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Last Updated: Friday, 21 December 2007, 15:59 GMT
Day in pictures

Russian pilgrims in the West Bank town of Bethlehem

In Bethlehem, Christian pilgrims mark Christmas with the start of holy rituals at the Church of the Nativity, reputed to be the site of Jesus's birth.

A Palestinian man at a demonstration in the village of Bilin

But elsewhere in the West Bank, religious spirit was less in evidence. In the village of Bilin, a Palestinian man prepares a slingshot against Israeli troops during a demonstration.

Giant shoe at Fashion Fair 2007 Hanoi, Vietnam

A couple examine a giant shoe during Fashion Fair 2007 in Hanoi, Vietnam. The fair is a chance for local businesses to display their wares and sell Christmas gifts.

A Russian man kisses a picture of Stalin

A Russian man kisses a picture of Josef Stalin in the former Russian leader's hometown of Gori, on the 128th anniversary of Stalin's birth.

An elephant entertains children at a school in Ayutthaya province in northern Bangkok

An elephant in a Santa Claus costume entertains children at a school in Thailand.

A Chinese soldier smashes bricks on a colleague's head during a Qigong performance in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province

A Chinese soldier takes part in a Qigong performance as part of an anti-terrorism training drill in Yunnan Province.

Local library in Gisborne, New Zealand

A woman surveys the damage at her local library following a powerful earthquake in Gisborne, New Zealand.

Muslims pray at the Feroz Shah Kotla mosque in New Delhi, India

Muslims pray at the Feroz Shah Kotla mosque at the religious festival of Eid al-Adha, in New Delhi, India.

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