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A Middle Eastern Christmas

Christians may hold a minority status in the Middle East, but as the birthplace of Christianity the regions still contains a significant Christian population estimated at around 12 million people. Despite recent headlines pointing to the persecution of Christians under tyrannical regimes such as that currently pursued by the terrorist group ISIS, Christmas still remains an important religious festival in the region, and is widely celebrated by Christians and Muslims alike.

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Catastrophe looms in Gaza's hospitals as cleaners strike

EXCLUSIVE IMAGES

The scenes in Gaza's Shifa Hospital today are not much different from during the recent Israeli offensive – bloodied bandages and linen overflowing onto floors, bathrooms becoming filthier by the minute, medical disposables littering the treatment rooms. About the only difference is the operating theatres, which are mostly empty – all elective surgery has been cancelled due to the cleaners strike.

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Unsung heroes

Poppy AppealIt's that time of year when British citizens get a chance to come together to mourn the country's human losses and remember those who sacrificed their lives in time of war. Some of those remembered were volunteers but the majority were probably conscripts.

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New figures show Egyptian economy is collapsing

There has been a major decline in the Egyptian economy since the coup in July 2013, the economic reporter Mamdouh Al-Wali has revealed.

In a blog on Facebook, Al-Wali said that the most significant indicator of the losses incurred is the decline in the number of new companies. According to a report, issued by the Ministry of Planning, which outlines economic and social performance indices for the fiscal year 2013/2014, the first year after the coup, the number of new companies set up was 8,245 compared to 8,946 during the previous year; an eight per cent reduction.

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Development Visions from the Impoverished

The world's most extreme poor are located primarily in rural places. Clearly, people's proximity (or lack of) to city centers of decision-making, power and relative affluence is a determining factor in their life experience, alongside other conditions that lead to the systemic poverty experienced by rural families.

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