Almost a year after the Sochi Olympics wowed winter sports enthusiasts worldwide, it’s possible to review the initial impact of their legacy. The former Soviet resort city has been transformed into a luxury destination the equal of anything in Europe.
Teeth-chattering weather descended on Russia on Christmas Eve, with temperatures falling to -25C in Moscow and -35C in the remote region of Yakutia, as hundreds of thousands of believers are expected to attend Midnight Mass in the capital and elsewhere.
From Sydney to Rio De Janeiro, millions of people have kicked off their New Year 2015 celebrations under the night skies brightly lit with firework displays. Full of joy and hopes people wished each other the best of luck in 2015.
A group of divers in Russia's Far East decided to be the first to celebrate the coming of 2015 – by drinking champagne and swimming in circles around a New Year tree at the bottom of a nearly frozen bay.
Children continue to be victims of violence, trade and abuse across the world, a fact bringing “so many tears” this Christmas, Pope Francis said in his Christmas message. He specifically decried the Pakistan massacre in which mostly children died.
There has been a surge in drone sales this Christmas in the UK, and so aviation authorities are warning users that operating drones irresponsibly could cost an arm and a leg in penalties. So if you received a drone, it is worth repeating the rules.
‘Tis the season to be… floating! The jolly crew of the ISS is getting ready to celebrate Christmas and New Year. Presents are packed, stockings are up and even a tin of caviar is “levitating” around the station.
Pope Francis prepared rebukes instead of greetings for this year’s Christmas meeting with the Curia. He has urged Vatican officials to stop feeling “superior to everyone,” to give up on the “terrorism of gossip” and recover from “spiritual Alzheimer’s.”
Around 500 people dressed as Santa and his Russian cousin, Father Frost, ran in a charity race dubbed the ‘Happy Run’ in Moscow to support sick children in need and help their families buy Christmas presents for kids.
In an attempt to attract more visitors to animal parks, a zoo in France has launched a service, offering guests to stay in a lodge next to the park's furry inhabitants. At quite a bearable price, the project aims to help renovate animals' living spaces.
Sierra Leone has banned any public celebrations of Christmas and the New Year over the spread of the Ebola virus that has affected thousands of the population. The military will strictly monitor the ban.