Santa Claus busy preparing for Christmas at Lapland home in Finland

8129166-3x2-700x467Santa Claus’s helpers have been sorting out piles of letters from around the world, each detailing children’s requests for this Christmas, at his home in Lapland, Finland.
In English, Italian or other languages, youngsters’ handwriting adorns the envelopes addressed to Father Christmas, some decorated with colourful hearts and stars.
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Forget Sydney and San Francisco, Christmas Island crab bridge helps migrating critters beat the traffic

7013388-3x2-700x467Christmas Island rangers have taken road safety to a whole new level with the construction of a “crab bridge” over the island’s busiest road.
In preparation for the annual spawning season, rangers have been setting up barriers along the roadside to prevent the crabs from being crushed under the wheels of cars.
A five-metre-high bridge has also been constructed at one point along the road to help the crabs move across the island and continue their migration.

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Christmas Eve 60 years ago – Tangiwai survivor’s story shared after death.

On Christmas Eve 60 years ago, 151 people died in the Tangiwai railway disaster. A dramatic mudflow, or lahar, was unleashed from Mt Ruapehu when the crater lake’s wall collapsed.

DISASTER: The drama of Tangiwai continues to resonate, its timing on Christmas Eve making it all the more poignant.
DISASTER: The drama of Tangiwai continues to resonate, its timing on Christmas Eve making it all the more poignant.

It surged down the Whangaehu River, destroying the railway bridge at Tangiwai. The Wellington to Auckland overnight express plunged into the raging torrent.

The driver, fireman, one first class passenger, and 148 of the 176 second class passengers died.

Among the few from the second-class carriages to survive was Richard Edward Brett, 18, known to all as Ted, who somehow avoided being swept to his death down the flooded river.

”The water was completely blinding,” he would later recall.

”It was full of sulphur, engine oil, and other muck and debris.”

The only survivor from the second carriage, he made notes on the disaster and gave two unpublished interviews before he died in 2008. Here, for the first time, is his story.