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Massive Italian Nativity Scene Aims For Guinness Record

Treviso's attempt at a record-breaking
Treviso's attempt at a record-breaking

TREVISO — Not just a token sheep, but a flock of sheep. Not just Joseph and Mary, but all their neighbors, plus angels and wise men, bands of bagpipes, ancient tools, tables and cutlery, traditional dances and, yes, a thatched hut sheltering the Madonna and baby Jesus — several in fact, dressed for those roles, so as to keep the scene alive around the clock.

La Stampa reported on the sights and scale of a massive living nativity scene put on near the Italian city of Treviso this past Sunday, with the aim of breaking the Guinness World Record for such a Christmas spectacle.

The living nativity, or presepe in Italian, totalling 95 hectares (235 acres) in the Storga and Sant'Artemio parks, was organized by 14 different associations with local government support, with the aim of raising money for several charities.

The wise men and women at the Guinness offices in London will study the details and images, including videos shot with drones, to see if the Trevigiano nativity scene unseats the reigning record set last year in Provo, Utah, which included 1,039 humans and at least one camel.

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Geopolitics

For Erdogan, Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Is Perfect For His Reelection Campaign

Turkey's objections to Swedish membership of NATO may mean that Finland joins first. And as he approaches an election at home, Turkish President Erdogan is playing the game to his advantage.

For Erdogan, Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Is Perfect For His Reelection Campaign

January 11, 2023, Ankara (Turkey): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the International Conference of the Board of Grievances on January 11.

Turkish Presidency / APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — This story has all the key elements of our age: the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the excessive ambitions of an autocrat, the opportunism of a right-wing demagogue, Islamophobia... And at the end, a country, Sweden, whose NATO membership, which should have been only a formality, has been blocked.

Last spring, under the shock of the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin's Russia, Sweden and Finland, two neutral countries in northern Europe, decided to apply for membership in NATO. For Sweden, this is a major turning point: the kingdom’s neutrality had lasted more than 150 years.

Turkey's President Erdogan raised objections. It demanded that Sweden stop sheltering Kurdish opponents in its country. This has nothing to do with NATO or Ukraine, but everything to do with Erdogan's electoral agenda, as he campaigns for the Turkish presidential elections next May.

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