Palestinians protest patriarch ahead of Orthodox Christmas

Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III holds mass in the Church of the Nativity, built atop the site where Christians believe Jesus Christ was born, to celebrate Christmas according to the Eastern Orthodox calendar, in the West Bank City of Bethlehem, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019. (AP)
Updated 06 January 2019

Palestinians protest patriarch ahead of Orthodox Christmas

  • The protesters shouted “traitor” at Patriarch Theophilos III as he made his way under heavy guard Sunday toward the Church of the Nativity

BETHLEHEM, West Bank: Dozens of Palestinians are protesting the arrival of the Greek Orthodox patriarch of the Holy Land at an Orthodox Christmas celebration in Bethlehem.
The protesters shouted “traitor” at Patriarch Theophilos III as he made his way under heavy guard Sunday toward the Church of the Nativity, revered by Christians as the traditional site of Jesus’s birthplace. Palestinians have been demanding his resignation for allegedly selling church land to Israelis.
The Greek Orthodox church is one of the largest real estate owners in the Holy Land. It is dominated by Greek clergy while the flock is overwhelmingly Palestinian.
The Orthodox mark Christmas on January 7, according to the Gregorian, rather than Julian, calendar.


US ambassador says ready to solve Safer tanker crisis

Updated 5 min 47 sec ago

US ambassador says ready to solve Safer tanker crisis

RIYADH: The US ambassador to Yemen said Washington is ready to help in solving the crisis of an abandoned oil tanker off Yemen’s coast at risk of exploding. 
With 1.1 million barrels of crude on board, the FSO Safer tanker is deteriorating badly and could rupture at any time, with disastrous results for Red Sea marine life, UN and other experts have warned.
The 45-year-old ship is anchored off the port of Hodeidah under the control of the Iran-backed Houthi militia, which initially blocked UN efforts to send a team of experts to assess its condition. Sources on Sunday said the Houthis gave the UN inspectors the green light to inspect the decaying tanker.