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This Week in Pictures: December 22 – December 28, 2015

This Week in Pictures December 22 - 28

The last seven days have seen some massive news stories break around the world so we take a look back at some of the biggest

Christmas was celebrated around the world last week, the day of the year that marks the birth of Jesus Christ an important religious figure for the planet’s two billion Christians. During his homily at midnight mass in the Vatican Pope Francis attacked what he termed “a society so often intoxicated by consumerism & hedonism, wealth & extravagance, appearances & narcissism” and “a culture of indifference” and called upon adherents of the Catholic faith to “act soberly”.

In South America over 150,000 people were displaced by some of the most devastating flooding seen in the region in recent years. The President of Paraguay, Horacio Cartes, declared a state of emergency, Argentina evacuated 20,000 people and thousands were left homeless in both Uruguay and Brazil after heavy rains that began on December 18th swelled local rivers which burst their banks. The Paraguayan government assigned relief funds to a value of $3.5 million in face of the crisis.

In Australia fast moving bush fires swept through portions of Victoria last week causing widespread damage to property. In Wye River and Separation Creek one in three houses were left uninhabitable and on Friday some 1,600 people were evacuated as fears grew a shift in the wind direction could endanger the town of Lorne. The fires have no burnt across some 5,500 acres and is said to have been caused by a lightning strike on December 19th. Hundreds of firefighters were called in to tackle the blaze.

In sport Manchester United lost 2-0 to Stoke increasing the amount of pressure on beleaguered manager Louis van Gaal who now seem inclined to at least offer his resignation as the club fails to meet expectations the season. Will someone else have to take over the reins at Old Trafford and if so who will it be? You’ll have to read our daily news pages to find out, but in the meantime here’s a look back at some of the big stories we covered from around the world in the last seven days.

1. There was reason to believe that host Steve Harvey’s drinking and gambling early Sunday evening was the cause for the Miss Universe blunder that happened later that night.

Steve Harvey

And the award for most awkward TV moment goes to… (Photo: Tech Insider)


2. Carlo Ancelotti had been appointed as the official replacement of Pep Guardiola at the helm of Bayern Munich.

Carlo Ancelotti

Ancelotti is going to take over in Munich (Photo: The Guardian)


3. A senior center in Japan installed a room for its residents to play casino games. Japanese seniors gamble there because the caretakers believe it slows or suppresses the development of dementia.

Mahjong

Could mahjong help prevent brain disease? (Photo: CNN)


4. In bizarre gambling news, an Israeli couple sold their baby to an undercover police officer for $26,000 as a way to pay off a portion of their gambling debt.

Israeli flag

Uhh… (Photo: Wikimedia Commons [Edited])


5. We looked at Erkan Teper’s failed drug test and wonder if it isn’t about time sports stars ceased being our go-to role models.

Erkan Teper

Teper has been banned from boxing for 2 years (Photo: BoxSport)


6. The latest Dream Cruise prize draw winner of the ongoing promotion at Casino Cruise was set to go on an all-expenses-paid seven day cruise across South America.

Copacabana

Copacabana is just one of the beautiful places the lucky winner gets to visit (Photo: Wikipedia)


7. We looked at the future of Swedish boxing as Erik Skoglund continues to rack up wins and demonstrate he’s a fighter to watch and wager on next year.

Erik Skoglund

Skoglund is a boxer to watch in 2016 (Photo: Erik Skoglund)

Meanwhile in Florida an unidentified 40 year old driver claims to have been attempting to “travel through time” when his motor vehicle collided with a tax office in a Pensacola strip mall. Such was the force of the impact the car continued through the tax office, breached its walls and crashed through the neighboring Funeral director’s store causing large scale damage to both businesses. Fortunately no one was in either business when the attempted time traveler struck and there were no injuries.

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