Occasions

In this photo taken on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, Florin Catanescu, 41, walks through the ruins of the state orphanage that was his home between 1988 and 1997 in Busteni, Romania. Thirty years after the 1989 death of Romania's communist-era dictator, the country is still grappling with the ugly legacy of its once-horrific orphanages. Now some of those who grew up abused and unloved in those failed institutions are turning their trauma into commitment. Florin Catanescu, who lived in an orphanage until 1997, now runs a transition home helping those leaving state care to have a better chance of leading meaningful lives. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
December 20, 2019 - 8:13 am
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Whenever he returns to the orphanage where he grew up, Florin Catanescu is overwhelmed by sad memories. “I remember families showing up and visiting other kids, but nobody came for me,” said Catanescu, now 41. Walking through the ruins of what was his home between 1988 and...
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In this Dec. 16, 2019, photo, South Korean army soldiers stand guard at the Unification Bridge, which leads to the Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone in Paju, South Korea. The U.S. is closely watching North Korea for signs of a possible missile launch or nuclear test in the coming days that officials are referring to as a “Christmas surprise.” (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
December 20, 2019 - 12:11 am
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is closely watching North Korea for signs of a possible missile launch or nuclear test in the coming days that officials are referring to as a “Christmas surprise.” A significant launch or test would mean the end of North Korea's self-imposed moratorium and raise tensions...
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December 19, 2019 - 3:55 am
BERLIN (AP) — Police in western Germany say thieves have made off with a town fire department's Christmas tree, lights and all. Mayen police said Thursday that sometime in the early morning hours of Wednesday, thieves cut the cables to the lights and carted away the four-meter-tall (13-foot) fir...
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., strikes the gavel after announcing the passage of article II of impeachment against President Donald Trump, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
December 18, 2019 - 9:35 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — A sample of the sights and sounds across Washington and beyond on a momentous day in Washington on Wednesday as the House passed two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump (all times local): 9:30 p.m. New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew has voted against impeaching...
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December 16, 2019 - 10:52 am
PATERSON, N.J. (AP) — Nearly a dozen people surprised a New Jersey waitress with a $1,200 cash tip as an early holiday gift. Zellie Thomas told NJ.com that he and a group of his friends left the tip with a waitress at an IHOP restaurant in Paterson on Saturday. Each person brought $100 to the...
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In this Dec. 5, 2019 photo, workers — most of them from Mexico — load Christmas trees onto a truck at Hupp Farms in Silverton, Ore. On Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, the U.S. House passed a bill that would loosen restrictions on hiring foreign agricultural workers and create a path to citizenship for more than 1 million farm workers estimated to be in the country illegally. The bill's fate in the Senate is unclear, and the White House hasn't said if President Donald Trump would sign it. But the 260-165 vote was a rare stroke of bipartisanship on immigration. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky)
December 12, 2019 - 4:52 pm
GERVAIS, Ore. (AP) — It was nighttime when Pedro Lucas came home, clutching receipts showing he had paid a funeral home to have the bodies of three immigrant laborers returned to Guatemala from Oregon. The three, including two of Lucas' cousins, were killed when a pickup truck slammed into a van...
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This Dec. 3, 2019 photo shows Santa Claus arriving in Napakiak, Alaska, on an Alaska National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. The Guard brought its Operation Santa Claus to the western Alaska community, which is being severely eroded by the nearby Kuskokwim River. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
December 11, 2019 - 1:40 pm
NAPAKIAK, Alaska (AP) — A school employee wearing a traditional pink Alaska Native smock called a kuspuk breezed through the hubbub in the cafeteria adorned with murals of purely Alaska scenes, zigzagging through children clutching presents and past uniformed soldiers wearing Santa caps. “Napakiak...
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In this Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019 photo, Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, patriarch of the Chaldean Church, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Baghdad, Iraq. Leaders of Iraq's Christians unanimously cancelled Christmas-related celebrations in solidarity with the protest movement - but the aims of their stance go deeper than tinsel and fairy lights. In the slogans calling for a united Iraq, Christians see hope for much needed change from a sectarian system that has long marginalized them. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
December 11, 2019 - 1:08 am
BAGHDAD (AP) — The Christmas tree in the middle of a central Baghdad plaza occupied by anti-government protesters is bare, save for portraits of those killed under fire from security forces. A tribute, the demonstrators explained, to a recent decision by Iraq's Christians to call off seasonal...
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December 09, 2019 - 8:50 am
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — It may be the holiday season, but police in Kentucky confiscated an unusual gift being delivered to a Kentucky man's home — a package with about 20 pounds (9 kilograms) of meth that was shipped through the mail inside of an air fryer. Narcotics officers were able to intercept...
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FILE - in this Friday, March 3, 2017 file photo, People pass by the "The Walled Off Hotel" and the Israeli security barrier the West Bank city of Bethlehem. As visitors descend on Bethlehem this Christmas, they have the option of staying in the restored centuries-old guesthouses, taking food tours of local markets and perusing the dystopian art in and around a hotel designed by the British graffiti artist Banksy. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic, File)
December 09, 2019 - 7:39 am
BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — For decades, the people of Bethlehem have watched tour buses drive up to the Church of the Nativity, disgorge their passengers for a few hours at the traditional birthplace of Jesus, and then return to Israel. But in recent years a new form of tourism has taken root,...
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