins new lockdown amid surge in coronavirus cases

Jan. 7, 2021 12:48 PM EST

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon began a 25-day nationwide lockdown Thursday to limit the spread of the coronavirus as infections hit a record high in the tiny Mediterranean nation and patients overwhelmed the health care sector. In Israel, the government prepared for a two-week shutdown as the country’s...

US Marshals arrest man in 7-year-old Georgia girl's death

Jan. 6, 2021 7:01 PM EST

ATLANTA (AP) — Authorities in Virginia have arrested a man accused of fatally shooting a 7-year-old girl who was riding in a car with her family after a day of Christmas shopping in Atlanta. Kennedy Maxie was hit by a stray bullet Dec. 21 near the popular Phipps Plaza mall in Atlanta's Buckhead...

Putin observes Christmas at 13th century island church

Jan. 6, 2021 4:30 PM EST

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin attended Orthodox Christmas services Wednesday at a small 13th century church on an island. During two decades in power, Putin generally has marked Christmas outside Moscow, often at relatively little-known provincial churches. The Russian Orthodox Church,...

Dozens of citizens of the mountain town of Kalofer, in central Bulgaria, clad in traditional dresses stand in the icy Tundzha River, some waving national flags to recover a crucifix cast by a priest in an old ritual marking the feast of Epiphany, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. The legend goes that the person who retrieves the wooden cross will be freed from evil spirits and will be healthy throughout the year. (AP Photo/Valentina Petrova)

AP PHOTOS: Epiphany celebrations marked by pandemic

Jan. 6, 2021 12:17 PM EST

KALOFER, Bulgaria (AP) — Christians on Wednesday marked Epiphany in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, which constrained celebrations in many places but didn't stop some defying warnings to keep to traditions. Orthodox Christians celebrate Jesus’ baptism during Epiphany. In Bulgaria, thousands...

Armenian Catholicos Karekin II wearing a face mask to protect against coronavirus, left, blesses a believer after the Christmas Mass in the Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral in Yerevan, Armenia, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. Armenia's prime minister, who is under harsh criticism from the country's dominant Orthodox Christian church in connection with the recent war with Azerbaijan, stayed away from Christmas services on Wednesday. Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7, in accordance with the Julian calendar. (Grigor Yepremyan/PAN Photo via AP)

Beleaguered Armenian PM stays away from church on Christmas

Jan. 6, 2021 10:36 AM EST

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Armenia’s prime minister, who is under harsh criticism from the country’s dominant Orthodox Christian church in connection with the recent war with Azerbaijan, stayed away from Christmas services on Wednesday. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was self-isolating due to...