Chinese horses clash in battle to mark Lunar New Year

Feb 3, 2014

Chinese horses clash in battle to mark Lunar New Year

Hooves clash in mid-air, a stallion bites his opponent while delighted spectators cheer wildly , and in southern China some chose to see in the Year of the Horse by watching the animals fight. For the residents of Tiantou, a remote village in the ...

| Feb 1, 2014

Curiosity killed the cat

Elderly woman: The neighborhood cat’s not here tonight. It’s always sitting on the corner at this time. Elderly man: Perhaps it’s too cold? Elderly woman: Cats have fur, you know. Elderly man: Perhaps it’s dead? Elderly woman: Don’t say that. I think it’s probably ...

Asia colorfully rings in Year of the Horse

Jan 31, 2014

Asia colorfully rings in Year of the Horse

Fireworks illuminated the skies across Asia and millions of families gathered Friday to usher in the Year of the Horse, kicking off a week of celebrations with a performance by “Braveheart” actress Sophie Marceau, among others, on China’s annual televised gala. Residents from small ...

Employers pay, entice workers to take leave

Jan 9, 2014

Employers pay, entice workers to take leave

by Asako Takaguchi

An increasing number of companies are starting unique leave programs aimed at improving employee morale. Software developer Cybozu Inc., for example, allows employees to leave their jobs for up to six years to study abroad or take other sabbaticals, because it believes the program, ...

Chinese state TV eyes Tiananmen rocker for gala: manager

Jan 6, 2014

Chinese state TV eyes Tiananmen rocker for gala: manager

China’s state broadcaster has invited rock singer Cui Jian — an inspiration for 1980s prodemocracy protesters — to perform at its annual new year’s gala, his manager said Monday. “We have some details we are working on” ahead of Cui’s possible appearance at the ...

Finnish Santa wants to go universal

Dec 24, 2013

Finnish Santa wants to go universal

As a brand, Santa Claus has one major flaw: He is only really valuable for a few weeks at the end of each year. In Finland, they are trying to do something about that. Petri Paarnio, director of Santa Claus Licensing, the firm that ...

Dec 24, 2013

Abbas says Jesus was a 'Palestinian'

In a Christmas message Monday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Jesus a “Palestinian” messenger of hope. Palestinian officials said Abbas used the term in a historic context, applying to all those in the Holy Land at the time Jesus lived, regardless of religion. Few ...

Heart problems rise over holidays

Dec 24, 2013

Heart problems rise over holidays

Not to dampen any holiday spirits, but studies show heart troubles rise this time of year. The phenomenon is not confined to the West; recent research in China found the same thing. The increase includes fatal and nonfatal heart attacks and a less serious ...

Dec 24, 2013

Israel's parliament bans display of Christmas tree

The speaker of Israel’s parliament has rejected a Christian lawmaker’s request to publicly display a Christmas tree in the building. Eran Sidis, a spokesman for Speaker Yuli Edelstein, said Monday that the parliamentarian could display a Christmas tree in his office and his party’s ...

Hidden elves delay highway project in Iceland

Dec 23, 2013

Hidden elves delay highway project in Iceland

In Iceland, a land of fire and ice where fog-shrouded lava fields form a spooky landscape in which anything might lurk, stories abound of the “hidden folk” — elves — making their homes in Iceland’s wilderness. So perhaps it was only a matter of ...

'The bug that ate Christmas'

Dec 23, 2013

'The bug that ate Christmas'

In West Virginia’s scenic Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, with its gently sloping mountains and emerald expanses of timber, Mike Powell relishes the perks of his job as a caretaker of the land: the sounds of a gurgling stream and the fresh pine scent ...