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On a recent trip to Paris, I noticed that the French are really quite tardy about taking down their Christmas decorations. I can't speak for the private homes of individuals, but in the streets, there they were, twinkling on against January's grey skies.

An ambulance on route to a 999 call heads into flood water at Polhill in Kent with help from men in a white jeep in front

UK Power Networks offers to pay for Christmas dinner after supplies cut off

A major power company is offering to pay for Christmas dinner in local pubs or restaurants for people whose supplies remain cut off today.

Nasa astronaut Michael Hopkins works to repair an external cooling line on the International Space Station

Christmas Eve spacewalk repairs broken cooling system at the International Space Station

US astronauts faced a 'mini blizzard' of ammonia during a rare spacewalk

More than 1,000 volunteers clad in Santa Claus costumes throw their hats in the air as they gather to deliver gifts for the poor in downtown Seoul

In pictures: Christmas around the world

Images of Christmas celebrations around the world.

A car is submerged in the overflowing River Stour at Ilford Bridge Home Park, near Bournemouth, where flooding has caused the evacuation of residents

UK weather: Thousands face Christmas power cuts as floods dampen the festive spirit

Emergency evacuations as 130 flood warnings remain across England and Wales, with 50,000 homes still without power

Tens of thousands of benefit claimants not paid after Department for Work and Pensions 'error'

Over 32,000 people have not received benefit payments in time for Christmas due to an “administrative error” at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Edward Snowden delivered this year's Alternative Christmas Message on Channel 4

Edward Snowden warns over global threat to privacy during Channel 4’s Alternative Christmas Message

The NSA whistleblower, who revealed mass surveillance programmes organised by the US and other governments, broadcast his message on Christmas Day

Christmas around the world

Dr Richard Haass and Harvard professor Meghan O'Sullivan, talk to the media outside the Stormont Hotel, Belfast

Multi-party talks in Belfast fail to resolve issues with Northern Ireland peace process

The deal-by-Christmas target was not met

Shoppers pass sale signs as they make their way down Oxford Street.

Boxing Day sales begin online two days early on Christmas Eve

Hundreds of millions of hits are expected on websites between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day

Norad Santa Tracker 2013: Follow Father Christmas as he rockets around the globe delivering presents

You'll be able to track Father Christmas thanks to Norad

Malky Mackay was upset by an email from Vincent Tan

Cardiff City face relegation by 'washing dirty linen in public', Malky Mackay warns owner Vincent Tan

The Cardiff manager has tried unsuccessfully to hold face-to-face talks with Tan

Prisoners have been banned from receiving Christmas presents from their family and friends under new rules

Chris Grayling branded ‘a Scrooge’ for banning festive parcels for prisoners

The Ministry of Justice has been called ‘mean-spirited’ for the ban

The snow globe in Piccadilly Circus, London, which was installed over the statue of Eros to shelter it from vandals over the Christmas season, was another victim of the strong winds that are blowing across the Capital

Giant Christmas snow globe to 'protect' statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus shatters in high winds

A giant plastic snow globe meant to protect the famous statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus over Christmas has mysteriously broken, showering shoppers in polystyrene pellets.

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